The Cambridge Geek

Clare in the Community

I'm think I'm beginning to feel locked out of Clare in the Community. It's the closest Radio 4 comedy has to a soap opera, and after 12 seasons, it's really beginning to feel like it. There's been no small amount of relationship drama built, and I'm slowly losing track of who is up to what. Took me a while to remember the sneaky relationship between Clare and Simon, and I wasn't sure whether I was expecting there to still be some sort of budding romance between Brian and Nali.

At the same time, the status quo of Clare getting herself into ridiculous situations but always managing to come out on top despite being remarkably unlikable is still in play. The first two episodes of this series involve an unexpected death and a prison riot, and honestly I'll be very surprised if she doesn't mostly escape any consequence of the ongoing affair.

(Does occur to me at this point that given I've not mentioned this show directly before, a quick intro is in order. Clare is a social worker, and her main motivation is to be seen as the best social worker, even if she doesn't actually like people very much, and has more flaws than the rest of the outreach team put together. But the show puts equal weighting on her relationships, both personal and professional, including her husband, child, nanny and other social worker team, who tend to be the even lighter comic relief.)

There's also the occasional trip into the more absurd, with a prime example being this series' second episode's B plot of the outreach team suspecting they're in a radio play. Though that annoyed me to some extent, because it didn't really commit.

I think I've enjoyed it for long enough, but this one has probably run its course for me. The fine line between Clare's self-importance and incompetence has been walked quite skilfully for a long time, but the annoyingness of her nature and the way the world twists around her has peaked for me. A shame, but nothing lasts for ever. If you enjoy it though, you might want to start back at the first series, as it does tend to build.

Score 3

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Sitcom Family/Relationships