Cuckoo Series 2 Review “A New Beginning”

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When Cuckoo’s first series debuted, no one was really paying much attention. The presence of Andy Samberg was less of a big deal then (though it was still a relatively big deal) than it would be now following his subsequent success, and BBC3 sitcoms have always invited more derision than optimism when airing new ideas.

But after that first series had finished, the attitude had completely changed. This second series premiere already had a lot to live up to, then, even without the departure of Samberg to compensate for, but with Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner stepping up to the plate, compensate they have.

It’s just such a bizarre and inherently hilarious concept – Lautner’s persona as mute pin-up star just not in the same universe as a quaint little sitcom like Cuckoo. But it works fantastically, the surprise only adding to what the fish-out-of-water concept, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this led to a complete career renaissance for the actor. Who knew he could do comedy?

Lautner plays Dale, the 21-year-old son of Cuckoo who has come to Lichfield to find his father only to discover that he’d gone missing in the Himalayas two years previously. This leaves Rachel in the arms of the most painfully unexciting suitor in Britain, Ken faced with a much safer son-in-law option and the prospect of an empty nest, and the whole family still mourning the loss of their most wacky member.

(It’s worth noting here that Cuckoo is missing, not dead, leaving the option open for Samberg to return either in a cameo or further in the future.)

Eyes were always going to be fixed on Lautner in this first outing, but the rest of the cast are on top form too. Greg Davies was born to play Ken, the family’s (and the show’s) anchor, and Tyger Drew-Honey still provides excellent comic relief as Dylan. There’s a new Rachel (Esther Smith) to go along with the new Cuckoo, but the transition isn’t particularly felt.

Expectations were low, and some may still be unconvinced, but there’s bags of potential here. This first episode was dedicated to introducing us to a brand new co-lead with a very different relationship to the family, and we’ve got five weeks to see how that plays out. I’m feeling very optimistic.

What did you think of the episode? How do you think Taylor Lautner did? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.