My Family – 2039: A Christmas Oddity: Relatively Poor

December 23, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

1.5MyFamily300 MY FAMILY – 2039: A CHRISTMAS ODDITY, Thursday 24th December, BBC 1, 8pm ALERT ME

Is this still on? I thought it had died a death when Kris Marshall started doing those god-awful BT commercials, which terrible as they are, are often funnier than My Family episodes.

In the tradition of all comedies everywhere, at this time of year we’re ‘treated’ (although ‘subjected’ is probably a better word) to a Christmas special.

Set 30 years in the future, grumpy patriarch Ben has grown a moustache, Michael’s covering up his baldness with a none-too convincing-toupee (which makes him look like a Jehovah’s Witness) and Janey’s got fat (and looks like a human Weeble). Susan’s looking younger than ever thanks to ‘moisturiser’ and Roger was mauled by lions reducing him to a head in a jar.

This is merely an excuse for some terribly called-in jokes. Sample: “Oh Janey, how lovely, a box of chocolates…a box of half eaten chocolates?. Oh yeah, ha ha ha, she’s fat and can’t control herself. They’d better put warning signs on this episode or the noise of nationwide thigh-slapping could cause you to go deaf.

In a series of flashbacks, the Family reflect on some of their worst Christmases ever focusing on one where Susan invited the vicar and instigated a gift swapping game.

It’s obvious the way this is going to go from the start and the inevitable arguing leads to a food fight and the vicar being hospitalised. Predictable, safe and tired jokes are trotted out time and time again – jokes so telegraphed, you might as well have received them in the post.

How many gags about awful cooking are we supposed to endure before writers realise that this is old hat? “I’ve been cooking all day? “You think that’s bad, I have to eat it?. Christ.

It’s clear that this special is actually two separate episodes stitched together with all the future stuff as a device to link them together. The second half is slightly funnier than the first (in the same way that meningitis is more serious than the flu – you want neither).

Ben’s over achieving cousin Richard and his new girlfriend Cheryl come to visit for Christmas. Soon the two men’s hyper-competitiveness gets into full swing; Richard buys all the family gifts, so Ben buys more. Richard builds Kenzo a snowman, so Ben builds a bigger one in the garden.

This televised dick measuring contest culminates in a fight at Kenzo’s nativity play and the set’s inevitable destruction. I did have one chuckle when Cheryl’s sniping caused Susan to punch her in the face but only because I’d been longing to do it for the last 20 minutes.

Back in the future, Mikey gives Ben a device which can erase people’s memories. Now if only I had one of those so I could forget the last hour…