It is not the first time that we have seen the” Mockumentary” style of comedy, in fact, it is now a recognised style of comedy that some people come to love while others are less favourable. The Office (2001 – 2003) Come Fly with me (2010) and more recently Derek, have all been very successful within the genre, and now Damned is a new edition to that genre, written by and starring Joe Brand, Damned is a channel 4 comedy series that follows the lives of a team of social workers who try and juggle messy cases, cutbacks to departments and their own personal lives.
The series also stars Alan Davies as Al who has the difficult job of, along with Rose, (Joe Brand) dealing with familiar social issues. It would be easy for the series to lose itself in the seriousness of these issues, but the series manages to keep a sense of humour “Hello what’s the recommended alcohol allowance for a 12-year-old?” is a question that caller asks as the first episode opens.
You might not think that this is the right setting for a comedy, however Joe Brand (who has previously penned the very funny NHS geriatric ward comedy Getting On) manages to do just that, the series manages to nail the familiar yet realistic atmosphere of a working office, including the mundanity of it all, the broken lift, the ever-changing door code, the annoying telephone system, the communal fridge that always manages to contain food that is well past it’s sell by date.
It was clear that Brand wasn’t afraid to mix witted dialogue with the sometimes dark reality of the demanding job faced by social services on a daily basis.
Passing mentions of “Britain first slagging off the Muslims next door” school girls setting fire to pensioners bring the series in line with some the headlines we have seen over the last few years.
The series has received positive reviews, viewers took to social media to give their opinions
Like most sitcoms, the series improves over its 6 episode run as the characters are given room to grow and the settings open up the to audience. It was recently confirmed that a second series has been commissioned by Channel 4, personally, i’m looking forward to seeing the characters returning and how Joe Brand can build upon the series.