Richard Pinto’s Boomers takes an affectionate look at three sixty-something couples living in Thurnemouth, Norfolk, following their ups and downs in their marriages, and their attitudes towards retirement.
It would seem there’s a bit of a trend emerging for comedy dramas following sexagenarians and septuagenarians trying to relive their youth in an attempt to ‘find themselves’, Pat & Cabbage and the Bafta award-winning Last Tango in Halifax being the latest efforts to spring to mind.
BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore says: “Comedy has a unique ability to make the ordinary extraordinary and Boomers delivers that with a big hit of characters. The series follows three newly retired couples who re-discover what it means to have time on their hands, hilariously brought to life by a stellar cast whose relationships are tested in a multitude of ways.”
Meanwhile, Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, explains: “This is a very modern, affectionate and brutally honest single camera take on a stage of life often stereotyped and outmoded in sitcom-world.
“Cast perfection on top of a script that glitters with comedy gems.”
He’s right about that cast perfection. With a hugely talented and likeable all-star cast including Russ Abbot, Alison Steadman, Stephanie Beacham and Paula Wilcox, Boomers won’t go far wrong.
Alan (Philip Jackson) and Joyce (Steadman) are both approaching retirement in very different ways, with him wanting to slow down and her wanting to step it up a gear.
John (Abbot) and Maureen (Beacham) enjoy a life of luxury in their gadget-filled house, making the most of every day. But there’s a constant reminder of what’s to come with Maureen’s mum Joan (June Whitfield) never far away.
And Trevor (James Smith) and Carol (Wilcox) have such a laid-back, fuss-free relationship that if he was to go away for a weekend, she probably wouldn’t even notice.
In the first instalment, the group are preparing for the funeral of an old friend, Jean, but there are mixed feelings among them.
Alan is more interested that her ex-husband, Mick, an old friend who has been living in Spain, will be making an appearance. John’s also wary of the visitor, convinced that he has had a thing for Maureen ever since a notorious holiday in Weymouth years ago.
Meanwhile, Joyce is preoccupied with thoughts about her daughter-in-law who is due to give birth any day now.
After the sport-heavy couple of months we’ve had Boomers comes along at just the right time to remind us why the Beeb is so well-deserving of its reputation for superb comedies.
Keep an eye out for other familiar faces cropping up throughout the series, including Dudley Sutton and Nigel Planer.
BOOMERS, BBC1, Friday, 9pm