This new mockumentary style comedy could easily be a contender for the best British comedy since the Office. Based in a small dead-end Cotswolds village, it’s the sort of place where very little happens, a scarecrow-making competition becomes one of the highlights of the year. In one of the episodes all we pretty much see is Kerry and Kurtan argue about who gets to cook their lunch in the top shelf of the oven. The complete lack of opportunity forces the characters (who are supposedly being filmed for a documentary exploring why “young people in rural Britain feel more marginalized than ever” to create their own drama and often lies myths. It’s in this way that This Country is the funniest things on British television.
“The whole show is pretty much our experience of growing u in the Cotswolds” Charlie (Kurtan) explained in an interview, for example tracking down an old school friend becomes this big epic adventure (and very short lived one) wild myths are thrown around, is he dead, why did he move away and a first date with the only new girl in the village manifests itself for Kurtan as one of the biggest full-blown tragedies to have happened “I told my nan about you, she was so excited about meeting you”
despite having watched it more than a dozen times this scene still manages to make me laugh out loud where Kurtan hops over a wire playground fence, jumps clumsily off a wooden table and then describes his actions without any irony as “parkour” It’s these very funny scenes mixed with the very funny dialogue that makes this series a brilliant watch. The details stand out such as the fact that Kerry uses the word “guff” instead of “fart” Kurtan who has never even left the West Country wears a No Fear T-shirt and tucks his baggy jeans behind his skater shoes.
Just like the Royle family the whole point of the series isn’t about major plots or even major blockbuster characters with big budgets, it’s about the ability to make an audience laugh at the very mundane (a Cotswolds village in this instance) The characters are brilliantly funny and utterly stupid, but the funny thing is that we have all known a Kerry and a Kurtan to some extent, it’s in these characters and the mundane situations that we can laugh at such as Kerry’s attempt to build her own business but it turns out (and is pretty obvious from the get-go) that it’s, in fact, a pyramid scheme.
What makes it most impressive is that the series is a brilliantly paced series and deserves comparisons with The Inbetweeners and the Royle Family it has emerged out of nowhere.
it’s a series that I hope is re-commissioned for another series.