In a rare moment of daring, BBC One used New Year’s Eve to introduce a new comedy which, according to reports, could go to full series depending on viewer reaction.
Written by Benidorm’s Simon Carlyle, Two Doors Down was a laugh out loud hour look at the stresses and traumas of family get togethers.
Arabella Weir and Alex Norton starred as the reluctant hosts of their street’s annual New Year’s Eve party, never quite managing to mask that they’d clearly have loved to shut the door and lock the world outside.
For Beth (Weir) the only thing she wanted from the evening was the safe return of solider son Angus from his latest tour.
Instead she found herself having to sooth feathers ruffled by the arrival of their other son Ian and partner Tony (Fresh Meat’s Greg McHugh) and snooty neighbour Cathy (Doon Mackichan) and her husband who delight in announcing how much better their lives, homes and holidays are than everyone else’s.
On top of which she also had to deal with Daniela Nardini’s poorly behaved Auntie Caroline who spent the night spiking the drinks of an unsuspecting neighbour before trying to “mount” him in the upstairs loo.
Thankfully for Beth, 2014’s hostess duties will fall to another undeserving resident.
Two Doors Down was far funnier than either the overhyped Mrs Brown’s Boys or the ok-but-not-spectacular Still Open All Hours.
The biggest laugh came courtesy of a neighbour’s friend who, when asked where she’d found her latest lothario, replied that they’d just met on the bus after he “threw a chip at my head & asked if I had any pants on.”
The set-up for last night’s episode gave the show a similar feel to Channel 4’s never-disappointing Friday Night Dinner but the bigger cast of characters offers potential for a full series to go places that show can’t.
Let’s hope BBC bosses shake off their hangovers long enough to order one…