Dylan Moran

Dylan Moran

Date of birth: 03-11-1971
Winner of the best tour category at the 2012 Chortle Awards for Yeah, Yeah
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Review of Dylan Moran's new BBC comedy

Maybe it’s a throwback to the domestic imprisonment of the past couple of years, but the stagnation of long-term relationships seems to be a growing trend in TV. After Stefan Golaszewski’s glacial Marriage, with Nicola Walker and Sean Bean, comes Dylan Moran’s waspish portrait of a couple at a crossroads. 

His character Dan is irascible, apathetic and misanthropic, with the same downbeat demeanour that has defined his stand-up and Black Books personas. He’s just been laid off from his advertising agency job – ‘karma for being a dick’ as one colleague puts it – which comes as a bit of a wake-up call for a man who’s long been drifting. But will he just press snooze?

His wife Carla, as played by Morgana Robinson, already realised that she isn’t living her best life. Struggling for money even before redundancy, she’s pining for a better house and a proper family. Dan just can’t be arsed with any such ambition.

Even though Carla could clearly do so much better, Robinson and Moran have such a strong chemistry that you believe their loving relationship. You root for them to escape their mid-life rut, while empathising with Dan’s grumpiness and desire to just be left alone.

Moran’s script can be endearingly odd, but it’s rooted in the broader reality of a work and personal life that has lost a sense of purpose, a futility depicted with his trademark wry wit. And as if there wasn’t enough for Dan to rail against, the couple’s friends Joy and Kurt (Juliet Cowan and Clemens Schick) are new-agey irritants, all ‘spiritual growth and energy eggs and chakras’.

The plot moves slower than you might expect given that there are just five 15-minute episodes to get a story across, but the vignettes are identifiable and witty. And for all their failings (well, mainly his) you'll want Dan and Carla to make a success of it all.

•  Stuck launched on BBC Two last night having been postponed for almsot three weeks because of the Queen's death. All five episodes are available on iPlayer.

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Published: 27 Sep 2022

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