This Country

Posted on February 26, 2020

I have watched ‘This Country’ with passing interest on a couple of occasions but never really got glued to it. However, last night I had my younger son over to stay and we watched the first two episodes of series three. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at a TV screen.

It’s probably an age thing but I generally hate most of what I see on mainstream TV. I utilise my BBC license for web pages, and some stuff on iPlayer and podcasts. So, I get my money’s worth. Apart from that, I tend to listen to the radio, so it is unusual for me to sit in front of the TV.

However, last night, we were a bit bored, so we watched the first two episodes of the new series. This Country (if you have not seen it) is a spoof documentary set in a Cotswold village where not a lot goes on. It features the listless, council house lives of cousins Kurtan and Kerry (played by real life brother and sister Daisy and Charlie Cooper).

Back in the day, I worked around these villages as a Sales Rep and this series shines a light on the strange lives led by young people in these areas. Without a car, big towns feel a long way away and employment opportunities are limited. Any fun to be had comes from mischievousness and playing on the idiosyncrasies of neighbours, who pop up from time to time.

One of the other chief characters is the local vicar, repressed and hopelessly helpful as he attempts to be a guiding light to Kurton and Kerry. Many of the storylines appear to a revolve his efforts to channel them in the right direction. This generally results in the vicar being let down badly as Kerry and Kurton abuse his trust with comical, rather than sinister behaviour.

I am still finding my way with this series, but its ability to turn melancholic lives into funny and heart-warming television, is, in my opinion, British comedy at its finest. Episode 2 of Series 3, features a promised driving lesson for Kurtan, offered by the vicar. This is when my laughing got to stomach hurting levels.

A comedy sketch featuring a useless young man getting a driving lesson from a Vicar may seem simple, a bit like ‘shooting fish in a barrel’. However, this is far better than I could imagine. It resulted in a chaotic and spectacularly awkward conversation about the Vicar’s awful childhood and Kerry’s theory that Jesus liked whores and embarked on perpetual sarcasm.

I won’t go any further but if you have heard about This Country but not got around to watching it, I would highly recommend giving it a go. If you have lived village life in any form, you will have experienced some of the characters at some point in your life. Like any good comedy, the more you get to know Kurtan and Kerry, the better the viewing becomes.

All three series of This Country are available on BBC iPlayer.

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