The YouTube Files – The Honeymoon’s Over.

The Honeymoon’s Over (BBC2, 1994)

This is another case of “find the description of a show that I don’t remember watching at the time interesting, succeed in finding it online, and decide to do a review”. The Honeymoon’s Over was a one-off pilot episode that was part of the second Comic Asides series (which rather curiously came almost five years after the first). What attracted me to this were the writers and producers.

They were Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse, who definitely know how to put a good comedy together. This one centred around the couple Phil and Helen, who have recently got married, but they seem to argue about everything. If it can be argued about, they will give it a go, to the point where it could be hugely irritating. Most of the other characters were bizarre to the point that they almost didn’t fit into a sitcom at all.

These included Martin, who was Phil’s work colleague at the post office, and he seemed to be mildly obsessed with stamps. And there was also Billy (or “Whizz” as he was known in the dressing room), a bicycle messenger who lived downstairs and liked to shout a lot, and was played by Whitehouse. Phil and Helen like to get away from their troubles by going to the pub, but this doesn’t help.

This is because usually there is Ginger (played by Vic Reeves and credited by his real name), who managed to overshadow everyone else with his rather bizarre turn. He came across more as one of those characters in The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer, or maybe Monkey Trousers, the crazy sketch show that was watched by about three people.

This was almost like two shows in one. Was this trying to be a straightforward sitcom, or a surreal sketch show? Well whatever the idea was, there would only be one episode of The Honeymoon’s Over. But Higson and Whitehouse wouldn’t have to worry, because not long after The Fast Show launched, which was a success on a scale that this flop by their standards was soon forgotten.

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