Get Real (ITV, 1998)
Here’s yet another entry in the “were there any decent 90s ITV sitcoms” series. And well, they definitely kept trying to find success. I only remember ever seeing a few short bits of this one, but I do feel that this has an interesting story. In the late-90s, some of the most successful imported sitcoms were Seinfeld and Friends. So maybe it might be a good idea to sort-of merge these two shows together in a British sitcom.
Because, well people like Seinfeld and Friends, so why not give this a try. There was the element of four young witty Londoners and how they interacted, who often discussed their love lives which became increasingly entangled (it could be said that BBC2’s Coupling came the closest to succeeding with this formula, although that was still a few years off at this point).
One of the creators of Get Real was Alan Davies, although I’m not sure if it’s the one of Jonathan Creek/QI fame, maybe it was. To start things off, the foursome are assembled and introduced, and there is a sofa too, you’ve got to have a sofa in these things. Adam is friends with Louise, who is also his landlord. Lestor and Francine are a couple who have recently met, and Adam wants to go further with Louise.
And everything carries on from there really. One thing that was against Get Real was the scheduling, being shown after News At Ten on Mondays in the summer. This might have let them talk about things in a more adult way, but it was hardly a high-profile slot. And critics really ripped into the show, even by their standards. Why try adapting the American style, when the British style needed helping.
There were only seven episodes of Get Real in one series. By the end, the plots had started to warm up, and the laughs had finally come, but the majority of viewers had already departed. There has been no repeat run or DVD release, put it this way, people will remember Friends, they won’t remember Get Real. This was another flop for ITV, I imagine the only cast member that got any further TV work was the sofa.