Cuckoo Series 2 Review “Funeral”

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I complained last week that the second series of Cuckoo, already crippled by the huge casting changes made over the break, hasn’t been making enough use of Ken. This episode, ‘Funeral’, probably featured the most Ken we’ve had all year, but it also made me regret complaining in the first place.

Kicking off with Ken finding a first edition book that he’s promptly guilted into lending his old, terminally-ill professor, it slowly descends into farcical anarchy (not unlike at this point in the last series) when he attends the funeral to recover the book. Unfortunately, he also takes Dale and Dylan with him, and the pair of them have vastly different experiences.

This was the first episode in which both the father/son dynamic and the potential romance between Dale and Rachel (in my opinion, the best thing about the last four episodes) were missing from the main body of the plot and, without anything grounding the circus the show is wont to indulge in, there was almost too much going on to make sense of.

The jokes that were decipherable you could see coming a mile off, like Dale’s mistaken identity as Rafferty’s lover, but others were either overly tired or totally confusing. Dale’s supposed transference of his grief over Cuckoo on Rafferty felt like it was going somewhere mildly interesting, for example, but then didn’t result in anything more substantial than a couple of punch lines. Maybe that will come later, and my fingers are still crossed for a cameo.

Cuckoo‘s preferred flavour of humour has always been toe-curlingly awkward, and the episode didn’t let us down there. If the built suspense over Dale’s naive acceptance of what the family wanted him to be wasn’t enough, there was always Dylan’s usual antics and the hugely inappropriate reading from ‘The History of Genocide’ that Ken had swapped for his prized first edition. That one got my biggest laugh of the night.

But with Ken coming off so unlikeable and the episode lacking the warmth that only Rachel and Dale are really providing at the moment, I worry that the show won’t be able to recover itself in time for the finale in two weeks.

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