Rick feels he deserves more out of life than endless corporate gigs for the likes of the Greenway supermarket chain so that when the call from Hollywood to write for a star comic comes he ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Charlotte Hudson ...
Martin Savage ...
Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)
Anna Crilly ...


Rick feels he deserves more out of life than endless corporate gigs for the likes of the Greenway supermarket chain so that when the call from Hollywood to write for a star comic comes he sees it as his ticket to fame - except that the call is actually for Marty,who jets off to the States. Initially Rick feels that he will make a bigger success as a solo writer but,beset by Sam and Ben's failed dog-walking scheme and Michael's accounts of his visits to cuddle parties,Rick is only too pleased to see that Marty has turned the job down. Written by don @ minifie-1

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3 January 2008 (UK)  »

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One Way Road
Written by Noel Gallagher
Performed by Paul Weller
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Season 2: Weaker across each episode than in the minor asides but still entertaining
23 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Life continues for jobbing comedian Rick Spleen. A flopped television series on the beeb has seen him continue to rely on performing at corporate shindigs. The gigs are not ideal and Rick is frustrated about this lack of shine in his career, however this only forms a base of frustration for the daily grind of annoyances, misunderstandings and mistakes that seem to plague Rick wherever he goes and whatever he does.

Season two opens with Rick on a quiz show costing a woman a car with a terrible answer to the final question and marks the continuation of where Lead Balloon season one left off. The humour is very much the same and of course I am legally obligated to mention the similarity to HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm in the same way that every single review on this series has to do from here until the end of the world. On this subject I will give Dee his dues and say that he has been doing this world-weary, frustrated at the little things stuff for some time now. The problems with the material are more evident though than they were with season one.

I write as one not blindly in love with Curb – to me it is not genius, just pretty funny as it suffers from being far too obvious in regards where the setups are heading. Lead Balloon didn't suffer from this too much in season one but it is more obvious in season two. Episodes start with obvious new directions and are often too obvious in regards the sequence of events and outcomes. These are still amusing but one cannot help but feel uninspired when a series so often signposts itself from the first few minutes. Fortunately even the weaker (or more obvious to put it another way) episodes are shored up by minor asides that are much more intelligent and wittier examples of Rick's frustrations than simply an episode long scenario. One of my favourite examples of this is Magda's use of the word "clown" instead of "comedian", just a throwaway line but one that visibly narks Rick in a way funnier than any elaborate scenario.

It is funny as a whole then, even if the detail in the writing needs to be stronger to support the very obvious bigger pictures that you get in every 30 minute episode. The cast continue to do well. Dee is hardly pushing himself with his character but it to his credit that he convinces as Spleen is quite self-centred this time around. Crilly continues to be one of my favourite turns as she is very good at her character and her material is very good in moderation as it is. Cassidy continues in a minor role while Hughes and Hardiker continue to drift in and out with the same joke but doing it effectively enough. Power and Gardner are both enjoyable support characters who provide good turns as well.

Overall a funny and entertaining comedy but is weaker in its main thrust than it thinks. The minor asides and frustrations are generally the best while the overall scenarios within each episode tends to be a matter of seeing it coming and hoping the ride to get there is good. That said though I still enjoyed this enough to justify me coming back for a third season if I get the chance.

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