How Not to Live Your Life, BBC3

Did we like it?
Don Danbury is an idiot. Not a loveable idiot – an annoying idiot. And his dead grandmother has left him a huge house in her will. Unfortunately for Don, there’s a load left to pay on the mortgage and his grandmother’s carer seems be a permanent fixture. Written by and starring Dan Clark as Don, this was a real hit and miss effort – with laugh out loud lines interspersed with behaviour by Don that left you wishing someone would give him a bloody good hammering. We’ll probably give it a second chance.

What was good about it?
• Like all the great comedy characters (think David Brent), Don has absolutely no self-awareness and just doesn’t realise how much people despise him – not even when everyone reminds him of how his Gran used to call him “Dickhead”.
• The conceit of title cards, “5 things you shouldn’t say after a one night stand”, “5 things Don wanted to do to …” lead to some great lines in various imagined scenarios, but the idea has been done quite a few times before.
• Don’s imagined responses to being sacked, such as smacking his boss round the head with a keyboard, or pissing on her desk, made us chuckle.
• Don’s note after leaving his one night stand asleep: “Dear … Had to rush off. Sorry. X The sex was good. Two ticks (one crossed out)
• Don’s ad for a housemate in the local paper: “Large room with authentic 70’s décor. Perfect for sexy chick who isn’t needy.”
• And after the obligatory gallery of grotesques fail the interview process, a sexy chick does indeed turn up: Abbie Jones, an old schoolmate of Don’s whom he used to have a huge crush on. Unfortunately, she’s got a boyfriend in tow…
• There was a great scene where Don is shagging his ex-boss – twisting her into all sorts of positions, whilst pleading to be reinstated. We could see the punchline a mile away (but it was still funny) as her orgasmic “Yesss!” coincides with Don’s 20th pitiful, “Can I have my job back?”

What was bad about it?
• Dan Clark’s gurning meant that Don’s character got on our nerves very quickly, as did his the overdone voiceover. Maybe somebody else should have played the role.
• It was stretching plot credibility just too far that Abby would have entertained living in such an awful house with such an annoying character.


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