Cuckoo Series 2 Review “Neighbourhood Watch”


Just when I was willing to forgive Cuckoo‘s shakier moments during series two, it goes and delivers a weak finale like ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, and I have to re-evaluate the slack I’ve cut it all year. The first series was possibly a fluke, especially in BBC Three’s notorious and somewhat admirable ‘throw stuff at the wall until it sticks’ business plan, but much of the charm was lost along with its star.

Don’t get me wrong, Taylor Lautner was far from the worst thing about it. He was, in fact, probably the best. But he wasn’t the focus like Cuckoo was last year, and the show suffered for it. In this episode, for example, Ken and Dale barely interacted and much of the already brief running time was dedicated to an inconsequential car chase led by Steve at his most irritating. Why the writers love Connie and Steve so much, I’ll never know.

It’s attempting to be a rehash of the last series’ madcap closer, I guess, but there are none of the stakes or build-up or sheer lunacy that made that so entertaining. It doesn’t even feel like a series finale, which makes a little more sense when you note that Cuckoo is coming back for a Christmas special, but that’s no excuse for wasting time and pulling focus away from some of the show’s strongest elements.

The Rachel/Dale cliffhanger was nicely done and, aside from Dylan, their relationship has definitely one of my highlights of the series. To have them, and poor Ben’s inevitable fate, left up for discussion until the show returns in December feels like a good move, and something that might just get me back to see what happens.

Otherwise, they need to figure out something to do with Lorna and Ken, as the younger cast are showing them up every week. It’s nothing to do with the performance, if anything, Greg Davies should be applauded this year more than ever, but Cuckoo series two was a run of episodes that didn’t know what the heck it wanted to be.

Neither rejecting what it had built in the first series nor building upon it, it kind of just sat there and never figured out what it could change without Andy Samberg. Lautner has been a successful replacement, but the writers seemed unwilling to rely on his as much as they maybe could have, and that resulted in a weaker year all around.

What did you think of the episode, and the series? Will you back at Christmas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.