Have you heard of Julian Barratt? Have you heard of Olivia Colman? Have you heard of Will Sharpe? Have you???
Well, they are all starring in Flowers, a new 6-part dark comedy on Channel 4. Already, I’m in love with this show. Not having seen Julian Barratt in a lead role since the halcyon days of The Mighty Boosh, he plays Maurice Flowers, a depressed author of children’s books and father of two never-left-the-nest bickering adults, struggling with suicidal thoughts and trying not to let on to his family. Olivia Colman plays his unfulfilled wife Deborah, displaying a veneer of happiness and vivacity which borders on unhinged. The show’s opening scene places particular emphasis on the ‘dark’ part of ‘dark comedy’. If you’re not in the mood for watching a show which contains these issues, I couldn’t blame you.
However, in my eyes, Flowers is brilliant. I’m already waiting for the third episode (the first two are available on All 4) and thankfully I won’t have to wait too long, as the show is being broadcast each night of this week.
The humour is excellent. Written and directed by a rather unknown, yet still BAFTA-nominated, Will Sharpe (who plays the Japanese housekeeper – although it’s not clear really if that is what he is) has crafted some beautifully funny lines already. He’s managed to blend light and dark, surreal and mundane into a mixture that has already got me needing my next fix.
Julian Barratt is the perfect choice for his role. Anyone who knows Howard Moon intimately knows that there is a deep undercurrent of tragedy which always made me think Mister Barratt should be in a show exactly like this. His line delivery, subtly irate and bemused by others, is spot-on. Olivia Colman is also ideal; her talent is something I didn’t fully appreciate until recently. I always used to think of her as Sophie from Peep Show. Now I’ve seen her play enough dramatic roles to stop pigeon-holing her in my mind.
In short, watch this show if you want something interesting to watch, with great acting, a bit of realism, surrealism, and also that guy who played Howard Moon.