Anybody who has read some of my previous posts will know about my love for Jo Brand. She has a fantastic dry humour and strong streak of self-depreciation, without sinking into self-pity or cruelty. For all her frustration at the world, she is never hurtful and offers a glimmer of hope. Getting On and Going Forward were great examples of this. As nurse/carer Kim Wilder, Brand depicted someone weighed down by bureaucracy and other modern evils, but who still cared about those around her, be they patients or family.

There is a similar tone in her new sitcom Damned, set in a social services office. As with her previous work, where she drew on her time as a mental health nurse, she uses her insight into this world to create a real picture for the viewers, this time through her mum’s career. There is also the searing political streak of an industry cut to the bone financially.

As with her other work, there is a dark humour at play. Some of the funniest moments come in the opening establishing shots, where snapshots of phone calls from people are played, from the ridiculous query of how much alcohol is safe for a 12-year-old to drink, to the actually quite horrific of repeated abuse from a gang. It is slightly uncomfortable at times, but it needs to be. There’s no point making a comedy about social services if you paint with the stereotype of a bunch of earth mother’s or dragons with clipboards swooping on families. Instead, we are shown a system that is being stretched both my penny pinching and the fecklessness of the people that try to use it.

Another highlight of the show is the meetings. The most recent episode had a debate over whether it was safe to give a baby ice cream, which led to the bizarre exchange with the temp: ‘What flavour ice cream was it?’ she asks. When Alan Davies’ character (who is brilliant, by the way) asks, ‘Why does that matter?” she replies with, “Well, if it’s tutti frutti it might class as one of their five-a-day’ with a straight face that only people who are unaware of their own dimness can achieve.

And the glimmer of hope? The fact that some of the people the social workers interact with genuinely want the help and want to learn enough so they no longer need it. In the most recent episode, a couple with learning difficulties prove themselves to be good parents when they take it upon themselves to actually find out what they should feed their baby, with Alan Davies desperately trying to ensure that his more draconian superiors don’t swoop in and take the child away before they have the chance to learn. It’s a bit of warmth in a challenging environment.

This show won’t be for everyone. It is that little bit too real for those who like their comedies to be about happy families doing ridiculous things. But for those of us that can stomach the sharpness, it is fantastic. Brand’s golden touch continues, it seems.

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