I’ve been a fan of the work of television writers Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne for a number of years — from the more obscure Mrs Merton and Malcolm to The Royle Family, clips of which you can see below.
Mrs Merton and Malcolm Clip.
The Royle Family Clip.
I was therefore pleased to hear that Cash had teamed up with another of his co-writers, Phil Mealy — with whom he wrote the excellent Early Doors — to create a new three-part comedy drama starring Steve Coogan entitled Sunshine.
Early Doors Clip.
The first episode aired last Tuesday and, as prepared as I was to be disappointed, I have to say that so far it seems to be their best work yet. Blending comedy and pathos with a simplicity that is incredibly deceptive, Cash and Mealy tell a story about a gambler’s addiction and the effect it has on his family with an honesty that, in places, is incredibly touching. One particular scene featuring grandfather and grandson — the “heroic” grandfather telling how he got Adolf Hitler in a head lock and, a number of years later, designed Concorde — was almost beautiful to watch.
Like much of their work, you either get it or you don’t. The characters in many respects are incredibly real and because they have a habit of reminding the viewer of people they know or have known, they can at times be oddly comforting — nostalgic, almost.
I’ve yet to find a YouTube clip, but I will keep looking. UK viewers, however, can still catch the first episode on the BBC’s iPlayer. Take a look. You might enjoy it as much as I did.