It's been frequently said that anyone who has been a manager in an office, or has even just worked in one, will watch scenes in The Office in a state of a permanent wince.
It was the same on several occasions last night watching the The Royle Family special on BBC1. This is when I did, anyway:
- Getting your kids to perform Armarillo, or do Peter Kay impersonations
- Up above, down below
- Getting your kids to do martial arts demos
- Playing on the goodwill of grandparents
- "I'm getting laminated"
- Not being able to finish the laminating
- Johnny Cash
Overall, the return was a cosy tying up of loose ends, and more of a sympathetic and sentimental dropping in on the Royles than the individual shorter episodes ever were. The appeal, like many situation comedies, is that the dialogue follows a theme, jogs along to some vanishing point at which you realise that nothing actually happens.
Yet as well as Nana's death, there was the birth of a second new baby, which is twice as much as what happened in the rest of the previous series put together.