Sunday 13 June 2010

Dappers - pilot episode of new BBC3 comedy show

Dappers follows the ups and downs in the lives of best friends Faye and Ashley, two young mums with a lot in common : the same cute kids, housing association block of flats, sassy comebacks and loser boyfriends/baby daddies. One of the characters describes them as "Delboy and Rodders in thongs" and that's not far wrong ! When they lose their jobs as pub cleaners, because they spend more time messing about on the job than actually cleaning, they don't sit around moping - they immediately come up with a money-making scheme as a dog-minding service. Things don't quite go to plan though and, somewhat predictably, they lose one of the rich owners' pedigree pooches and accidentally dognap a lookalike. Even if the characters are a bit caricatural and the scenarios are a bit obvious, the banter is quite funny and, despite their downfalls - particularly their desire to survive on benefits as much as possible rather than going out to work seriously - we can't help but warm to the lead female characters.

As this is the pilot episode, we're not too sure where it will go but the supporting cast of minor characters has potential. The snobby rich neighbours that everyone (especially Faye and Ashley) love to hate, the kind-hearted but slightly bizarre neighbours downstairs, and the on-off boyfriends will surely be developed in later episodes.

I was intrigued by the title - Dappers is set in the West Country, as is obvious right from the opening credits with the theme tune I Am A Cider Drinker sung by the Wurzels, and the word is apparently Bristolian slang for kids. The series is penned by Catherine Johnson, now famous for the hit musical Mamma Mia ! but originally from Bristol. The lead actresses Lenora Chrichlow (who you may recognise from Being Human) and Ty Glaser manage to portray deeply flawed but instantly likeable women.

It's definitely got potential but the characters are a bit stereotypical.

star rating : 4/5

The pilot episode was broadcast on 10th June 2010 on BBC but you can currently watch it on iplayer 

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