By Will Barber – Taylor
Trouble looms for Stella and Michael when the latter makes a monumental mistake. Big Alan meanwhile meets his match, and Dai organises a poker game.
Following the previous episode, Stella continues to feel less linear than it has been in previous series. While there are still some good parts in it, the comic drama seems to be forgetting which parts are serious and which parts are funny.
The main problem centres on Stella’s boyfriend Michael Jackson and his continual attempts to try and make some money and get back to being a solicitor. Jackson’s rather forced “relationship” with Beyonce is decidedly forced and of course only exists so that there can be conflict between Stella and Michael. Although this is meant to be dramatic, it comes off as quite funny, particularly when Beyonce attempts to “have it off” with Michael as the music used for the scene is decidedly cringe inducing and removes any hope that we could take it seriously. Because the show seems to not be able to carry on its storylines in a natural way, it has to implore tactics – such as the introduction of a character whose sole purpose it to cause conflict, which are beneath it and weakens the overall effect of the scene on the audience because it is forced.
A scene which is meant to be funny but which comes off as lacking in humour is the scene in which Big Alan attempts to kill a mouse that has got into his house. The scene features Alan raising a rolling pin, getting covered in flower and the various other things you would expect from such a slapstick style set up. The problem is Big Alan (Steve Spiers) is not really built for this sort of slapstick. The problem isn’t so much with him but the nature of it as the slapstick is childish in its nature and doesn’t seem to fit in with the overall comedy drama nature of the show.
However, there are some good bits. The interactions between Big Alan and Little Alan are always great to see and are particularly funny in this episode when Little Alan attempts to fire his father. Some of the dialogue spoken by Karl is funny as well though this is spattered throughout the episode.
Overall, Episode Three continues with the unfortunate path that the previous episodes of the series have been on. Hopefully, later on in the series there will be an upsurge and the comedy drama will return to its original good form.