Telly Text #32: Cuckoo + Almost Royal

on Monday, September 01, 2014
Words: Jordan Andrew


When the announcement was made that Andy Samberg was not coming back to play Cuckoo in this second series, I had very low hopes. This dark cloud that gathered over me got worse once I heard Taylor Lautner was to replace Samberg. All I could see was this annoying man from 'Twilight' trying to do comedy and not even the trailer convinced me.

This second series starts off with Dale (Lautner) looking for his dad Cuckoo (Samberg) unaware that his Dad is presumed dead in the Himalayas. As he bumps into the Thompson family on his quest, the truth is revealed to him but he is automatically taken into the family.

Dale finds a new father figure in Ken (Greg Davies) who seems more relaxed with Dale - even stopping him from joining cults and teaching him life long lessons. Ken starts to bond more with Dale as the series goes on, however you do miss the love/hate relationship that Ken and Cuckoo had in series one. Lorna (Helen Baxendale) seems to be her usual dopey, pot smoking, free spirit self. She is the cool mum and we get to see more of Lorna’s character come out in the second series.

Dale does not see Lorna as a mother figure and instead attaches himself to the recast Rachel (Esther Smith), who he does not stop calling ‘mum’. This makes it slightly awkward especially as it seems Rachel is developing feelings for Dale. This situation gets even more awkward as Rachel is now seeing Ben (Matt Lacey), Ken’s right hand man in the work place and a typical bore.

We also have Dylan (Tyger Drew-Honey) our soon-to-be university student who is constantly trying to bed on-off girlfriend Zoe (Holly Earl) but is failing at every attempt. Ken has clearly started to use Dale to fill the gap that will happen once Dylan leaves for university.

Now I am willing to accept when I am in the wrong about something and with 'Cuckoo', this is no different. Yes this second series does not have the same spark as the first and if they did announce Andy Samberg’s return I would be extremely happy but for now I am happy with Taylor Lautner. He has shown he can do comedy quite well. Also the cast have helped to fill the void of Samberg with Greg Davies and Tyger Drew-Honey providing some hilarious scenes. I promise to be more positive if series three is commissioned.

Catch 'Cuckoo' every Thursday at 10pm and catch up on BBC iPlayer.

'Almost Royal'

This summer it feels like I have seen record numbers of tourists all over London. One of the biggest places the tourists love to flock to is Buckingham Palace, hoping to see a glimpse of the Queen or any of the royals. Playing on that enthusiasm, E4 have given us this American comedy import with a British twist, I present to you 'Almost Royal'. This comedy series follows two dippy descendants to the throne, Georgie (Ed Gamble) and Poppy Carlton (Amy Hoggart) as they travel around America with their fathers’ urn after he died in a fatal accident. His last dying wish was for his children to travel to his favourite place - the United States.

Each week as the show starts, Georgie and Poppy seem to go up and down the inheritance to the throne. They travel through the USA to some of the most craziest states, throwing Georgie and Poppy into the mix to cause some awkward and hilarious moments at the same time. Georgie hopes to become more of a man while travelling and as well being the protective brother to his spoilt sister Poppy. Poppy hopes to start a career that does not involve her working too much. On her list so far she has tried singing, acting and generally becoming a gold digger, she might as well stick to the last one.

In this crazy journey, so far the duo have visited Los Angeles, Boston and Texas and have confused many Americans on the way. They have visited one of Hollywood’s top plastic surgeons and discussed ways of enhancing themselves and created surgeries that may not happen for some many years. They've gone to a Republican Tea Party session, which lacked tea much to the dissatisfaction of the pair. Finally, visiting a rodeo show, where Poppy meets a real life Woody from 'Toy Story'.

I fell in love with 'Almost Royal' as soon as I saw the trailer - some might just see it as plain silliness but I get the humour completely. There is nothing funnier to me than poking a bit of fun at the Americans and how quick they are to believe anything and everything. Whether this will be picked up for another series is another story, I honestly do not see many people getting into 'Almost Royal' but I hope to be proven wrong. Forget about 'Made In Chelsea' and get on the 'Almost Royal' bandwagon.

Catch 'Almost Royal' every Sunday at 10pm on E4 and catch up on 4oD.

Read previous Telly Text columns here and find more from Jordan at @jrory.

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