Peter Kay's 'Car Share' - First Impressions

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When I was walking home from school today, I was listening to Radio 2. Don't judge, the only other station my phone picks up is bloody Heart FM, where 'more music variety' means playing 'Happy' and 'Shake it Off' at least fourteen times per day. Regular DJ Steve Wright was talking to Peter Kay, who was promoting his new sitcom: Car Share. The concept was incredibly simple; a comedy starring two different personalities in a car sharing scheme en route to work. It features Kay's trademark analysing skills of turning normal habits into a laugh. Or at least that was what was being discussed on the interview. I wanted to see if something so basic could be funny. All episodes are now premiered on the BBC iPlayer ahead of the TV broadcast, so if you live in the UK, click the link at the bottom if you're interested.

As a pre-warning, this does contain story spoilers.

The first episode starts with John (Kay) in his car, trying to find his workmate Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) via a dodgy sat-nav. Har-dee-har, a crap satnav gag, how original. My immediate impressions were 'oh god', but I was barely a minute in, so it'd be stupid to judge. Eventually John finds the right house, and out pops an attractive blonde the same age as him. The developing romance was almost too obvious, really.

Two characters, and a car. Job done.

Critically, these two characters have completely different personalities and conflicting views, which provides the main fuel for the comedy in this show. Peter Kay has done well to capture tiny details of what we do when we drive, such as looking at the radio screen when something silly is played (because of course the display recognises your scowl), and subtly adjusting your seating position. All very realistic.

Predictably, the relationship starts off frosty; not helped by an unfortunate accident at the start which ends up with John covered in piss. Kayleigh is peppy, slightly thick, and has a 'Now that's what I call Music' compilation album as her favourite CD. She also insists on having Forever FM on the radio. Think Heart FM, but worse. Honestly, I didn't think that was possible, but there you go. The atmosphere created by the two characters is very well done on a realistic scale, but my laughter was few and far between. Frequent little nose laughs (c'mon, everyone does that), but only a couple of proper laugh-out-louds.

The driving is real, as Kay wanted this to be as realistic and as believable as possible.

There just isn't quite enough depth for me to get properly gripped thus far, but how can you have a deep story in a show that simply has two workmates in a car? After three episodes, you get the impression that the characters will evolve personally, which is a nice touch to keep the audience engaged. John will probably come out of his single life shell, whereas Kayleigh may well stop being so naive.

Quick summary? This show has a realistic side to it. You do really feel like you're simply watching two people conversing with each other. There's no puns, no audience laughter, just two distant workmates getting to know each other. In a way, that's great, but some would argue it's too boring; too basic.

As far as comedy goes, it's more comedy bronze than comedy gold, but as far as making something out of a simple car journey goes, then it's an 11/10. I respect Peter Kay for his obvious hard work into this production, and I want to see him on the TV screen more often. Car Share? I will be watching more episodes, but I don't think I'd ever worry about missing an episode.

6/10

UK readers can watch episodes here!

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