Review: The Cafe, episodes 1 & 2

Sky One’s new sitcom The Cafe comes from the pens of Ralf Little and Michelle Terry – the former made his name playing dopy younger brother Antony on The Royle Family, and starring in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps; the latter experienced mainly in stage work, including spells with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The pair are mentored by Craig Cash, best known for playing Caroline Aherne’s boyfriend Dave on The Royle Family – which I hadn’t realised he also co-wrote with Aherne – and Early Doors, which he co-wrote and appeared in.

The Royle Family and Early Doors share a downbeat, realist tone. There’s a sense that runs through both shows of understated realism, that everything that’s seen really could happen.
Along with The Office and Smoking Room, these are probably the best Brit sitcoms of  that type in the last decade. (Possibly including Peep Show as well, the doubt being about style rather than quality.)
So, in short, the creators should know what they’re doing with this style of comedy – the phrase ‘from the makers of’ is often used to promote a new programme or film, given that The Cafe aims for the same style as it’s predecessors, here it’s pretty much as accurate as it can be.

Ralf Little and Michelle Terry

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