Which is to be funny. I expected a lot of this series, coming after the revelation that was "The Royle Family" - though that had slowly deteriorated through its three-season run. In fact I laughed only twice at the entire series of six half-hour episodes: I found it more depressing than anything else. "The Royle Family" was a near-miracle for its combination of richly detailed characters in realistic situations with laugh-out-loud humour. The jokes are very funny, but they didn't - at its best - seem like jokes planted to get a laugh: they flowed naturally from the characters' everyday conversations. The impression I had from "Dossa and Joe" was that Aherne had concentrated on building complex characters with convincingly rich backgrounds to the extent that she had forgotten about actually making it funny. I see now that it has some very eager fans, for the average rating at the time I wrote this was 9.7 out of 10 - but that was based on only 14 votes.
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