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Great Heaving

Dorset TV's new prime time comedy splits the critics more than the sides.

by Our TV Correspondent Chanelle Hoppa

Dorset Television has tried to give its new comedy sitcom Great Heaving a traditional feel; so much so it has mined the archives for 1950s jokes.

Billed as Dorset Television's answer to thrupiecetelevision's highly successful Poole, the new sitcom from once prolific comedy writer Dunvery Little-Cinz will not be to everyone's taste. More a vehicle for putting former soap star favourites once again before the public than for clever or well-timed jokes, Great Heaving aired last night for the first time and proved weaker than a "pot of tea for the sands", more rickety than a seafront deckchair and much less an oyster than a whelk. Make that a limp cockle.

The location is promising enough - who wouldn't want to spend a cosy half an hour in beautiful Great Heaving (OK maybe fifteen minutes tops) - but a brilliant location (expertly filmed) and even a half-decent premise [love, misunderstanding and pasty-innovation in a small conservative town) are no substitute for genuinely comic characters. And what are we to make of these? A distinguished Professor of Culinary Bio-ethics, a beautiful woman straining to become an authoress and local celebrity and a no-holds-barred business woman trying every available means to turn a few local enterprises into a sprawling multinational corporation - do not a comedy make and I defy anyone [and especially Dunvery Little-Cinz] to prove me wrong.

Take for example, the scene last night where the Professor [about to depart for a conference in Switzerland [Really?]] proposes that the ingenue would-be authoress joins him to help him "take notes". Perhaps a more inventive script might have pulled it off [the joke about disgraced former Boner Nigel Fitzallan-Montealegre (aka "Shitrag") [Details HERE] was decidedly off-colour] but a serious of smutty innuendos, re-heated fluff-jokes, organ-related asides and tiresome corporate-bashing just isn't enough to sustain interest, whilst a few well-aimed remarks at current University culture [deserved as they are] won't split the sides of those who have never been to one [presumably the target audience?].

Jason Argonaut and Catherine Zeta-Tyneside as the Professor and Sherry-Lumette respectively.  Their on-off relationship is the main plot driver of of an otherwise plotless series.
Jason Argonaut and Catherine Zeta-Tyneside as the Professor and Sherry-Lumette respectively. Their on-off relationship is the main plot driver of an otherwise plotless series.

No this was poor stuff. Former comedian Jason Argonaut tried his best but simply doesn't look like a distinguished culinary bio-ethicist, whilst former Coronation Chicken star Catherine Zeta-Tyneside and veteran actress Stephanie Cobnuts [Sherry-Lumette and businesswoman Damana Threadneedle respectively] struggled to deliver lines that might have been funny in 1958 and might be funny still had we not heard them a thousand times already [often in tiresomely repetitive blogs]. [Professor: "Can you just warm up that fluff for me?" Sherry-Lumette: "No but if you come over here you can warm up mine"; Sherry-Lumette: "Have you been inoculated" Damana: "You know I hardly ever drink" Sherry-Lumette: "I said inoculated, not inebriated" Damana: "No, I haven't had a prick in my bottom since Mr Threadneedle passed over"; Professor: "Did you hear about poor Jim?" Sherry-Lumette: "I heard his spirits sank during a visit to the Confectioners?" Professor: "Yes he was Licquorice-torpedo-ed". You get the drift.

So not perhaps the runaway success Dorset Television executives were hoping for? We think not. Filming of Series 2 begins in April 2020.

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