As a massive fan of the original two series of PETER KAY'S CAR SHARE, this review is going to be somewhat difficult to write because I thought this much anticipated new final episode was a big disappointment. For the most part it was weak, bland and pretty boring stuff.
As the episode reached its conclusion it suddenly dawned on me that watching this was akin to watching Only Fools and Horses, after the Trotters had finally become millionaires (unfunny and a big letdown). Likewise as with Only Fools, the writers of Car Share should have resisted the public clamour and decided not to make anymore.
One of the main problems with this episode was the narrative structure. Unlike the previous last episode, where there was this great emotional intensity and climax to the narrative, here it all felt a bit flat. By giving us a resolution to the John (Peter Kay) and Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) love story so early on in the piece, then the narrative didn't really have anywhere else to go for the remaining twenty minutes or so. I had a smile on my face for the first five minutes, then was bored for the next twenty and only laughed out loud once near the end.
The last point was another issue that I had with it overall, namely that it was a sit-com that was not very funny. The great on-screen chemistry between Peter Kay and Sian Gibson was clearly still there but I even found their banter unfunny this time around. The wedding invitation banter did not make me laugh and neither did Kayleigh's continual jokes about taking things too quickly with John.
There was one scene in particular that irked me and that was when they went to get a coffee via a drive-thru. After struggling to get the money together to pay for it (again trying to be funny when it wasn't), when they finally got the money John then dropped it outside which then went underneath his car. As customers behind him started to beep their car horns at him, the scene then ended with John swearing at them. Using an expletive here just smacked of lazy writing for me.
I immediately thought of that quote back in 2010, that the late writer of Only Fools and Horses, John Sullivan, said about swearing in modern day sit-coms. For example, in an article of The Telegraph written by Anita Singh, he said, "I think swearing is a lazy way of getting laughs. Writers who suddenly use a swear word are saying, 'I can't think of anything else, so I'll just put an f-word or something else in here."
Do not get me wrong here, this new final episode was not terrible. Nevertheless, as you'll have gathered by now, I did not think it was all that great either. I just found it all a bit unoriginal. This point even extends itself to the song that Jon wrote for Kayleigh. Rather than being funny or endearing, it came across as corny.
The only bit that made me laugh out loud was when John had his car door ripped off by a vehicle going past him just as he opened the door.
I still remain a big fan of the two original series of this show. However, I do wonder now whether its legacy has been spoiled somewhat by this average attempt at finally giving us a happy ending. I wanted an unforgettable happy ending, when in fact all we got was a very forgettable one!
- Watched on BBC1. 28/05/2018
- Series 1&2 are available on DVD from 19 November.