Review: Josh, BBC3

It’s one of those quirks of scheduling that the new series of flatshare comedy Josh has dropped on the same day that the new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm started on Sky Atlantic. There’s definitely a touch of the Curbs in the way that Josh is plotted and also in the way that whatever can go wrong in the main characters’ lives will go wrong.

Episode one kicks off with Josh (Josh Widdicombe) being dumped while stuck, Boris-style, on a zipwire. And as if that wasn’t bad enough a clip of the strawberry blonde comic hanging mid-air goes viral. Meanwhile Owen (Elis James) is taking his driving test and the examiner Huw (Mike Bubbins) turns out to be a fellow Welshman. Could this be a good omen? 

But the best storyline and in some ways the most credible features Kate (Beattie Edmondson) taking her mother Judith (played by real-life mum Jennifer Saunders) to some immersive theatre set in a bland suburban office. Except that they go to the wrong street and end up in a real office, convinced that everyone is an actor.

Yes, I know it sounds ludicrous, but I’ve been to immersive theatre and in a way it is not as far-fetched as it seems. Once you have the idea in your head that everyone around you is an actor suddenly they do all seem like actors. Even when they want to throw you out of the building…

So while each plotline plays out in a way you can sort of guess as it builds to a Curb-style finale that draws them all together, there are enough twists to keep you watching and enough funny lines to keep you laughing. The only thing that jars is Jack Dee as landlord Geoff - nothing wrong with his performance but it does stretch credibility that Geoff is around so much. Then again Josh Widdicombe has told me that Geoff is based on a real landlord, so maybe fact is actually funnier than this fiction.

Watch on iPlayer here. Or on BBC1 on Friday nights.

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