“Posh girls don’t hit people”
Series 1 of Suburban Shootout was something of a pleasant surprise, a rather mental British TV series set in the idyllic country village of Little Stempington which is the scene of secret gang warfare between two rival groups of housewives. The first season finished on something of a cliff-hanger and that is where things pick up, with Joyce Hazeldine having to pick up the mantle of leader of the ‘good’ group after Anna Chanceller’s utterly fierce Camilla framed her bitter rival Felicity Montagu’s Barbara Du Prez.
What follows is essentially more of the same, except it just isn’t quite as funny as before, certainly not as compelling now that the novelty has worn off and the writing sadly just feels largely uninspired. The major storyline follows the attempt to get a supercasino built on some treasured wetlands, Barbara’s trials in prison and the struggles of Camilla and Joyce to keep control of their respective situations. But it’s over in six quick episodes and to little real impact. And worst of all, Ruth Wilson is hardly in it.
My disappointment of Wilson not being featured more aside, there’s a definite sense of not knowing what to do with the characters of Jewel and Bill. They are barely featured across the series and when they are, it is scarcely connected to the main thrust of the show, their presence almost an afterthought. There’s some funny business with Jewel wearing Bill’s boxers and the randomness of her audition pieces which borrow from well-known films, but all in all a poor show for Wilson-spotting. Elsewhere though, Sarah Solemani’s rough girl cellmate Donna is a lively presence throughout and there’s amusing support from John Marquez as a sleazy Colombian cop and highly amusingly, Sarah Greene as a fight club-hungry housewife.
But overall this was a poor showing for a second series of something which had shown some initial promise, and it is not hard to see how it did not make it to a third series.