TV: Mum, BBC2

mum bbc2

In the third and final series of Mum, beautifully written and directed by Stefan Golaszewski, Cathy and co are well and truly out of their suburban comfort zone, as they go to stay with Pauline (Dorothy Atkinson) and her hen-pecked partner Derek (Ross Boatman) who have rented an ultra swish country house for the week.

The setting might be different, however, but the same themes as ever are here. Pauline, for example, is determined to show at every opportunity that she is posher and considerably richer than everybody else, offering her family a guide round the mini-mansion just to boast and tell everyone that "piano" is pronounced "P-R-No". 

Meanwhile Cathy's son Jason's partner Kelly (Lisa McGrillis) is as dim as ever. It's pretty obvious from her comments about her health what is going on but for some reason she doesn't want to say it. You do find yourself laughing with her rather than at her, even when he is offering Jason advice on how to clean his bum in the shower. Let's just say if you need to take advice about anything from Kelly you are in a pretty bad way.

But at the centre of it all, of course is perpetually placid Cathy (Lesley Manville) and strong, silent Michael (Peter Mullan), whose love for each other is pretty obvious to anyone who can be bothered to pay attention to them rather than themselves. In a nice touch they both separately lob their swan-shaped guest towels onto a chair. Both think the kind of fripperies like this that impress Pauline are absolute bollocks.

Each episode observes a different day of the week, from arrival on the Monday to the party on Saturday. This is the final series and in the first episode Derek shows Michael the ring he has bought to propose to Pauline. But somehow I think the real union everyone is watching this exquisitely constricted comedy drama for is the one between Cathy and Michael.

Mum, Wednesdays from May 15, 10pm BBC2 and all on iPlayer after first episode finishes.

Pictured: Cathy (Lesley Manville), Kelly (Lisa McGrillis), Jason (Sam Swainsbury), Pauline (Dorothy Atkinson)



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