SYNOPSIS: "Sitcom. Having landed a role in The Tempest, Simon focuses on trying to cry. Clive wakes up in Grandma's loft." (bbc.co.uk)
Beginning with Simon's (Simon Amstell) mediocre attempts at crying, I was a little tentative about 'The Day Simon Attempted To Express Actual Feelings Just Like A Person'. We'd spent pretty much the whole of the last series playing on the running joke on Simon's arguably dubious acting skills, before this series seemed to have stamped that out. Perhaps not. In the end, that should have proved the least of my concerns.
It all gets a bit disturbing in 'The Day Simon Attempted to Express Actual Feelings Just Like A Person', with Grandma (Linda Bassett) "suffering from unresolved grief", Clive's (James Smith) unexpected heroics of the last episode are diminished immediately as he returns to his alcoholic ways, Tanya (Rebecca Front) celebrates her birthday at the house with a stripper, and Adam (Jamal Hadjkura) insistent on hiring Simon as a paedophile for his ten minute media film.
This episode of 'Grandma's House' seemed to be doing its best to painfully extract all that was good from the series. Indeed, this approach was best summed up within the episode's excruciating impressions, undoubtedly intentional but with none of the charm of similar efforts in 2010's BBC series 'The Trip'. Simon's mood during the proceedings becomes increasingly depressed and miserable, an experience replicated by the viewer and once a homophobic insult has been launched, the end mercifully comes soon enough.
There may have been the usual glut of smile-inducing one-liners, more cricket related wordplay, and off-kilter pop culture references but having only just proclaimed "'Grandma's House' as fast becoming the best thing on British television", it has crashed to the ground rather unpleasantly. Perhaps this episode is intended as a liberation for the future. That's what I'm naively hoping anyway. As Clive rolls back the years at one point, and notes, "it's all gone a bit Pete Tong".
'Grandma's House' is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until 22:29, 31 May '12.