Written by and starring Irish comedian Aisling Bea, she described her new Channel 4 comedy-drama THIS WAY UP, as "my baby".  Well, I’m pleased to tell her that she now has a bouncing baby hit of a show on her hands!

Confession time folks, before watching This Way Up, I didn’t really have a clue who the main stars Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan were.  I knew of them of course, however had never seen them do any of their comedy or acting stuff on the telly before.


Therefore, I watched this first episode with a very open mind.  Straight away the first scene made me chuckle, the one where Aine (Aisling Bea) and Shona (Sharon Horgan), were complaining that the rehab facility didn’t have a jacuzzi as advertised.  Aine was recovering from a "teeny little nervous breakdown".

We caught up with her life again four months after she had finished therapy.  She was now working as a foreign language school worker.  The comical interplay here between Aine and her mature students was very amusing

The acting throughout was first rate by Aisling and Sharon.  It really came across on screen just how close their two characters were meant to be as sisters.

This programme was funny, it made me smile, but most importantly in a comedy-drama it had great poignancy too.

Aine is a funny, larger-than-life character, however it was when she let her comedy-guard down and showed us her vulnerability, did this piece then have substantial emotional impact.

It was upon her being uninvited to a friend’s party via text, that then set her off on a downward mental spiral.   In an age where mental illness still has certain negative stigma attached to it, Aisling needs applauding for writing so well about such a sensitive subject.

Other things that need praising were the superb direction and production values.  Concerning the latter, I’m thinking here to how vital music was to the brilliance of this comedy-drama.  There was an emotive, almost haunting quality to the background music when we saw Aine wander aimlessly around alone in a park, looking like a lost soul.

All-in-all, an excellent first episode on so many levels.  Episode two is an absolute must watch!