TV: Friday Night Dinner, C4

Friday Night Dinner returns to C4 for a fifth series, and while something like People Just Do Nothing - also up to five series – is constantly lauded with praise and awards, Friday Night Dinner just seems to potter along, well-liked and well-respected without making a massive impact. That may change after the first episode of the new series, which is so wince-makingly, awkwardly funny you may have to view it from the street through the window. Even watching through your fingers behind the sofa might be too close for comfort. 

Writer Robert Popper has come up with a veritable cavalcade of gruesome events to disrupt the Goodman family's usual end-of-the-week gathering. For starters they have to look after the dog of neighbour Jim (Mark Heap), who has a habit of eating table legs - the dog, not Jim. Then there is Martin (Paul Ritter) and Jackie (Tamsin Greig) enjoying their hot tub. "Great big bubberly bath outside," says Jim.

In this scenario adult sons Adam (Simon Bird) and Jonny (Tom Rosenthal) seem positively normal and well-adjusted, particularly compared to Jim's new girlfriend, "the other Jackie", played by Rosie Cavaliero, is is currently hoovering up oddball parts like this in TV comedy. Jackie, who has a constant nervous giggle, is the kind of comedy character who you will either find hilarious or will make you want to lob an armchair at the screen. I was pretty much in the former camp.

This is a grimly funny episode full of great lines and fabulous performances, including the dog. It's a very traditional comedy and some might find Heap's Jim ludicrously over the top but look on the bright side, while he is the Goodman's neighbour he won't be moving in next to you. 

Friday Night Dinner, Fridays from May 4, C4, 10pm.

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