When it was first announced that Lee Mac’s sitcom Not Going Out was set to return for an eighth series, I was concerned, anyone who has watched the show from series one to seven will know that series wraps up nicely at the end of series 7 (Spoiler Alert: when Lee and Lucy get together and get married). It was a series that ended well, so to bring it back was a big gamble, one that I thought Lee Mac wouldn’t want to risk, but after watching series eight I understand why he did.
We join Lee and Lucy seven years after the events of series 7, they are now married with three children. The title of the show which once referred to their will they won’t they status seems to now acknowledge their non-existent social life which is restrained by responsibility, this is where the show was able to move forward while keeping it’s sense of humour, Not Going Out has never been ashamed of being a sitcom that delivers a long line of gags in front of a studio audience, why should it? when it works so well.
Rather than focusing on the will they won’ they storyline that ran for several series, the humour for Lee and Lucy is in the everyday life as parents and a married couple, with new problems to face such as romance and intimacy evaporating from their relationship, one of them forgetting their anniversary, their kids repeating swear words that is sure to embarrass any parent, this is all tied up with the usual characters of Lee, who hasn’t changed much (which is a great thing especially for the humour) except he now has a wife and three kids, all of which he can’t seem to manage that well (why should he, after all, that’s where the humour comes from), then there’s Lucy who seems to have a more substantial role as Lee’s wife and often the voice of reason and adulthood.
The supporting cast for the series sees the return of Lee’s dad Frank (played by Bobby Ball) Toby (played by Hugh Dennis) his snobby wife Anna, and Lucy’s mum and dad Geoffrey and Wendy (played by Geoffrey Whitehead and Deborah Grant) All of which add to the humour of the series, especially Hugh Dennis’s character Toby as the long-suffering husband of Anna, sure it’s silly, filled with one liners that you could see coming from space but that’s also the fun and the appeal of the show and its’ humour.
Not Going Out series 8 has it’s flaws, the first episode being the weakest of them all, but with its humour, one liners delivered usually by Lee Mac, comic situations, there’s something funny about a parent wanting to find out who taught her child to swear, only to get angry herself in front of the entire family and friends, start swearing loudly and have all three of her children standing right behind her. It’s the sort of sitcom that anyone can watch for a laugh at everyday family life. Series 8 of Not Going Out hasn’t disappointed and with series 9 and 10 having been commissioned, let’s hope it stays that way.