Review, Ill Behaviour, iPlayer

Ill Behaviour is written by Peep Show’s co-creator Sam Bain, but if anyone is expecting a laugh-a-minute sitcom about flatsharing misfits think again. Ill Behaviour is far more ambitious and original than that. Not as funny as Peep Show, but then I don’t think that is its intention.

Chris Geere plays Joel, a newly divorced loser whose life is going nowhere when friend Charlie (Tom Riley) reveals that he has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are good chances of survival if Charlie has chemo but instead he wants to go down the alternative therapy path. 

Joel and their mutual friend Tess (Jessica Regan), however, care about Charlie so they hatch a plan which involves kidnapping him and forcing him to have chemo against his will. As you do. I don’t know if this counts as tough love or something else, but basically they mean well when they tie him up and hold him prisoner.

The story is certainly unusual then. And it is played out well as the friendship between the group is tested to the limit. Geere is particularly good, a bit like a fun-sized young Tom Hollander. It is all very watchable, though if you are squeamish there is rather a lot of blood at the end of episode one.

I did have a bit of a problem with the set-up, which all seems a little too convenient. Joel is newly divorced and has just banked a few million quid as part of the settlement, which is how they can rent a secluded country house and pay over the odds for drugs on the dark web. Oh and Joel has just had a one-night stand with a coke-snorting oncologist (Lizzy Caplan) who has been suspended so she is happy to take some very generously paid cash-in-hand work. As you do.

But if you can do a massive leap over this credibility gap Ill Behaviour is a lot of fun, part-thriller, part-medical drama, part-comedy. It is previewing on iPlayer, though for a change it’s not billed as a BBC3 programme, which most comedies that start on iPlayer have tended to be, but is listed as a BBC2 programme - it will go out on BBC2 later this year. But then it is no ordinary comedy. I think it's what young people call "sick". Have an overdose and watch all three episodes now. 

Watch all of Ill Behaviour now here


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