I might have set the bar too high with my review of The Job Lot’s first episode. I thought that episode had a lot of nice little elements that could make the show memorable and interesting. It’s not though. It’s just an ITV sitcom. I don’t think it’s terrible, but I’m starting to realise that some of the early criticism was justified. It’s a somewhat enjoyable show, with a number of problems.
In episode three, the jobcentre is inundated with many new claimants, Karl is hungover from a stag do, and Trish and Angela are at odds with each other. There were a number of very broad sitcom set-ups, like Karl nearly shitting himself, and one of the security guards walking in on him naked. ‘Thought I’d locked it,’ he says, ‘balls.’ ‘You’re not kidding!’ comes the reply, like something out of a terrible 1970s comedy.
There was also a lot of unrealistic plot points used to push things forward or to make a joke; a claimant bosses around the centre’s manager, which would never happen in real life, Karl shows up to work for some reason after his stag do, wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt which gives away where he’s been, and Trish forgets how to use a computer without fumbling around like an idiot.
These are the type of things you get in bad sitcoms; clichés, awful gags and clunky, badly structured and unrealistic plotting. There also isn’t really much intelligence in the show; no real themes being explored, and very little character development.
If The Job Lot is going to be this type of insubstantial show then it needs to be funny and entertaining, with enjoyable characters. It won’t win any awards or anything, but it might be worth watching. It wasn’t very funny this week, with a lot of jokes falling flat, but I still kind of like some of the characters. And the acting is good.
It’s a little disappointing to realise that the show isn’t going to live up to the potential I saw in the first episode. It might be worth still watching though, to see if it gets any better, or if it can at least become a funny and entertaining way to pass 30 minutes, but I’m not very optimistic.
- ‘There’s a sale on at the job centre.’ ‘Really?’ ‘Course not you tit.’
- ‘Could you just do it quickly?’ ‘No.’ ‘For me?’ ‘Definitely not.’
- ‘Yes, this has changed quite a bit recently, hasn’t it?’ ‘No.’
- ‘Can you remember what we do with the little arrow?’
- ‘I just love to laugh.’ ‘When?’