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Roger and Val Have Just Got In

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David Thair | 12:20 UK time, Thursday, 5 August 2010

rogerandval.jpgBeth Kilcoyne writes...

Nearly three years ago a card dropped through my door and when I had read it I started running round my house, screaming. This is because the card was from Dawn French, who had seen a comedy written by me and my sister Emma and it invited us to go to a meeting with her. Having grown up as a passionate fan of French and Saunders it's interesting how words come out of you at such a moment. Mine were the standard, "I can't believe it!" but suddenly, and at a very high pitch.

It was at that meeting, at Pinewood Studios, that Roger and Val Have Just Got In was born. Dawn is an amazing artist and working closely with her has been a three year master-class. She wanted a show about the half hour when you've just got in from work, in real time, with just two characters - oh, and the characters needed to be happily married. That is a very difficult thing to write. After three scripts, we secured the brilliant Hugo Blick as Executive Producer and he started encouraging us to dig much deeper. On script, I would say Hugo sees things that other people don't see. What has emerged is a show that is all of itself; it isn't really a sitcom. It is a narrative comedy drama and, when it unfolds, it is about the biggest thing in life.

It now needed a fantastic actor, who could do both comedy and tragedy. Dawn's first choice was Alfred Molina. Here are the emails between me and Pete, the Producer, about that:

"The scripts are now with Alfred Molina. We won't sign him, he's a Hollywood star, so while that pipe dream bubbles along I'll look at more realistic choices."

"Pete? I'm prepared to fly to LA on my own Barclaycard to persuade him if it would help?"

"No Beth. Don't think that would help."  

Then we signed him. I got such a shock. I got the news as I was getting on a train to Sunderland (where I'm from) and I kept trying to picture where he would've read the scripts: on a lounger by his swimming pool with a cigar? I imagined Fred would come into the rehearsal room in a baseball cap and dark glasses drawling things like, "is my car here yet?" But no!  Fred is shockingly un-moviestar-like and unassuming. So much so that when you do meet him and say things like, "Hello Alfred Molina, I've been told not to be star struck but please can I just say I can't believe you're in my show?" he really doesn't mind. He doesn't have a swimming pool though, because his wife likes a garden...

Being the writer of a new series that is about to go out is not relaxing. You feel a bit like you should go and get your hair done (why?) and a bit like you're going to the dentist and will definitely get a filling all at the same time. We hope you'll love 'Roger & Val' as much as the cast and crew did.  It's different.

Beth Kilcoyne co-wrote Roger and Val Have Just Got In with her sister Emma. Watch the first episode on Friday 6th August at 10pm on BBC Two.


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  • Comment number 1.

    All the best Beth and Emma. I can't imagine the anticipation and angst you must be feeling and am unlikely to experience it firsthand, that's for sure! But with strivers such as me in mind, and the rest of us who live vicariously through long-striders such as your good selves, I wish you every success and hope you enjoy the ride.

    Was that the doorbell? Toodle pip. xx

  • Comment number 2.

    Dawn French was once funny. This is awful. Nobody is listening.

  • Comment number 3.

    Self indulgent dross - what is going on? - who thought this was entertainment. The cameraman can't even hold a camera still - I'm starting to feel sea sick. Someone needs to tell these actors that they are missing the mark. I do hope Dawn hasn't surrounded herself with people that tell her that her product is fabulous darling! I think I just heard Dawn utter the words - "We're hopless", well said!

  • Comment number 4.

    I've just switched off this programme, having waited in vain for anything that might qualify as witty, humorous, comic, amusing or any other word that that nice Mr Roget might associate with the word comedy. I try to imagine a BBC executive watching this and saying "By gum, that's a lot of licence fees well spent," and can't. I long for a BBC sitcom I can look forward to of an autumn evening, and just feel saddened.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Never going to let this happen again" .... good, well said Dawn

  • Comment number 6.

    My husband and I watched this first episode and we were both completely glued ... it was sheer brilliance. Both Alfred Molina and Dawn French were completely believable. If you want Terry and June you won't find find it here - thank goodness. The comedy is subtle - it's comedy drama. Some of these reviews are at complete odds with what we thought - keep going there will be many who think it's groundbreaking and unmissable like us!

  • Comment number 7.

    Absolutely loved this. The script is the right side of quotidean and everyday whilst being witty and avoiding the triteness that others have mentioned. I thought the characterisation was spot on, as were the performances. Incredibly assured.

    The camerwork was not at all wonky, and I'm not sure exactly what was self indulgent about this. It's a comedy drama with the emphasis on the dialogue. Absolutely the sort of thing BBC should be making.

    I say this as a fan of US shows such as In Treatment, and I have no problem recommending this in the same breath - which is high praise in my book.

  • Comment number 8.

    This happened to be on while I was washing up. Within a minute I'd finished, but found myself standing in the kitchen for the whole episode, transfixed.

    I've registered just to say I'm saddened by the absurdly over the top negative comments on here, because this episode featured the best writing I've seen on tv for absolutely ages. Wonderfully subtle and perceptive, and you couldn't ask for better performances. Everyone involved should be proud. I'll be glad to watch the rest of the series.

  • Comment number 9.

    I absolutely loved this episode, emphasis on dialouge and when done well... frankly comedy doesn't need anything more. I agree, I enjoyed the subtle nuances between the two characters and you could totally believe they were a happily married couple. The scene at the end when Val tore up the garauntee after spending half an hour looking for it was laugh out loud funny for me :).
    Something different, something brave, something pulled off well in my opinion :).
    Thanks Emma, Beth, everyone involved and the BBC!

  • Comment number 10.

    Totally ignore the negative comments,- instead Congratulations on a brilliantly observed comedy drama/sitcom. Amazingly it was like watching ourselves, so much so I was sure it was a long, (but happily) married couple who had written it (not sisters). The comments in the first episode, guarantees, stuff in the drawer and on top of the wardrobe, the mundane stuff of everyday life, were so accurately observed and naturally acted that I suspect you have been bugging us. I look forward to the rest of the series.

  • Comment number 11.

    The Radio Times online description of this episode was spot on.
    And I quote:
    'It's not funny' and 'Nothing happens'.
    'Without Dawn French and Alfred Molina this would just fizzle out.'
    Not my words but the words of BBC RT online TV reviewer.
    I happen to agree.
    In sheer desperation I turned over to 'the other side' and watched 'Pete vs. Life' which was laugh out loud funny.
    If it hadn't been marketed as a sitcom maybe expectations wouldn't have been raised so high.
    I'll tune in again though; the words book and cover spring to mind, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

  • Comment number 12.

    Dawn tries to take her Dibley audience a few steps towards Samual Beckett - good luck with that Dawn, BBC1 audiences have trouble enough with BBC2, never mind something that encourages them to reflect a little on the content.

  • Comment number 13.

    It was lovely and substantial. A mini stage play. Why, just the other day I was looking through my filing cabinet (same as big box) and having similar thoughts. More please!

  • Comment number 14.

    Brilliant, I loved it. Funny, touching, insightful. Can't wait for the next episode.

  • Comment number 15.

    Great actors, fantastic and novel idea for a drama, but wasted on a DULL script. I felt impatient with the dialogue. I was not hooked by either words or character. For me identifying with the characters is not enough to make me interested. It seems to appeal to a very narrow audience. However, that was the first in the series. I hope the next one is better.

  • Comment number 16.

    The scripting, delivery and interplay between D and A was near flawless. Thoroughly engaging - the mundanity had no bearing on this. It was like a more thoughtful relative of Outnumbered in respect of it's domestic treatment and contemporary feel/newness. I found it to be a considerably richer viewing experience (theatrical) than average and imagine this is what puts some off. I've since watched the 'Esther phonecall' scene again and was laughing convulsively. Thanks for this and I genuinely hope you get the credit you and colleagues deserve.

  • Comment number 17.

    Neither of the characters were interesting enough to make me want to watch again.

  • Comment number 18.

    I loved it. Thirty minutes went by in a flash.

  • Comment number 19.

    @ #11

    "The Radio Times online description of this episode was spot on.
    And I quote:
    'It's not funny' and 'Nothing happens'.
    'Without Dawn French and Alfred Molina this would just fizzle out.'
    Not my words but the words of BBC RT online TV reviewer."

    I'm never usually Alison Graham's biggest fan but having read that mini-review of it, I think that actually she rather liked it. The 'it's not funny' is a rather accurate description of its style, as in, it's not trying to be in your face about how funny it is (although I did find it hilarious), and about it 'fizzling out', I can only see that as a compliment, she is in a sense saying that it hangs together on the back of their quality performances and is pretty ethereal and intangible, like all the best drama and comedy is.

    ..that's giving her the benefit of the doubt, which I am never prone to do.

  • Comment number 20.

    As a fan of Alfred Molina it was a surprise to see him in a comedy with Dawn French so I was excited on Thursday evening. I must say that I was glued to the TV. A great script around a Vacuum cleaner Guarantee!! Totaly believable characters and well acted as you would expect.
    Can't wait until next Tursday.

  • Comment number 21.

    @ #19
    How can you have a sitcom that's not in-your-face-funny?

    Oh I forgot...Lab Rats!

  • Comment number 22.

    the comedy in this was so fantastic, and me and my mum where glued at from start to end, and where literaly crying with laughter at vals plan to 'burn everything at the very last moment', 'awww'-ing at Rogers frustration at his phone call, and 'you do that'-ing at almost every thing else. my sister was so annoyed at us raving about it, that she decided to watch it herself, with exactly the same results. Im 13, my sister is 16, and my mum is 50, and it is one comedy we can all watch and enjoy together. Bravo Beth and Emma.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm sure there are plenty of up and coming comedy writers in need of a break spitting feathers right now. How dross like this got commissioned I'll never know.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    @ #21

    Haven't seen that, but there are plenty of different types of comedy and this is comedy with a backbone of well observed human drama behind it, it seemed to me.

    The comments on here are a bit baffling; I accept that comedy can be an incredibly subjective experience but I just saw this as a show about two people in a intimate relationship who are happy to share their foibles and flaws with each other. Some people like myself find the way they express themselves alongside the actor's performances to be witty and charming on top of that.

    I don't know if it relies on the audience having seen elements of those people in others, or themselves. I guess that was my experience when I watched it, even though I am much younger than Roger and Val, I've still had drawers filled with receipts and 'things', have had those kind of phone calls borne out of a moment of not-thinking-it-through, and like to share in the playful banter that they have with each other.

  • Comment number 27.

    Like Harmonica and others I am baffled as to why some people use such vitriolic language and have been so negative. I'm convinced it's going to be a grower.

    I watched, not knowing what to expect. I will admit to being nonplussed at first at the lack of belly laughs but, before I knew it, the half hour had gone and I was surprised. And I have a seriously reduced attention span due to toddleritis x 2.

    There's an enormous connection between the couple and I am amazed that some commenters could not see this. Astonished, even. Shared memories, learned patterns of behaviour, petty squabbles, silences and hints at what else is happening and has happened in their married life together. It's not difficult to see how much they rely on each other - indeed, cling to each other. Some couples do call each other by their names, do have places where they shove all unwanted but necessary paperwork and do force each other to speak on the phone when they don't want to.

    But that is not what this drama is about. It's about what you don't see, what these signs represent to a couple such as Roger and Val. I'm very much afraid we will be laughing through a tear or two by the end of the series.

    And I'm also rather afraid that many viewers will turn over and lose out because they're not being battered over the head either by a one-liner (though these are in evidence) or by an obvious plot. I wish they wouldn't.

    I will be watching, with my wife, to find out more.

  • Comment number 28.

    I am totally flummoxed at the negative comments as I loved the first episode. It's splendidly subtle, cleverly written, and I could totally relate to the guarantee palavar. Both D and A's characters were believable and lovable and I really can't wait for Friday!

  • Comment number 29.

    Two wonderful actors and a dreadful, dreadful script. It could be so good with Dawn French and Alfred Molina, but instead was so bad. I had to watch to the end to see if it improved, but it didn't. Things can hardly get worse, so I'm hoping the next episode will be better.

  • Comment number 30.

    Total rubbish and completely boring.
    How can anybody make positive comments? A total mystery?
    The BBC have now churned out numerous unfunny programs classed as comedies for some years now. The BBC no longer recognises what constitutes a comedy.

  • Comment number 31.

    This is the first time I've ever posted a comment on a blog. I watched this show last night, and I have had to post a comment before I go to work. This is about the most brilliant piece of telly I have seen in a long long time. I have too many memorable moments from it to list, but the end when she says she's going to use the ball they played with as the guarantee - BRILLIANT. I was absolutely mesmerised from start to finish. Brilliant brilliant performances and script. Can't wait for the next one. Don't understand the negative comments AT ALL. Except it's so refreshingly different it will probably confuse some people at first. Top marks BBC - this is what you SHOULD be doing.

  • Comment number 32.

    I found this SO boring, it was consigned to the Life of Riley category "things I wouldn't watch even if I was duct taped to a wall and had no other alternatives on offer."

    These people are so stupid it is a surprise that they could ever maintain a household at all. How is it amusing or entertaining to watch? I found it painful, boring, worse than watching nothing at all. Just hate it.

  • Comment number 33.

    But this is the point. If something is truely original some people love it and some people hate it. This show is really different than anything I've ever seen on tv. How many shows can you say that about? Even people who don't get it feel passionately. I love it. I never felt like this after My Family. I've never commented on a blog before. It's new and it's brilliant. Don't you get it? The focus on the child's chair at the end. It's all about what's going on underneath. Read the writer's next blog - I just have. She tells us as much.

  • Comment number 34.

    Sorry I feel like I watched an entirely different programme. I found it tediously dull, can't see any of the good stuff you see in it at all. It just seemed stupid, a brain-numbing exercise. The characters didn't seem real to me either, just caricatures of the terminally dull.

  • Comment number 35.

    I read the positive comments so thought I'd give it another go... Unfortunately, I'm right, they are wrong... this is not good. There is no comedy in this so called sit com. It's observation maybe... but neither are good enough actors to convince or bring the characters to life. It's a bunch of words delivered one after another. If I were to find this humerous i would also need to accept I am dull and have zero expectation of quality.

    I want to suddenly recognise art but can't see past the chaff. Dawn, this is not what you're good at... sorry.

  • Comment number 36.

    This is brilliant. Touching, funny, and very real. It's like watching myself and my partner on a bad day, or a good day, or an average day... Inspired, beautifully acted and just the right side of bitter sweet. Looking forward to next Friday.

  • Comment number 37.

    Possibly billing this as a sit com is throwing people. It's not a laugh out loud comedy, but comedy in its true sense from the Greek - drama with a happy ending. If you get past the fact that it's not hilarious, then you can sit back and enjoy the understated acting, and genius script. It really is lovely.

  • Comment number 38.

    We commented last week - this is not a sicom - it is a comedy drama about real life - for a lot of people (maybe not all) but most people will recognise themselves or someone they know. The BBC surely exists for this - perhaps not commercial for everyone (the country seems to be divided by Roger and Val!)

    The joy of this is precisely that it does not fit well established moulds - it is different - and for us at least it is one of the best things we've seen for ages. We will continue to watch and look forward to the next episode,

  • Comment number 39.

    This is the best thing I have seen on television for a long time. The comedy is subtle and shines forth from the interaction of these two characters. Their conversations are dual streams of consciousness that interweave so tightly its a delight to watch, but aside from all that, what I find most intriguing is that hint of mystery. What is it that has made Roger and Val the way they are? What happened? I'm completely hooked, on the comedy, the brilliance of these two superb actors, and that sense of something just under the surface.

  • Comment number 40.

    I saw Roger and Val for the first time last night just out of pure curiosity as my name happens to be Roger and my wife Valerie and as the show we live together generally just us two as the kids have now all left home. I must say that it was like watching a image of ourselves and it was both well written, researched and acted. I would call it a tougne-in-cheek drama with a generous splatting of humor. I think I was laughing at my own lifestyle
    Very clever and well done to all involved.


  • Comment number 41.

    What a gem ,a snapshot of humanity ,mundane endearing subtle and humerous.The cast of two is perfection,the writing sublime,a side of life that we can all understand.

  • Comment number 42.

    I don't often post comments on sites, but as good comedy writing is so rare at the moment, I feel obliged to add my appreciation.
    Great, great script - and great acting, directing (and photography and design also).

    The negative comments made so far do not seem to show much depth of analysis, so I think they can be disregarded - plus this is obviously going to be a bit of a slow burner, as so many great comedy classics can be.

    One thing it lacks (which personally I am grateful about) is the inevitable 'stooge' character who seems to turn up in every sitcom these days. The imbecile on the screen, who the imbeciles in front of the screen can laugh at and thereby use to divert attention from their own shortcomings. Think any dross by e.g. Richard Curtis (I loathe 'The Vicar of Dibley', and PTL that Dawn Franch has had the foresight to arrange and plan this far better testament to her acting abilities).

    Without the 'stooge' character, it may not gain a mass audience share (even 'One Foot in the Grave' had Mrs Warboys) but I'm sure the figures should be decent even if it takes a second series.

    Thanks again.

  • Comment number 43.

    This series is one of the best things I have seen in a long time. Only two episodes so far but have both been deeply charming and very funny.

    Thank you to all involved.

    The love-it/hate-it divide in these comments is striking. Chalk another one up to the 'love-it' side.

  • Comment number 44.

    I caught the second episode half way through on Friday, just as I was trying to walk out of the living room. I sat transfixed, and then watched the first episode on iplayer and am totally hooked. I've told everyone about it and have now joined the facebook page as well. It is so wonderful to see something of this quality on TV in a half an hour slot. Both actors are wonderful, and the script is heavenly. Thank you, thank you, more more please.

  • Comment number 45.

    Roger and Val have just got in and i am glad - it is brilliantly written brilliantly played and i am captivated and can't wait for the next episode.
    Dawn and Alfred and just like a normal married couple - each rambling on in their own way but totally together - keep it up.

  • Comment number 46.

    Superb, laughed out loud from start to finish, and my husband did too. I've only just seen the second episode and will hopefully get the first on i-player. Refreshing, insightful and gentle comedy, I'm very glad to have had my licence money spent on this. I sensed a tragic undertone and guess there might be some tears at the end but with such fantastic acting and brilliant writing I'm in for the duration, well done to all concerned.

  • Comment number 47.

    Bravo - I am hooked, what a good show. I watched Roger and Val the other night, like it so much I caught the first episode on iplayer the next evening. Had to post a comment to say how much I enjoyed the funny but mundane, the acting and the writing are brilliant. Thank yous
    for making me smile.
    Cannot wait for the next episode.

  • Comment number 48.

    A comedy? - must look up the dictionary as I thought a comedy programme was meant to be funny. And the lighting?! - why is everything so dark and gloomy? People desperately looking for a receipt - in near darkness? I could get the same "comedy" or "drama" by eavesdropping on my neighbour. Does that make this programme good, or BB-type garbage? I get the impression people are trying hard to justify a forgettable over-wrought waste of 30 mins just because of the well-known actors. Had they been unknowns, it would be totally panned.
    Someone or some committee has been trying too hard in the production of this thing - and failed utterly. If I want mundane, observation, etc - I have real life on my doorstep. This programme is not funny, interesting or entertaining in any way. It is depressing.

  • Comment number 49.

    This is the best new sit com my parnter and I have seen in years!! The negative comments have all missed the point of Roger and Val, do they not remember the kind of pathos that shows like The Good Life and One Foot in the Grave had? This is the first time I've commented on a website as Roger and Val MUST have a second series! Friday cannot come fast enough, Dawn and Alfred are perfect for the roles and they make becoming a middle aged couple look quite sexy....
    Plaese we must have more... if not the fish fingers will become "A symptom of my malaise!"

  • Comment number 50.

    I just watched the second episode on BBCiPlayer. Really enjoyed it, both characters were instantly likeable and I believed them. The humour was there, but was natural so that it fitted into the dialogue without seeming clunky and ""sitcom"". Don't think I've watched anything in realtime before, I like the idea, it seemed as though I was a fly on the wall of a next-door neighbour- so my attention was held throughout! Everybody loves a good nosy!!
    Very amusing, inventive and well acted, I will be tuning in for the next show :-) This is the sort of programme that TV money should be spent on!

  • Comment number 51.

    Beth, Dawn & Alfred, thank you! I've just watched the second episode, re the Unglamorous Row - even better than the last!!! Do you ever experience that wonderfully satisfied/sated feeling when you see a good piece of theatre? That's how I feel right now. I have dined on a wonderful feast of Roger and Val and feel pleasantly plump. TRULY INSPIRING!

  • Comment number 52.

    This is without doubt the best thing I've seen on television in a long, long time. I've never ever even thought of posting any comments online before, so I suppose that just goes to show how utterly brilliant I think this is.
    It's subtle and gentle and real. And after it ends you feel better. I think that's about the fact that the programme really and honsetly shows what it's like to be a human being - that we are all in the midst of stuggling and muddling through life. And it also get's straight to the heart of the matter - relationships. And that it's the little, sometimes unspoken, things that happen between two people that really matter and make us what we are .
    The writers deserve many prizes. But a little word of warning - if there's a second series, please don't spoil it!

  • Comment number 53.

    Love the show! Dawn and Alfred make normality funny, it's just like listening to my parents.

  • Comment number 54.

    I find this lovely and understated. Very engaging, I've only watched one episode and I want to see how those evenings in progress.

  • Comment number 55.

    Just watched the 3rd episode, wish I hadn't.

    It was great until the end now I can't bring myself to iplayer the 1st two.

    I just don't think the tradegedy is needed, we are just like them and we have two happy children.

  • Comment number 56.

    I simply don't understand the negative comments. This show is the best thing I've seen on tv for ages because it's honest.

    Thank you for this subtle comedy that I guess is a lot like marmite.

  • Comment number 57.

    I have watched all the episodes of Roger and Val. The first episode, I must confess, I did think "What is going on?". I watched it because of the cast, being a fan of both actors.

    Having watched subsequent episodes I have recognized the brilliance of the writing and the portrayal of Roger and Val. The obvious comfort with themselves and of each other shine through with the performances,. The topics are wonderful representation of what would, and does, affect 'real' couples.

    Congratulations to all concerned in this wonderful production.

  • Comment number 58.

    Just watched the 20th August episode and read some of the above posts. Sadly I use real humour as my benchmark when judging new material. Humour like Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Hello Hello and so on. Those programmes were funny, you know laugh at funny lines, situations and actions, presented by comedy actors that no one doubts are masters of their art. Clearly whoever brought this series to the screen has never read a really funny script because if they had this load of unfunny tosh would never have seen the light of day. Some of the other comments indicate that I am not alone in this view. However most of you are suffering from "The Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome I believe the current phrase is "Get Real". The both the actors are known to be capable of raising a mid range script to an acceptable level. This series requires a Lazarus to raise it from the dead. I didn't like it, can you tell?

  • Comment number 59.

    So far I am loving the world of Roger & Val "just getting in" and hope there is a second series in the pipeline. One of those wonderfully down to earth comedies in the same daily life ilk as The Royle Family but without (as someone else has already noted) the "stooge" who is the butt of all jokes and sets up some obvious plot or one liner. Nothing about this show is obvious, it is subtle and warm with thoroughly likeable characters. Give me this over My Family or Life Of Riley type comedies with wobbly sets and canned laughter anyday!!

  • Comment number 60.

    I love this it isn't laugh out loud but subtle and real. I don't want them to be in trouble at work and such like. I want them to be happy. It is comforting comedy. Well done

  • Comment number 61.

    Brilliant. Very witty and superbly understated.

  • Comment number 62.

    I wasn't sure about this to start off with but thought it may be a grower and I am more impressed every week. This week was more like my husband and I than most tv programmes and after watching the ending I think we may be able to relate more over the next few episodes. This programme makes me sit and smile and I think we'll be shedding a few tears before the series ends. Beautifully written and looking forward to seeing more of Beth and Emma's work.

  • Comment number 63.

    Any idea where Dawn's characters reading glasses are from?

  • Comment number 64.

    I have seen all episodes so far & I am enthralled with this series! Me & hubby both love it. Can't wait for next week! It's very well written & the actors are great. I think some people don't think it's comedy because there is no inane laughter telling them when to laugh. Well done.

  • Comment number 65.

    quirky, uncommercial, unputdownable - I don't mind my licence fee going on this

  • Comment number 66.

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new show, the acting is truly wonderful I have laughed at the obsurdity of everyday life and can appreciate the first 30 minutes of getting home with a partner. It is possible to see the deep down tragedy that has touched their lives and I think there will be some tears before the end.

    Please keep writing this type of quality comedy/drama and the casting is a gift. Well done!!

  • Comment number 67.

    wanted to know more after watching the end of tonights episode, and feel i need to comment after being suprised to read negative comments. I thought it was wonderfully written, I am repeating some of the praise on here but it was beautifully subtle and so real, yes it didn't make me belly laugh out loud but it made me smile, chuckle and feel emotional. It reminded me of 'talking heads' and that in my opinion is great praise. It also didn't feel too arty or clever just genuine.
    Maybe the negative comments are from people who just haven't experienced the love of the mundane, those moments when as a couple you are aware of how dull your conversation is but it just doesn't matter because you are happy!! It has that awkward comedy running through it that the office had, I think this appeals to anyone who enjoys people watching!!

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm sorry but some of the comments on here are just so annoying...not all comedy has to be in your face or even laugh out loud, wee your pants, slip on the banana skin...

    Roger and Val, is subtle, perceptive, clever and whilst you watch it you think...actually how funny life is and the silly things we all do behind closed doors with our loved one.

    I can relate to me and my partner doing some on the silly, sweet, funny, a bit crazy and mundane things that they show in Roger and Val, things that you only do in the comfort of the person you really trust, who will always have a good opinion of you in the end no matter what. If you don't see that then you must be lacking imagination, just some of the facial expressions of both of the characters say so much.

    In this instant gratification obsessed world, it's nice to see something that requires a bit of thought to understand and appreciate for a change.

  • Comment number 69.

    I couldn't watch the first episode of this, I just didn't get it and turned over.

    I was drawn back to the second episode and began to understand the relationship between Roger and Val.

    Now I am completely hooked. It completely relects, though in a comedic/dramatic way, the reality of a long-term happy marriage. I even shed a tear at the end tonight, with the photo. More, please.

  • Comment number 70.

    Wonderfully written, brilliantly acted - but I think calling it a 'sit-com' is under-selling it! This is in a 'comedy' genre all of its own: beautifully observed, full of pathos and compelling to watch it provokes rueful chuckles rather than belly-laughs and all the better for it. And there's something so sad about it all, even when we're chuckling! Compulsive viewing! Congratulations!

  • Comment number 71.

    This is sheer brilliance. Well done all concerned.

  • Comment number 72.

    I registered specifically to add another voice of praise, against the negative comments I've read here. RAVHJGI is one of the most exciting pieces of television I've seen on the BBC in recent years - not exciting in having lots of explosions, but in trusting to excellent writing and wonderful actors with a charismatic relationship to hold an audience's attention for half an hour.

    I'm recommending Roger and Val to everyone I know: I've been comparing its gentle acceptance of human foibles and quirky comedy to Northern Exposure, another classic that's easy to underestimate. The writing is so smart: gently drawing out its themes - The Guarantee was brilliantly written, moving from the search for a Hoover guarantee to the more tenuous kinds of guarantee we ask from other human beings: to be there for us, to remember our shared pasts...

    Roger and Val isn't flashy, and it's all the better for that. Unlike some more formulaic TV I've been watching every episode twice or three times to catch every nuance. Sorry to offend but I suspect some people just aren't quite smart enough to understand what's going on in it.

  • Comment number 73.

    Wow this really polarised people didn't it. For me roger and Val is absolutely brilliant. It won't make me laugh out loud, it's more subtle than that - but it is a neat observation and certainly made me smile big regularly.

    Congratulations to the BBC, I think this was a risk but for me it worked. Captivating television.

  • Comment number 74.

    My boyfriend and I are really enjoying this series which is gentle, heart-warming, at times very true to life but also constructed enough to be thought-provoking. The final close-up of the photo at the end of yesterday's programme indicated some very poignant scenes ahead. Having watched both programmes, I cannot believe that ANYONE is enjoying the pedestrian sub 'Two Pints of Lager...' dross that is Pete Vs Life. But each to their own.

  • Comment number 75.

    What a joy this new programme is. Wonderfully intuitive writing and top grade acting. I was hooked from the first episode. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The two young writers have excelled themselves with the script and the the natural acting talents of Dawn and Alfred have resulted in a timeless little gem. I love the way that each little story can stand on it's own. Well done to all involved!

  • Comment number 76.

    At last! A little programme hidden away late at night for us few little people who do not need the endless mindless fly on the wall programmes about real people e.g. big brother, come dine with me, can fat teens hunt OMG. Yes this is fly on the wall but what the writers have done is created two more real people than all these other programmes put together. The interaction and seemly mediocre lives of these two lovely people is marvellous. More real than the real people. Brilliant!

  • Comment number 77.

    This is the one of the best programmes on the BBC for many years; the only criticism would be that it has been called a comedy.
    As half of a middle-aged couple its observation of a middle-aged couple are accurate to the point where it becomes almost disturbing to watch!
    The hints of such a detailed back-story are intriguing (and we have only had three episodes), yes there is a hint of tragedy in their past but we will have to wait and see.
    The revelation of the series has been Dawn French - anything she has done outside F&S has always seemed to be her exaggerated jolly fat persona, we now have it confirmed that she can act!
    To see Alfred Molina as an ordinary person is something of a revelation too, having seen him in many roles from Prick Up Your Ears onwards I should not really have been surprised.
    Comedy is of course subjective - for everyone who thinks Only Fools And Horses is brilliant there are people like me who think it is over-rated rubbish. It is interesting that all the negative comments here are from people who either were expecting some kind of visual comedy (probably from the Jeremy Beadle comedy of cruelty school) or those who must live lives like Big Brother contestants as they complain they can't identify with the characters and their life.
    One final plaudit - the set, is it a real house or an outstanding example of the set dressers art? Either way they, along with everyone else, deserve a BAFTA!

  • Comment number 78.

    Love it. Love it. Love it.

    Having tuned in for the 3rd episode first (I tend to arrive at these shows at least 3 episodes behind everyone else), choosing to pre-record it on the old Sky+, i took to Roger and Val with a mug of tea and a chocolate biscuit and found myself more drawn in with each passing moment.

    There is an element of, 'This couple aren't actually all that interesting' and it does creep up on you about half way through, but it it's that element exactly which warmed me so much to them. The need for people to be exceptionally, 'in your face'all the time, in their own homes, during the day-to-day moments of life is unrealistic and actually somewhat gaudy.

    I felt Roger and Val were wonderfully like real people, displaying exactly what we love in our dearest friends. In the honesty and familiarity of the writing you find what is really lovely and wonderful in everyday life. Well done to the writers, producers, and actors who have come together to create this lovely half hour, once a week.

    I'll look forward to my little dose each week and find lots of relief in the absence of a laughter track, cartoon colours and over-the-top innuendo.

    Like I said - Love it. Love it. Love it.

  • Comment number 79.

    I love the way this drama portrays the reality of life of a long-time married couple. There are times when nothing much happens and in real life, we do talk in a shorthand because we know our shared history.
    It is really refreshing not to be spoon-fed every detail, but actually to be permitted to unravel some of this couple's history for ourselves. I was not surprised when the photograph was finally revealed - the pathos and shared sadness was there for any who chose to see it.

    Dawn French and Alfred Molina are sensational in their portrayal of this ordinary couple.

    I think some of the criticism has been levelled because Dawn French is such a tremendous comedienne some may forget that she is also an amazing actress.

    What a treat! Thank you for giving us a grown-up comedy.

  • Comment number 80.

    I cannot understand why some people are so negative about this wonderful series. Intelligent script and superb acting. Funny, real and moving. I love it and have told everyone I know who hasn't seen it what a gem this is. Please don't let the writers, crew and performers be discouraged by all those viewers who have completely missed the point. We need more programmes like this.

  • Comment number 81.

    Anthing new and different always divides people as seen by the comments for 'Roger and Val'. People who think it's boring, dull and unfunny obviously don't understand it! It is a brilliant study of a relationship, beautifully and sensitively written with a deep understanding of how people communicate. It's dark and funny and has deep undercurrents of pathos - just like most people's lives, seemingly boring but there's no such thing as an 'ordinary person'. I think it's quite the best thing on TV at the moment, congratualtions to Beth, Emma, Dawn and Alfred - a gold nugget amongst the dross!

  • Comment number 82.

    I do hope that there will be a second series. I started watching it because I like both Alfred Molina and Dawn French. I think it is acutely observed, realistic and as with most comedies/comedy dramas there is an undercurrent of personal and private tragedy that is being revealed as the weeks go by. I think it's a shame that it wasn't mentioned when Alfred Molina was a guest on The One Show recently. As others have commented, it's probably a slow-burner and I hope that the writers and actors (et al) are encouraged by the positive feedback. Each to his own I suppose but this is so much more believable and realistic than Life of Riley (much as I like Neil Dudgeon)or My Family. 'Val and Roger have just got in' and 'Outnumbered' are two of the best 'comedy' offerings of recent years.

  • Comment number 83.

    I watched the first episode going up to London on the Brighton Express. Sadly I became distracted by the same scenery I always see and this bland, conversational, weak idea just fizzled out and became background noise. Some writers make the inconsequential interesting (The Royle Family) but looking for a vacuum cleaner receipt doesn't rate amongst them. Roll on the full series of Getting On, I say.

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm really sorry for those who don't get this - it's totally he best thing on TV. Superbly touching, so bittersweet, funny and real. Woke up last night laughing about it. Can't wait until the next episode.

  • Comment number 85.

    It is obvious from the posts here that the audience for this show is very polarised. I have to say I come down firmly on the side of the "Love it" camp! Having just watched the last episode and that very poignant shot of the photograph I can't wait for more of the back story to be revealed.

  • Comment number 86.

    It's because you have to really listen that some people don't "get it". You really have to concentrate - like watching a movie. In other words it's not moving wallpaer. Hallefreakinlujah for Roger and Val! More more more!

  • Comment number 87.

    Absolutely brilliant!! It is not easy to say so much in such an understated way. Anyone who thinks this series is not good, probably does not understand 'subtle'. Maybe also one has to have experienced life a little to see the deeper side to this series.
    So much said in such bland conversation.

  • Comment number 88.

    Fresh and sharp at last.
    Roger and Val is inspired.
    thanks BBC!

  • Comment number 89.

    I love this comedy drama. It is subtle, quietly funny, and is very real [so much so, I can hear my husband and I making some of the remarks]. It is building their story gently - no ghastly East Enders shrieking and violence - and I wait for each episode now with anticipation. It has the feeling of Alan Ayckbourn's Talking Heads, and should also get a special mention for not having music all the time. I would like to see it get a prize, but because not many people will understand or bother with the delicate writing.
    Congratulations to all concerned with this, the comedy drama of the year!

  • Comment number 90.

    Great show, love it and can't wait for the next episode. I don't usually go on blogs ect but felt the need to comment after seeing some of the negative comments. More shows like this please.Well done all involved

  • Comment number 91.

    Like many others, I was so irritated by the negative feedback for 'Roger & Val' that I just had to register immediately to say; this is a GEM of a programme.

    We're all too used to instant gratification and are spoilt by 'dumbed-down' viewing - which this programme is not.

    Dawn French and Alfred Molina are just brilliant - as is the writing. I can't wait for the second series.

    Well Done all concerned!

  • Comment number 92.

    Back again.
    i am sad to say i have found one thing wrong with roger and val :O!
    (pause for dramatic affect)
    the clasification as a 'sit-com'
    sit-com's unrealistic,in your face trash that has to tell you when to laugh. In fact a situation is,and i quote:

    'a set of circumstances in which one finds oneself; a state of affairs'.

    would one find oneself, and again, i quote 'an accidental time traveller who leads a double life after discovering a time portal allowing one to travel between the London of the 1990s and the same area during the Second World War.'? or Quote
    'an on-board radiation leak of cadmium II kills everyone except for you, a low-ranking technician , who is in suspended animation at the time, and your pregnant cat, who is safely sealed in the cargo hold.Following the accident, the ship's computer keeps you in stasis until the background radiation dies down—a process that takes three million years.[ you therefore emerges as the last human being in the universe—but not alone on-board the ship. your former bunkmate and immediate superior is resurrected by the ships computer as a hologram to keep you sane.'?

    so, infact the whole sit-com status wrong, not roger and val (hoora!)

  • Comment number 93.

    Drivel. What is happening to BBC comedy?

  • Comment number 94.

    Count me in the "Love it!" camp as well. What a beautiful show!

  • Comment number 95.

    Just seen the latest episode of this beautiful show and was really moved. The writers have got the sadness and humour of real life just right. Thank you.

  • Comment number 96.

    This is a really brilliant experiment in delayed gratification. Stick with it you impatient lot and the rewards are there and better for the waiting. You saw the Wire, right? Tonight's show was just brilliant and the hints of where it was going have been there under the surface.

    So if you had anything to do with commissioning, producing, writing or acting, catering, making tea, pr etc etc - good on you.

    BBC, please give me MORE of this kind of slow burning, high quality, original, life affirming/questioning, challenging brilliance.

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm only 16 and I'm not sure I get most of the comedy. But I think that this was by far the funniest episode. The cagoules made me laugh. And I was in tears by the end of the show. I think Alfred and Dawn have done a great job. I wasn't sure that the show was good until this episode but I'm completely swayed now. It's an amazing and I can't wait until next Friday.

  • Comment number 98.

    I've been really enjoying this programme, and tonight I watched it with my partner for the first time and now he's hooked as well. I love the realism and everydayness of the programme, it's refreshing and easy to watch without being a 'throw-away' programme. Roger and Val are likeable and believable, and my goodness, the first time their loss was hinted at I just felt for them- and I feel that the progression of information about that loss has been delicate, realistic, and heartbreaking. I will be glued to this series, and hope that there will be another after the current run ends. If it makes any difference, myself and my partner are in our mid-20's.

  • Comment number 99.

    I love Rodger and Val it is very clever I find it really deep but it also makes me smile. Well done

  • Comment number 100.

    I love it - intelligent, poignant, observant, gentle. beautifully acted - superbly written. Highlight of my week. Tonight's episode when Dawn cried at the table made me cry – thank you so much for writing this


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