Episode four had three main plot lines; a secret assessor visiting the jobcentre, a benefit cheat being interviewed by Karl and George, and Danielle and Paul’s attempt to disguise and hide Graham, who they think is dead.
That last one is just ridiculous. It is such crazy sitcom nonsense, with no basis in reality. The main plot meanwhile, about the assessor, was incredibly predictable. If two characters are introduced in a sitcom, and everyone thinks one of them is a secret undercover assessor, then you can bet it’s the other one who is the actual assessor.
I said last week that if The Job Lot is going to be a run-of-the-mill sitcom, with unbelievable and clichéd set-ups, then it at least needs to be consistently funny. It didn’t manage that this episode and only a few jokes made me laugh.
The B plot, with the benefit cheats, was the only part with any originality. Karl and George sat down to interview their suspect, played by a fat Karl Pilkington look-a-like, only for the interview to descend into farce as the claimant was revealed to be cheating on his wife. Trish, the jobcentre’s manager, acted as marriage councillor, channelling her own romantic frustrations through the couple. It was okay I guess, kind of funny, and at least it wasn’t something seen in a hundred other sitcoms.
The show is really light and lacking in good jokes though. Most of the characters are very one-note, easily defined by a single element of their personality. That means that any character humour is the same every single episode – Angela for instance, being unnecessarily obstructive. And the storylines each episode have been very familiar and unoriginal.
I did like the twist at the end of this episode though, when it was revealed that the jobcentre top brass actually value Angela’s rigorous and idiotic adherence to protocol, and instead criticised Karl for being overly-friendly. So Karl isn’t as super-competent as everyone thinks, which is a little funny, and the reveal continued the show’s theme of senseless bureaucracy. It would be good to see similar things in future episodes.
- ‘I want to be one of those people who fights cows.’
- ‘I’ll see you in two weeks.’ ‘Unless I get a job.’ ‘I’ll see you in two weeks.’