We Need to Talk About Colin

Colin from Accounts is back, and right from the start there’s a problem. No, not that Gordon (Patrick Brammall) and Ashley (Harriet Dyer) have given Colin (a dog) away and want him back. That’s solved by the end of the first episode. And not dragging it out? Pretty much the opposite of a problem really.

No, the problem is that Gordon and Ashley – going by this season’s first episode at least – aren’t funny. Well, technically, aren’t funny anymore. We were never big fans of this rom-com (hold the com), but back in season one it was clear that both Gordon and Ashley (especially Ashley) were meant to be comedy characters.

Not any more. Now they’re just a kind of boring, “we’ve both got issues”, couple who think they’re in love but mostly act like they’re scanning the room for exits. And this situation – which on another show could still generate laughs – is pretty much played straight down the line. So we’re meant to be worried they won’t work it out? As the saying goes, don’t try to threaten us with a good time.

Basically, the writers – oh look, it’s Brammall and Dyer, no wonder a lot of their dialogue reads like they just transcribed a real conversation and hoped it was quirky – have bought into the idea that this is a serious relationship show. So it’s not even trying to be funny? Well… not exactly.

If you watch the first episode of season 2 of Colin From Accounts, one thing that stands out is that pretty much every single person Gordon and Ashley interact with is a comedy dickhead. Because the two leads are no longer funny, now everyone else has to be. Or at least, everyone else has to be weirdly aggressive and argumentative in order to create something to make this episode more than just “two sad sacks mope around”.

This isn’t exactly a break from what’s gone before. The first season took a fairly swift turn away from comedy around the halfway mark and by the end was basically a relationship drama with occasional swears. Will we get the same dynamic this season? Look, if Colin doesn’t shuffle off this mortal coil at the end of episode seven, we’ll owe our bookie slightly more than we’re comfortable with.

But it does leave this season as something of a comedy donut – you know, empty in the middle. This season might start off with yet another comedy road accident, but our leads have changed. They’ve matured. Now they’re just two grown-ups slightly worried about the direction of their relationship. And we can get that kind of angst from our mates.

Only we don’t, because our mates aren’t boring dickheads we actively avoid.

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