If Friends is all about the enviable, dream flat-share, Crashing is about precisely the opposite. In fact, after just one episode of Channel 4’s new series, your tiny rented hovel may suddenly seem much more appealing.
Centred around a group of people who avoid London’s ridiculous rental prices by being property guardians, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s first sitcom is a funny, smart series about an incredibly modern way of living.
‘Property guardians’ are basically cheap security: they make their homes in disused buildings, promise to keep them clear of vandals, and get cheap rent deals in return. A good deal right? Well…
Kate (Louise Ford) and Anthony (Damien Molony) are engaged, and saving money for their wedding by living with lots of other people in a disused hospital — where there are positives, but also plenty of nightmarish things too.
It looks pretty stressful, sharing a bathroom with 20 other people in which light fittings collapse into the bath, cabinets fall off the wall and people can be a bit… odd.
It’s just like university halls, except these are all fully(ish) formed adults, so they’ve all got extra emotional baggage.
But despite the near-lethal bathroom fittings, things are relatively functional – until Anthony’s oldest friend, played by Waller-Bridge, moves in. Long-haired, spontaneous, ukelele-playing Lulu is the sort of woman who makes slightly less spontaneous, more neurotic people with short hair like Kate (and yours truly) feel very afraid. This makes for great comedy, as Kate tries to act very Cool Girl about Lulu’s unnervingly close relationship with Anthony – and fails spectacularly.
The setting of a disused hospital means there’s space for lots of intriguing characters to develop and have their own storylines, a little like the house-share set-up of Fresh Meat. Particularly entertaining are Melody (Julie Dray) who plays a seductive teacher/artist, and vain, womanising estate agent Sam (Jonathan Bailey) who delivers the excellent line, “I’m an estate agent so I’m allowed to be a twat. What’s your excuse?”.
There’s also Colin (Adrian Scarborough) who plays a middle-aged divorcé suddenly thrust into the weird, awkward madness, and the quiet, twitchy Fred (Amit Shah).
Crashing deserves to be a big hit, and I can imagine it having a long and happy life. But if you’re not entirely enamoured with the first episode, make sure you see episode two. The series only gets funnier and smarter – and will leave you wondering what this weird group of adults will be getting up to next week in their temporary hospital home.