Words: Paul Dean
'The Trip' Episode 4: 'Hipping Hall'
SYNOPSIS: "Comedy series. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon continue their restaurant-reviewing road trip at Hipping Hall in Kirby Lonsdale, in the Lake District." (bbc.co.uk)
Spending much of my week with a nose leaking like a tap and a throat gurgling like a drain, I was very much looking forward to the fourth installment of 'The Trip' and holding the hope that it might go some way to lifting me out of my painful malaise. Instead, going beyond its alternating playfulness and petulence, I think it has finally crossed over into the realm of genuine bitterness.
Just as it seemed as if faux-Coogan and faux-Brydon's rather awkward travels might finally see the two growing closer, or at least showing some hint of reconciliation, every chance of that was ruined by the appearance of Ladies. The subsequent sour competition made this episode's dining almost painful to watch and, unfortunately, all the less amusing because of it. I'd go as far as to say that this was quite a remarkable change of tone, one I didn't particularly welcome either.
It might be that I've been spoiled by all the trivial humour and childish antics, that I've ignored the fact that half of this show has always been about frustration and dissatisfaction, but I thought the balance was just fine as it was. With things now becoming all the more bleak and nasty, at the direct expense of some of the lightheartedness, I feel like I'm watching a rather different show.
Is this a turning point? If so, I'm not entirely sure that I want to see what's around the corner. This isn't 'The Trip' I set out on.
WATCH 'Hipping Hall' until 10:29pm Mon, 13 Dec 2010.