By Emma Cox
Fleabag, BBC iPlayer
Fleabag sadly came to an end this month, but it’s likely to continue being a hit on catch-up as people start to switch onto the fact that this is the comedy of the year, if not the decade.
It’s hard to hurl enough superlatives at this six-parter, written by and starring the extraordinary Phoebe Waller Bridge.
She plays the titular Fleabag, a woman in her 30s who is adrift in life after the death of her mother and her best friend.
With an incredible supporting cast which includes Olivia Colman as her dreadful, grinning stepmother, and Andrew Scott as the priest who has caught her eye (who knew Catholicism could be so sexy?), you will not see better performances on any show of any genre.
But what really sets Fleabag apart is the genre-smashing nature of the script: tragicomedy-dramas aren’t anything new but Fleabag really hurls you between tears of laughter and sadness relentlessly and with lightning speed.
This second series is less crude, more tender, and sadder than the first. Watch it now, because this show will be getting all the awards next year.
Hypothetical, UKTV Play
If you haven’t come across him yet, James Acaster is one of the country’s hottest new rising comedians. And remember we said that when he’s as big as Michael McIntyre in a few years.
Nerdy but razor sharp, James came to prominence through his excellent stand-up gigs and, most recently, on Dave’s Taskmaster where he lost his temper with Greg Davies on more than one (hilarious) occasion.
Here he joins forces with his friend Josh Widdicombe for a panel show with a twist. The pair preside over four fellow comedians as they debate hypothetical situations – such as, ‘You have to take a selfie with Nicolas Cage within 48 hours or you die – how do you do it?’, or ‘You can only use five words for the rest of your life, what do you choose?’.
Unlike a lot of panel shows, the comedians have no idea what the questions are going to be so it feels fresh and live, and deliciously chaotic.
There’s also a huge box of props to help the comics act out the hypothetical scenarios, so at times it feels like an updated version of Whose Line Is It Anyway.
The line-up is wonderful: anyone who’s anyone on the circuit appears, from Romesh Ranganathan and Jon Richardson to Sara Pascoe, Katherine Ryan, Liza Tarbuck and Rob Beckett.
But it’s a great platform for those who are on their way up too: get to know Rose Matafeo and Phil Wang, too.
Joe’s Got Your Back, All 4
The loveable comedian Joe Lycett is the host of The British Sewing Bee and a a steady fixture on panel shows such as Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown.
But he first made his name by sending hilarious complaints to businesses and reading out the email chains in full.
His most famous anecdote – in which he recounts wriggling his way out of a parking fine through a series of daft messages to a council official – went viral, so this new consumer show is the perfect fit for his skills.
Championing the public, Joe uses his charm and cheeky humour to help people with genuine problems and investigates a range of gripes and scams.
It’s a fantastically unique format: Watchdog it ain’t, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
Made in Chelsea, All 4
Champagne, pardying (note to subs – corr), fancy dress, fairy lights and moody break-ups on the banks of the River Thames – yep, Made in Chelsea is back.
This structured reality show hardly has any original cast members left from the first series, but it stays fresh with a fast turnover of young and beautiful new totty to back up the stalwarts like Jamie Laing and Louise Thompson.
As usual you can expect lots of cheating, bitching, lying and backstabbing – backed up by at least one explosive row at a dinner party and several drinks thrown over heads.
But the secret to the success of Made in Chelsea is surely the sumptuousness of the locations, the glamour of the outfits, and the randomness of some of the set-ups. Don’t you chat about your latest one-night stand during a polo match or a yoga class? No? Well, these guys do.
It may not be a complete comedy – but for a bit of daft escapism it’s pretty unbeatable