Hopefully the DVD release of WASTED will spur Channel 4 to commission a second series of this cult sitcom.
It revels in the ridiculousness of rural South West a year before This Country got there.
The show is about a group of friends in their early twenties who never managed to get out of their small hometown (the fictional Neston Berry, close to Yeovil) and spend their days mooching around and getting stoned. With the help of his spirit guide Sean Bean (sending up his portrayal of Ned Stark and the general legend that is Sean Bean), can geeky Morpheus win the heart of kooky Alison (Gwyneth Keyworth)?
Meanwhile Kent (Dylan Edwards) has returned from the bright lights of Bristol, having failed to make it as a DJ. He faces the awkward tension with Morpheus’ sister Sarah (Rose Reynolds), who bangs on about the trip to India that she still hasn’t taken.
Firstly, it’s great that two of the four main actors are actually from the West Country (surely the most mangled accent on TV) as this adds some authenticity. The others’ accents are more than passable (I’m still recovering from the mumbling of Jamaica Inn).
Viewers who have lived in small towns like this will instantly recognise the humour here and it’s a welcome antidote to all the London-set comedies (or if you’re lucky, Manchester). It’s not urbane and intellectual; it’s silly and surreal.
There are only six episodes so it’s an easy binge. Episodes range from Morpheus’s attempt to do a Jeremy Paxman (Alison’s unusual crush) and resurrect the local pub quiz, the group’s drunken eight mile journey home, the arrival of a new gentrified pub, the havoc at the traditional Berryman festival, Morpheus’ crush on Kent’s mum and a fetishistic sex party. The last two episodes are a little weaker, but it’s a pretty good hit rate.
Creators Jon Foster and JD Lamont neatly observe the nature of real country living (i.e. not Poldark). Being a small rural village, all of the social activities are run by middle-aged people and endearingly odd.
Recently seen in Poldark as frightening wrestler Harry Harry, Danny Kirrane is the standout - hilarious and charming as Morpheus, who strives for nobility.
The DVD release itself could have done with some special features - imagine a Sean Bean audio commentary! Though this has great rewatch value, and is worth having it on your shelf.
- Wasted is out now on DVD, order on HMV.