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This hilarious comedy starring Nicola Coughlan should be seen by all aspiring TV writers.
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This hilarious comedy starring Nicola Coughlan should be seen by all aspiring TV writers.


I personally am hesitant to watch a pilot episode, particularly for a comedy. There is typically a lot of groundwork to establish, which is often done in a very obvious manner, akin to someone loudly yelling “Wake up!” at a comatose person.

The protagonist is shown to be sleeping on the couch, symbolizing their chaotic life. In a later scene, their boss is heard calling them by their last name, indicating a strict work environment. The banter with someone eating cereal while standing suggests they have a roommate, while banter with someone else signifies a close friendship. Another scene shows the protagonist ordering coffee, but the barista challenges their usual coffee terminology, resulting in a confrontation due to their stubbornness.

You must include a parent in the story and determine if they are overly loving or mean. A party with a surprise twist and comical costumes. Just the idea of someone saying “Hey sis” makes me cringe. The actors are not fully in tune with their characters, causing them to deliver at least one line in an exaggerated manner. Personally, I am not a fan of comedic pilots.

The good news is that Nicola Coughlan’s latest project, Big Mood, will be released this week (at 10pm on March 28th on Channel 4). Surprisingly, it successfully avoids all of the typical pitfalls. While there is some playful banter between best friends, Lydia West, known for her role in “It’s a Sin”, takes on the role of the supportive friend who works somewhere that their friend can constantly visit without issue. However, the first episode does minimal exposition, which may make it slightly perplexing.

It quickly transitions into a plot resembling a partway-through-the-series caper, then takes sharp twists and turns. I’m not sure what is being taught in schools nowadays – perhaps lessons on how to effectively market perfume through live TikTok videos? That may be the only practical skill that will bring profit in the future. However, prospective screenwriters should be shown this as an example of what not to write – a scenario where a character is slightly unkind to a stranger on the street, only to discover that person is actually their interviewer in the following scene.

Let’s talk about Coughlan, who gives an outstanding performance as Maggie in this show. She initially exudes confidence and energy, taking over the room, until her character’s mental health struggles come into play. Then she skillfully transforms into a subdued and vulnerable version of herself. The Derry Girls cast has been busy lately with Louisa Harland’s new show, Renegade Nell, and Siobhan McSweeney appearing in the latest season of Extraordinary. It’s wonderful to see Bridgerton alumni fitting in so well with writer-creator Camilla Whitehill’s style, as they previously collaborated on the podcast Whistle Through the Shamrocks.

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Several lines in the first episode of Big Mood had me bursting out in laughter while I was at home, by myself, with my headphones on. One particular line that stood out to me was “He kept looking at me…with his eyes.” It may not seem as amusing when written, but it’s a must-see for yourself moment. Unlike some comedies, Big Mood consistently delivers humorous lines rather than just focusing on finding a unique plot twist for a side story.

Apart from that, it’s the standard offering – various locations in east London that, if you’re like me, you can’t help but pinpoint the exact location during a crucial scene, a few parties and speeches that don’t go as planned but are well executed, talented British comedians playing friends who wear vests under short-sleeved shirts (Amalia Vitale, Robert Gilbert), and the ever-brilliant Sally Phillips showcasing her wonderful acting skills.

Have you ever thought about the number of TV shows featuring two close friends whose relationship may be tested by their actions? How many of these shows could you possibly watch in your lifetime? When we see them growing apart, what caused it? And if one of them is keeping a secret, why won’t they reveal it? However, after watching the first episode and following it with three more in rapid succession, I can confidently say that Big Mood is a great addition to this genre.

Source: theguardian.com