Not Going Out went out on Friday night. I watched it. This being the first of seven episodes, I had no hand in the writing of it. (This is because I was working with Simon Day on another project in January and wasn’t available to join the NGO team until February.) It was written by Lee Mack, Simon Evans, Paul Kerensa and Peter Tilbury. Yes, Peter Tilbury of the old school who’s most famous for creating and writing Shelley. You’ll see Lee, Simon and Paul’s names on all of the forthcoming episodes. Mine will appear on five, starting with next week’s, as the new system meant that two or even three episodes were being worked on at any one time. (We had six months to write seven episodes. Last year, as the pilot had already been written, Lee and I had six months to write five. You can see why more writers had to be drafted in. If we’d been an American sitcom, all five of us, handsomely paid for our exclusivity, would have been on the staff and our names would appear as “producers” on the episodes we didn’t work on. That’s a world away, really.) Anyway, I’d read the completed script of Episode One, Mortgage, but I didn’t see the filming and I didn’t ask for an advance DVD, so I was seeing it for the first time along with everybody else – and some of the gags had been added in the final gagging-up round, so many were new to me, including the Courtney Love joke. My objective, dispassionate view is that it was a very strong return. Because there was a new set-up to set up, it was a set-up episode, but thanks to the winning ways of Lee and Tim, who are basically called upon to do more of the same, and the new energy provided by Sally Bretton (very different from Megan Dodds) and Miranda Hart (whose skills are already well known), it felt fresh. It’s hard for me to comment further, as I’m utterly partisan, but I really enjoyed sitting down and watching it.
What did people think? (Of course, if you didn’t like it, I can say, well, hey, nothing to do with me!)