TV review: Still Game, BBC One
Jack, Victor and the Craiglang gang are still funny after all those years
The Still Game live shows from 2014 proved that the public's appetite for Jack, Victor and the Craiglang crew remains strong. A sold-out three-week residency at the ginormo Hydro-dome was also met by largely positive critical reaction, and the news that more live dates are on the way in early 2017 will be greeted by a collective 'ya dancer!' For now, though, we have the first TV series in nine years of Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill's exploration of lifelong friends fending off boredom and peer-group petty rivalries to live out their days in relative peace.
It would be fair to say that Jack and Victor have hardly aged since last we met them (as was noted in the 2014 documentary, Kiernan and Hemphill could quite convincingly be playing these roles for decades to come) while pals such as tight-fisted Tam, nosy Isa and barman Bobby all continue to test their patience.
As the new series kicks off, the broadly written gags and slapstick comedy (it was inevitable that a comedy show about old folk would feature a whole heap of exaggerated trips, stumbles and falls) is still underscored by a beating heart. In the opening episode, 'Gadgets', the tech-based fun revolving around the weird Innovations-style products that not only fail to enhance Jack and Victor's lives but in fact threaten their very existence plays second fiddle to the arrival of Winston's long-lost brother who may or may not be on the take.
To those who can't abide the Craiglang gang's capers and view the show as a Scottish Mrs Brown's Boys, there's nothing in here that will change their minds. But for the fans who appreciate the bold gallusness and tiny details that can push Still Game onto mirthful and occasionally emotional heights, it's all joyously there.
Still Game starts on BBC One, Fri 7 Oct, 9.30pm.