Picture the scene: you turn up on your wedding day to be
confronted with a sister-in-law who poisoned her twin brother, a
fiancée who is in the closet and a wedding gift that is a box of
dead wasps. This sets the tone for Channel 4's new comedy show Bad
Sugar. As one wedding guest muses, "Welcome to Hell."
Written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, Bad Sugar stars three
of the biggest names in comedy at the moment, Olivia Colman, Julia
Davis and Sharon Horgan, all of whom co-created the show.
The plot is centred around a rich mining dynasty, where health
and safety standards, family values and morality have all gone out
the window. Likened to a British spoof version of Dallas, the
script is full of bitchy comments, sharp wit and comedy as black as
Julia Davis (pictured, with egg) and Sharon Horgan are fabulous
as scheming sisters-in-law Daphne and Lucy, the epitome of "keep
your friends close and your enemies even closer". Their facial
expressions are a highlight in every scene and Olivia Colman, as
the lovable but clearly damaged Joan, is comedy genius. She has
some good tips too, such as "If you're scared of a bee, just think
it's a woodlouse with an overcoat and fairy wings and that's a nice
way to think of a bee."
The cast is generally brilliant, with Peter Serafinowicz
claiming laughs as the 'straight' husband who likes his wife to
wear Matt Damon masks in bed and The League of Gentlemen's Reece
Shearsmith as the long suffering husband Greg, confined to a
wheelchair because of failing mine safety standards.
Highlights of this pilot episode include Joan revealing how all
her horses died, the aging patriarch telling Lucy, in no uncertain
terms, that "the mines are mine" and Daphne admitting that, as a
child, she was locked in a cupboard and made to dance like a
monkey… and she enjoyed it.
This is a show that will only get better. It's quick, sharp and
deliciously dark. My advice? Don't miss out. Bad Sugar is, sadly,
only a pilot at the moment but the full series is scheduled for
next year. Watch
the pilot episode on 4OD
And remember, the secret to a youthful face (as Daphne points
out) is to sleep with your legs in the air.
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sleevsie22