For such a strong British cast this BBC series delivers a weak six-part drama. Underwhelming in a variety of ways, In The Club is centered around the lives of a load of ladies that either have recently given birth or are pregnant. This DVD is the second series of the programme and without seeing the first series it can seem a bit confusing but it is not overly difficult to pick up the craic. Katherine Parkinson potentially might have been a lesbian at some point and has now shacked up with her ex’s ex and Will Mellor is in prison for assault with a set of keys and a phone? These are just a couple of examples of the almost farcical scenarios that the characters of In The Club end up in.
Each episode seems like cut scenes from Doctors with the occasional swear word thrown into the mix. Awesomely over-acted by the majority of the cast, mountains are often made out of bullshit. There is a lot of promise with some of the plot points but then it all diffuses or calmly implodes with barely any genuine reaction or repercussion. It’s all very safe drama. Lives could be ruined but the majority of any potential disruption is concluded with subtle subliminal messages to the audience, essentially saying “don’t act like a prick and you’ll be fine” in a highly irritating Yorkshire accent. I have no personal issue with the Yorkshire dialect, quite the opposite in face, but it just seems incredibly forced and over acted. Especially with the character of Andrew, whose sole purpose in the show seems to be irritating viewers and other characters alike.
Overall the characters, not solely Andrew, are irksome. Doing dumb things that real people honestly wouldn’t do. Yes, it’s a work of fiction however it’s not set in Middle Earth or Hogwarts, so there has to be a decent element of realism within the series. There simply isn’t. The characters fail to gain a sustainable connection with its audience. This is a shame as the subject matter is harnessed in intensely empathetic conundrums. Oh and the title credit song would make someone who had just regained the ability to hear after twenty odd years of deafness thrust a screwdriver down each ear without a moments regret.
If in the hands of people slightly more apt at driving drama down a slightly darker shade of grey, then In The Club might work. As it stands, the talent of this genuinely brilliant British cast is being wasted on this disappointing series.
Dir: Key Mellor, Audrey Cooke, Jane Prowse
Scr: Kay Mellor
Cast: Katherine Parkinson, Hermione Norris, Christine Bottomley, Jill Halfpenny, Taj Atwal, Jonathan Kerrigan, Sacha Dhawan, Neil Mellor.
Prd: Kay Mellor, Yvonne Francas
Runtime: 60 Minutes
In the Club Series 2 is available now on DVD.