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According to Bex
On paper, a new BBC One sitcom by the creator of My Family (Fred Barron) and starring Jessica Stevenson (co-writer and star of Spaced) sounded like a must-watch combination.
Unfortunately According to Bex turned out to be a case of the whole not matching the sum of its parts.
Stevenson played Bex Atwell, a young PA who struggles in vain to find contentment at work, in love and with her family.
She's constantly forced to juggle her efforts to find Mr Right with attending to the (often bizarre) needs of her slimy boss Charles, her divorcee dad Jack, and her well-meaning but inconsiderate ex-boyfriend Ryan.
And if that wasn't enough to be dealing with, Bex keeps getting led astray by her work colleagues, being pulled in different directions by the man-hungry Chris and bitchy assistant Jan.
The show did have original ideas and attempted to vary the traditional sitcom format by breaking up the narrative with Bex's intermittent flights of fancy and regular monologues which she'd deliver to camera - wondering about such issues as what men really want - before these rhetorical questions would get answered by supposed people in the street during staged 'vox pops'.
Despite the innovative concepts, though, these sequences ended up looking gimmicky, mainly because Bex's character itself was under-written and unmemorable, leaving the feeling that Stevenson's undoubted talent as a comic actress was being wasted.
As with My Family, each episode was in fact worked on by a team of writers, following the template of US sitcoms (especially Friends), but even with this pedigree the joke count in According to Bex was surprisingly low.
The show wasn't a hit with viewers and only ran for one series before finding its place in the graveyard of short-lived BBC One mainstream sitcoms.
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