Cuckoo Series 2 Review “Tribunal”


The first series of Cuckoo was very much about the relationship between Ken and his new son-in-law, with the rest of the family providing foils or comic relief to that main journey towards acceptance. The show came ready-made with a couple at the centre but, now that Cuckoo is gone and Dale has taken his place, the entire dynamic of the family – and the show – has changed.

Ken is now one of the background characters, with Dale very much the main event. He is most tangled up with Rachel as they awkwardly dance around their mutual attraction, and that makes series two of Cuckoo much more of a love story than it ever was before. It’s not necessarily a problem, but this third episode demonstrates just how much has changed.

Taylor Lautner, for example, is a totally different presence to Andy Samberg that we’ve had to get used to, but he’s good enough to justify the shift in focus. His chemistry with Esther Smith’s equally new Rachel is also very nice to watch and, if that is where this year’s run of episodes is going to be about, then we should be fine.

This week’s look at how Dale – someone who has grown up as far removed from normal civilisation as you can get – might react to some female attention. The ‘friendship ritual’ may have been a bit too much for some viewers (I wondered what the BBC iPlayer age-restriction warning was about), but it’s the sort of thing this show did all of the time in the first series.

Sadly all of this does mean that Ken loses out a little and, after Greg Davies was entirely absent from last week’s shenanigans, he’s handed a pretty underwhelming b-plot here. For every great exchange we get between Ken and Dylan or Ken and Dale, there’s so far been another 10 minutes where he’s flailing around without much to do. It has the potential to drag down this second series, even if the other parts are great.

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