'Mutual Friends', BBC1's latest drama, tells the story of Marc Warren's terminally useless solicitor Martin, whose life is thrown into turmoil as a consequence of his friends' various mid-life crises, most notably that of suave chancer Patrick (played with a certain verve by Antony Armstrong). The series is fitfully amusing, but suffers in comparison with BBC3's recent relationship comedies, the true-to-life 'Gavin and Stacey' and the splendidly acerbic 'Pulling': only Martin feels real, there's certainly no-one else remotely sympathetic and Patrick's outrageousness isn't quite entertaining enough when set against the rest of the thinly drawn and unlikeable dramatis personae. Each episode is quite good fun, but there's little new after the first couple of parts. It's a shame, because there are some good ideas in the scripts; but they never altogether leave behind their more obvious companions.
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