When Stath Lets Flats first aired on Channel 4 in 2018, it was an anomaly amongst the comedy panorama. At a time when schedules have been dominated by dramedies, thrillers with jokes and one-person reveals utilizing laughter to make critical factors about id and psychological well being (because it largely nonetheless is), Jamie Demetriou’s series was a uncommon factor: an out-and-out comedy. Enjoyment of Stath requires an acceptance of one central thought: that saying issues unsuitable is the funniest factor in the world. Fortunately, the series makes a rattling good case for this argument. Even by the sitcom’s already lofty requirements, the opening episode of series three is one of the funniest half-hours of TV I’ve seen, each efficiency utter gold.
As we rejoin the dodgy world of the London rental market (courtesy of Michael & Eagle Lettings), we discover Stath (Demetriou) nervously anticipating a main life change. His colleague Carole (Katy Wix) is closely pregnant after their ill-fated one-night stand and he’s determined to be a good father, his pleasure manifesting by means of singing to strangers’ infants and crying in the again of automobiles.
But whereas Stath is getting into a new part, there’s a whole s***present happening over at his household enterprise. Series two ended with posh-boy supervisor Julian working the firm into the floor earlier than falling to his loss of life (off an award-ceremony stage, naturally). They’re now in large quantities of debt and have relocated to Stath’s household house to save lots of prices, conferences happening on the cramped stairs and in the kitchen whereas his dad Vassos (Christos Stergioglou) fries fish. It’s a nightmare set-up and one even Carole, along with her Apprentice-esque line that “we care so much about bleedin’ houses, we’re working in one”, can’t spin.
The state of affairs could also be ripe comedy fodder, nevertheless it’s Demetriou’s densely packed script that elevates the series. There aren’t any wasted moments, each line containing an incorrectly pronounced phrase or misquoted idiom that left me doing ungainly snorts of laughter. There are a hundred moments that might be referenced right here, however specific highlights embody a potential tenant telling Stath that his title is definitely Bernard, not “Gurdled” as he’s been announcing it, whereas the letting agent worries about having to satisfy with “langlords” (landlords) and getting a “park-time” (part-time) job. At this stage, viewers have come to count on these Stath-isms, but their content material remains to be a real shock each time.
Demetriou has all the time been the star of Stath Lets Flats, however series three is pushed into new territory by the wealth of materials given to the supporting solid. As ever, Natasia Demetriou and Ellie White are hilarious as Stath’s sister Sophie and her finest buddy (and Stath’s new girlfriend) Katya, whereas Al Roberts’s desperately awkward Al continues to supply some of the finest cringe comedy on the present.
But the highlights of the first episode are Wix and Kiell Smith-Bynoe, stand-outs even amongst a solid of whole comedy heavyweights. Where Carole and Dean as soon as felt like secondary characters at Michael & Eagle, they’re now extra totally realised and are given some of the funniest traces in the script. Both actors are masters of the facial features – nobody does unimpressed despair like Smith-Bynoe, his supply of the line: “You think I’m having a meeting with a fish for jokes?” so good, it’ll be etched in my thoughts perpetually. In such a dense script, they eke out each attainable chortle and are completely magnetic.
So no, Stath Lets Flats shouldn’t be a dramedy or a comedic tackle material (though the portrait it paints of the London rental market is depressingly correct). It’s foolish, ludicrous and nonsensical – however a desire for phrase play and slapstick doesn’t imply the present lacks coronary heart. Its characters could also be idiots (each single one of them, no exceptions), however they’re well-meaning, expertly carried out and handled with heat by Demetriou’s script – even when talking absolute garbage.
‘Stath Lets Flats’ airs Tuesdays at 10.15pm on Channel 4