The Emily Atack Show
- Brian Donaldson
- 4 November 2020
Passionate if pedestrian series of stand-up and sketches about life as a millennial singleton
If prizes were awarded on the basis of enthusiasm and affability, Emily Atack would have to build a new trophy room to accommodate them all. But upon tuning in to her six-part (yes, six) show on ITV2 (ah, ITV2), if you were more on the look-out for incisive commentary about pre-pandemic modern living, disappointment would fully befall you.
Amid the effortfully delivered yet humdrum stand-up (which admittedly goes down an absolute storm with an invited audience consisting mainly of Atack's female peers and the occasional uncomfortable-looking bloke) about dating, sex, dating and family (and dating) are sketches revolving around more or less the same subjects. Occasionally, she'll dip into her impressionism knapsack (her mum, also present in a royal box for episode three, is veteran mimic Kate Robbins) with a Killing Eve homage here or a Keith Lemon pastiche there, most of the time being admirably unafraid to make herself look downtrodden and daft.
While each episode tackles a different theme (dating, socialising, friends, family, image and adulting), some characters are shoehorned in to maintain a recurring rhythm and structure. 'Emily' with her red-PVC devil on one side and whiter than white angel on the other are especially prominent, while inevitably there's one character who addresses us via a mobile device. Predictable and lethargic as much of the comedy is, the odd spark is fired off, with her sketch on the 'pub booth' almost acting as a newer version of Ben Elton's routine about claiming a double-seat on the train.
For a certain demographic, The Emily Atack Show will play like a dream, acting as a beacon of relatable comedy. To many within that demographic as well as plenty who have seen it all before, this will raise more eyebrows than slam on funny bones.
ITV2, starts on Wednesday 4 November, 10pm.