Ten years ago, there was Echo Beach- a cliché-filled Cornwall-set soap which was the ill-advised brainchild of Ben Miller’s fictional producer in Moving Wallpaper. Delicious feels like his follow-up creation (Cornish landscape, clichéd script) - although miraculously it was the most-watched original drama on Sky1 last year.
Former love rivals Gina Benelli (Dawn French) and Sam Vincent (Emilia Fox) are now running the Penrose Hotel together. Even though they’ve made their peace over Sam’s dead husband Leo (Iain Glen), there’s more complications with the arrival of Gina’s estranged father (Franco Nero) and a new chef who Sam finds just as tasty as his food. But this being a soapy melodrama, their new recruit has a big secret.
Glen is easily the most enjoyable element of the show. His ghostly narration, littered with philosophical babbling and boasting of his success with women, makes it almost feel as if the show could be an intentional parody.
After her almost-incestuous liaison from last series, Gina’s daughter Theresa (Tanya Reynolds) faces more misery in the form of her creepy therapist. In Series 1 she was potentially interesting with her allergy to water but this is now swept under the carpet and she’s just a sulky brat.
Considering how cheesy Dan Sefton’s script is, French and Fox’s performances are fine. The only enjoyment of the drama comes from its tick-box predictability - how many times Gina bangs on about being Italian, how many food scenes there are, how many times Theresa has a strop.
One of the most irritating tick-boxes is the token elderly local; apparently no one in Cornwall has a Cornish accent.
The worst performance is from Nero, who despite actually being Italian, is so overblown that it feels like a joke. Although this is not entirely his fault as the character is written one-dimensionally. Because there’s only four episodes this series (same as Series 1), everything is crammed in so there is little room for characterisation.
If you enjoy a show that will cause you to shout at your screen in frustration or you would like to see yet another inauthentic portrayal of Cornwall, this is the batty dramedy for you.