Yes at first glance this appears to be a standard sitcoms based show, put two opposite characters together, sit back and watch the sparks fly as they struggle to get on with each other. It’s a classic comedy style that has been tried and tested a number of times. Within the first episode you would be right, put slacker, useless, fat and a failed musician Andy (played by Nick Helm) with his weird and socially awkward nephew Erol and sparks flew. The episode went well, with great music, funny jokes and a main character that despite being what most people would call a loser, was likeable. This was pretty much the same for the rest of the series, the second episode had some brilliant comedy moments, Errol being convinced by his Uncle Andy to go to a party that he clearly had no interest in attending
“If you don’t learn to love parties your going to end up being some wall hugging no party guy who never gets laid, is that what you want” Errol shrugs before Andy answers “no it isn’t, now get changed out of them flower power things and let’s get you too a party”
It’s all part of the comedy’s charm, and it’s the interaction between the characters that make it work so well. It’s the comedy moments in these episodes, such as the moment in the very first episode where Andy is so ashamed of his nephew Errol that he disowns him during football practice (“what’s this, ask a stranger for water day, get your own water”) he ends up looking around and claiming another kid (one who can actually play football) before taking the dad that he’s trying to impress to his car to get stoned.
Uncle doesn’t hold back, there a load of good lines such as “my dad says that musician is just another word for unemployed” and “mummy, uncle Andy touched my special equipment” along with lines that will (if your male) make you want to cross your legs “I will cut your dick off with a spoon” ohhhh #dickspoon.
The same humour and continued throughout the second series, however Errol is now getting older and much like the kids from Outnumbered, he looks it, along with age his voice also broke, but once you have got over these facts (after all it’s not the actors fault, it’s a natural process) the first psi ode of series 2 is great fun, it starts with Errol meeting with Andy in secret because of his fathers restraining order (you will need to watch the last episode of series 1 to find out why) To make ends meet Andy has taken a job in a carpet shop, as hard as he tries, abusing customers and, doctoring signs with rude notes, he can’t seem to get sacked, that is until he starts dancing in the shop knocking carpets everywhere. The series has it’s heartfelt moments, but personally it is the comedy and onscreen chemistry between the characters that make it a very watchable show, also the comedy formula from Nick Helm helps.
The third and final series see’s things change a little, Errol is now grown up and Andy seems to have also grown up. There’s a lot going on in this series, things seem to start looking up for Andy’s music career. After a recording session with a new artist he see’s himself go on a drug binge with the new comer (Jasmine), the only way it could get more messed up is when Andy wakes up the next morning to find that he is now engaged to the new-comer.
It’s really difficult to get the tone right when there are serious and comic subjects rubbing against each other, (such as the discovery that Errol’s mom has cancer) it’s unfortunate but I’m not sure that they got it right with this episode in particular. But then again real life can be messy. More threads are added to the series, such as Andy’s sister and Errol’s mum (Sam) and her boyfriend Bruce are thinking about adding a new child to their lives, Andy’s music career starts to kick into gear and after that drug binge Andy admits he is an addict. Meanwhile Errol has grown up, into a 15 year old who faces the problems that come with it.
It’s with this series that we also say goodbye to Andy and Errol (BIG SPOILERS HERE) it looks as tho Andy is finally going to get his big break, with the chance of a European Tour and even an Album deal, the problem is that Errol can’t go due to his GCSE’s, instead we get to see Andy attempt to bond with his bandmates instead, which includes the return of Casper and some new and odd band members.
Meanwhile back home Errol is about to his his 16th birthday and is worried about his future, it’s funny to see Errol grow up on screen, in series one Andy was the babysitter and now Andy and Errol both hit on the same woman.
I have to say that this is how character development should be done, no core characteristics have been changed (Andy is still the likeable slob, and Errol is still the socially awkward character who often ends up helping Andy out of weird and awkward situations). But unlike other shows Uncle has managed to stay true to both the characters and their worlds in which they live.
There was a lot to cram into the final episode (a total of 7 episodes for the third series) but in the end it all tied up nicely and neatly.