Creator: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Starring: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jonathan Bailey, Julie Dray, Damien Molony, Adrian Scarborough
Network: Channel 4
Broadcast: 10pm on Monday’s from 11th January
I’m on the fence when it comes to Channel 4; a lot of their programming leaves me exasperated, but they have put out some gems such as This is England and Peep Show. I thought I would give their new comedy-drama series Crashing a go; despite being advertised ad nauseam it looked amusing and was in Catastrophe’s old time-slot, which seemed like a largely well-written and genuinely humorous show from what I saw. Sadly, though, the first episode of Crashing was a struggle.
The series follows the lives of a group of 20-somethings who live in a disused hospital as ‘property guardians’, with each episode roughly twenty-four minutes in length. Seems like an interesting setting – could be, probably – but the show is just horribly cliche and absolutely what I would expect from post-watershed Channel 4.
The characters are all sex-driven fiends who spurt out cloddish dialogue about life and love and how much they want to penetrate each other. There’s the arrogant one, the token nerd, the plain-spoken eccentric, the free-spirited airhead… even the will-they-or-won’t-they romance. It’s such a bore and the humour is so repetitive and gratuitous that it made me wince; there’s no variety and it gets old very fast.
The setting has potential, but any possible quirk is dragged down by a ham-handed, cliche-ridden script. I can’t see this show going anywhere meaningful and at the moment it comes across as crudely written and uninspired, with repetitious dialogue and characters so utterly banal that I can’t decide whether to laugh or despair.
Perhaps it’ll settle into something smarter later on, but I honestly can’t see it dropping the tampon quips and the preview for episode two shows yet more archaic slapstick. A shame, as I was genuinely looking forward to this series.