Grandma's House (2010–2012)
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The Day Simon and his Family Opened the Door to Acceptance 

Not Rated | | Comedy | Episode aired 24 May 2012
Following Tanya's wedding to the now jobless Clive the reception is held at Grandma's house. Ben Theobald arrives with garrulous actress Zazzy in tow. He has a film offer in Hollywood and ... See full summary »


Christine Gernon




Episode cast overview:
Simon Amstell ... Simon
Linda Bassett ... Grandma
Rebecca Front ... Tanya
Samantha Spiro ... Auntie Liz
Jamal Hadjkura Jamal Hadjkura ... Adam
James Smith ... Clive
Iwan Rheon ... Ben Theodore
Jessie Cave ... Zazzy


Following Tanya's wedding to the now jobless Clive the reception is held at Grandma's house. Ben Theobald arrives with garrulous actress Zazzy in tow. He has a film offer in Hollywood and wants Simon to go with him, but as his P.A. as he feels Simon is not a very good actor. An angry Clive takes action against Ben but it is nonetheless back to square one for Simon,unemployed and living with Grandma. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

24 May 2012 (UK) See more »

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User Reviews

An improvement on the first season but still too stiff and ironically rather lacking in life
18 December 2012 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Larry David has a lot to answer for. The popularity of Curb meant that the doors were opened wider for socially awkward to be green-lit and while that has often been a good thing, it has meant that some ideas were allowed through without enough behind them. The first season of Grandma's House was a fine example of that as I found it too contrived and self-aware while lacking spark and wit worthy of those in the cast. The second season got better reviews though so I decided it was worth a shot as I did think it had some potential and I have always liked Amstell's dry wit since he was on Popworld.

The quality is a bit better in this second season and it had more frequent lines that made me laugh out loud but mostly it kept the very contrived feel that robbed it of realism while also being too turned in on itself to really embrace it being an exaggerated version of reality (as Curb does so well). The plots are often too tidy and silly although the focus on Simon's career and various family situations do help it have a bit of grounding. Shame then that around these are normally too many silly things that don't work and don't fit with the very slight and introverted tone of the show. As with the first season Amstell himself is part of the problem – he has created this really loud family and placed himself in the middle but while everyone sells their characters, he remains too cold, too distant and totally out of place; his poor acting is a running joke this time which is funny for a while, but then you start being constantly reminded why it is a running joke, and it gets less funny.

The irony is that the show is supposed to be a family life but yet it lacks realism, spark or life in the most part and most of this comes from the writing not really having enough between the words and events. There isn't much there to be had and as a result I mostly found it quite unengaging and almost totally reliant on laughs alone to keep me going – laughs which didn't come frequently enough for this to work. It is a shame because, as before, the cast are deserving of better. Front and Spiro in particular are excellent while Front and Smith have simpler but equally funny characters. Hutchings is missed but his death is well covered for by the plotting.

Overall Grandma's House got a second season on the basis of its potential and it was a shame then that it never really delivers on it again. This season is funnier and a bit better structured but it still doesn't have enough about it to bridge the laughs with pathos and impact. Individual lines and scenes are still funny but as a whole it never really hangs together as you wish it would. Shame really, but Amstell doesn't manage to make this work as a vehicle for himself.

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