An unimpressive beginning to the new series
Along with the launch of BBC Three Online, quirky comedy Cuckoo returns for a third series. It’s been over a year since the last season, which saw the slightly bizarre casting of Twilight star Taylor Lautner as the ‘new Cuckoo’ (after Andy Samberg decided not to return due to his success in Brooklyn 99). However producers obviously saw now as the perfect time for a return, presumably to prove that just because BBC Three is moving online, doesn’t signal the end for its original content.
Sadly, it fails to reignite the ‘pizazz’ of previous series. There are some genuinely funny moments, such as when Greg Davies’ Ken is forced to help another woman through labour while his wife Lorna (Helen Baxendale, remember her as Ross’ English wife Emily in Friends?) is giving birth, but moments like this seem quite rushed, as they try and cram a lot into the episode. Taylor Lautner’s Dale returns from a sabbatical in Shanghai, but yet another obstacle is put between him and a romance with Rachel, when he reveals he is planning to marry a girl he met while he was away. It feels like a slightly cheap and obvious way to go, but then again, I’m not sure how the show would continue if the pair actually got together.
Tyger Drew-Honey gets very little screen time as Dylan, but the stroppy teenager ‘I hate everyone’ act is wearing thin anyway. How about a change of direction for him; perhaps as a protégée for Dale, the next Cuckoo? Drew-Honey is a good actor that could be challenged more. As for Rachel’s former fiancé Ben (Matt Lacey): why he is even still there?
Overall, it’s an underwhelming start to the new series, filled with cheap gags and bad acting; Taylor Lautner is particular is repetitive and quite wooden. The writing, which was formally Cuckoo‘s strength, is weak and sloppy. However, I will still be tuning in for the rest of the series, as Ken and Lorna’s new baby could provide interesting new stories. Hopefully, after a bit of a false start, Cuckoo can climb back on top, and be a success for the new BBC Three Online.
Cuckoo will appear weekly on the brand new BBC Three Online.