TV review: Crashing, Channel 4 (2 stars)

TV review: Crashing, Channel 4

Absolutely not fabulous tedium-fest about twentysomethings holed up in a disused hospital

Can you imagine sitting on a long-distance coach journey and being allowed to strum away at your ukulele? This is the more than unlikely scenario which opens the interminable Crashing, Channel 4’s new ‘fabulous’ comedy-drama. Said uke player is Lulu, an ungainly and goofy young woman (think Miranda Hart meets Josie Long) who happens to be played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge aka the writer and creator of Crashing (which is being touted as, let’s remind ourselves, ‘fabulous’). Waller-Bridge’s previous writing credits includes some business on the largely awful Drifters so the omens aren’t great.

Lulu is on her way to surprise an old pal and possible ex-flame Anthony (Damien Molony) who happens to be in a serious relationship with Kate (Louise Ford, she of the fine Akram & Ford double act), an anal and bossy woman who loves spoiling perfectly awesome parties by insisting on planning and executing a treasure hunt. Lulu and Anthony have a ‘will-they, won’t-they’ thing going on that is irritating from the kick-off and will surely only grow in tedium as this series ‘progresses’.

The twist, if you can call it that, is these folks are living as Property Guardians in a disused hospital, alongside the woman-crazy Sam (Jonathan Bailey) who gets into a ‘is-he isn’t-he’ scenario with the excitably naïve Fred (Amit Shah). Chuck in an implausible companionship between a moody Frenchwoman and a stuffy English fellow going through a messy divorce and you have complicated duos springing up everywhere.

But given that this is a comedy-drama (and ‘fabulous’), is any of it actually funny? Hardly a bit of it. Louise Ford does her utmost at saving the day with a barely-hinged performance which proves she will have a solid comedy future if she can escape reasonably unscathed from this mess, but the rest buckle under the strain of an almighty tombstone of a script. Still, we have a cameo from Kathy Burke as an eccentric auntie to look forward to. How fabulous.

Crashing starts on Channel 4, Monday 11 January, 10pm.