TV Review: Things You Should Have Done

The presence of Sinéad Matthews inevitably draws me to new offbeat comedy Things You Should Have Done

“Oh my God, this is my dead sister’s bedroom”

It won’t come as any surprise to regular readers that my main reason for watching Lucia Keskin’s Things You Should Have Done was the presence of Sinéad Matthews in half of its six episodes and I’m glad it did, for I don’t know if I would have given it a shot otherwise. It is one of those lo-fi, offbeat, blacker-than-black comedies that you half-expect Julia Davis to pop up in, making you gasp as much as giggle, but Keskin proves she can amuse and appal just as much as the rest of them.

She stars as the highly deadpan Chi who, in the opening moments of the show, discovers that her parents have been killed in a car crash but whose main concern is who is going to get the tea on. She may be a young adult but she’s been happily living at home without a shred of ambition to do anything much and so is a little put out to be presented with a list of things she needs to do in order to prove she’s mature enough to inherit the house.

What follows is a highly surreal chain of events as even the simplest of tasks take the wildest of turns. Learning to drive, getting a job, learning to cook, all are used as a springboard to explore a highly idiosyncratic take on life and also, in a measured and moving way, grief. The show has moments of just being straight up odd but Jack Clough’s direction keeps everything moving at a clip so we’re rarely lingering too long in anywhere too strange.

Keskin is ably assisted by a great supporting cast who have great fun in delving into the twisted family dynamic here. Selin Hizli is a hoot as Chi’s fractious Aunt Karen who has her eyes on the house she sees as her rightful inheritance. Daniel Fearn and Jamie Bisping are tenderly sweet as her husband Dave and son Lucas respectively, navigating her forceful personality and Sinéad Matthews arrives with all the tingling force of mint shower gel as Dave’s ex Michelle and her dreams of an orgy. Quirky in the extreme, it’s well worth a shot. 

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