The Job Lot had a few elements this week that I liked. It’s still not very funny (it’s really lacking in humour, actually), and there’s not a lot to hold your interest – nothing that sticks with you for more than two minutes after the show ends – but it wasn’t a terrible way to spend 30 minutes.
The A plot this week was about Karl and his new girlfriend, the B plot was about Trish getting laser eye surgery and monitoring her employees performance, and there was a pretty poor C plot about Angela winning the lottery and George’s jealousy.
Episode five began with Karl revealing he’d met a girl, and she later showed up in the jobcentre and started teasing him in front of his boss. It was a nice scene, but went on too long and started leaning heavily on innuendo. I like that they actually did something with one of the characters though. Karl hates his job, and jumps at the chance to leave it and take a position on a cruise ship with his new girlfriend, but in the end, he turns it down. One of the main reasons he’s stuck in his dead end job is probably because of his own personal reluctance to take risks.
There has been a real lack of genuine moments like this in the show so far, and TV shows kind of need them. The Office, for instance, had the Tim and Dawn romance. American comedies are really good at this, and they all strive to make some sort of point with episode plots, even if it’s just a small thing. The Job Lot on the other hand is often just whacky events and poor gags. Compare it to, say, an episode of BBC Four’s Parks and Recreation, which might make a point about friendship, or relationships, or being a boss or whatever. TV shows don’t need to do this every episode, but they need something like it, something genuine with some depth to the writing.
Or, alternatively, they can just be really funny, but The Job Lot isn’t unfortunately. The rest of this episode’s storylines were pretty weak. George and Angela’s lottery squabbles were just a serious of bad jokes, and Trish getting blinded by laser eye surgery was cartoonish. Danielle didn’t really have anything to do this episode – which is a shame because I like Tamla Kari, the actress who plays her.
There’s only one episode left of The Job Lot. I’ll watch, because I’ve stuck with it so far, and I have a slight interest in some of the characters, but I’m not going to miss the show once that episode is over.
- ‘I’ll be like George on one of his surveillance videos.’ ‘No you won’t.’ ‘I just mean…’ ‘No, you won’t.’
- ‘A bit Spanish? What bit?’ ‘Your castanetas.’
- ‘I got you these.’ ‘Forever in our thoughts?’ ‘Someone died in the home; there was loads.’
- ‘Do you know Neil? Keeps snakes in his bath?’