BBC2, Thu 21 Aug, 9.30pm
Do we really need another fly-on-the-wall docu-comedy-drama about flawed individuals living out their largely miserable lives? Apparently so, as The Cup smashes its way towards us with more ‘subtle’ humour and ‘incisive’ insights into the petty battles fought out by ordinary people. This time around, the painfully tedious landscape of a Slough paper merchant business is ditched for the rainswept parks of Bolton as parents and kids attached to Ashburn United prepare for a league decider.
Naturally, there’s a ‘Brent’ character in the shape of competitive dad Terry McConnell who is so hellbent on getting his son to rise through the ranks and get a trial for Bolton Wanderers that he can’t see that his missus is desperately unhappy and carrying on with her husband’s boss. Come the end of The Cup season, it’s hard to imagine the show even making the play-offs and whether they’ll be producing a version of this in Turkey some years down the line is extremely unlikely.