Employees of the month
The calibre of staff at Valco is incredible. Lurking behind the meat counter is head butcher Andy, played by Mark Addy, who you may know as King Robert Baratheon from Game of Thrones. Store manager Gavin is Jason Watkins, who will have given you the willies as vampire leader Herrick in Being Human and as toy shop owner Peter Bishop in Pyschoville. Talking of terror, behind the delicatessen there's Margaret, played by Rita May, who was in possibly the most frightening play the BBC ever showed, Threads. But don't have nightmares, you'll recognise Rita as Connie, the post-Rita love interest of Jack Duckworth from Coronation Street, or from her eleven-year stint as auxiliary nurse Mags in Children's Ward. And, of course, there's Jane Horrocks as assistant store manager Julie.
Plus, there's a host of catch-them-while-you-can young upstarts, like Chanel Cresswell from This is England as kiosk girl Katie, Joel Fry from Plebs as store idiot Leighton, and, playing Colin, Carl Rice of, “Acrington Stanley, who are they?” fame. Ask your mum.
Off the shop floor
If we learned anything from The Mitchell and Webb Situation it's that no matter how good the actors, if the writing isn't any any cop, the show won't be either (come on, it was no Peep Show). Fortunately for Trollied, the backstage line-up is laced with the upper crust of British TV talent. The lead writer is Julie Rutterford, who has Shameless, Teachers and Ashes to Ashes on her CV. It's directed by Paul Walker, the man in the green chair for Shameless, and is produced by Ash Attalla who worked his production magic on The Office and The IT Crowd.
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But does this list of great cast and crew add up to a show of wry observation, pathos, and laughs? Well that leads us to...
Buy into one romance, get three free
Trollied is funny. From customer services professionals Sue and Linda (Lorraine Cheshire and Faye McKeever) cracking up over the tannoy, to people doing unspeakable things with produce, it's a hoot. Did we mention that it's rude and sweary too? Gosh, it's rude and sweary. But while you'll come for the laughs, what will make you a repeat customer is the relationships. Eight sets of eyes have met over the counters of low budget store Valco, and watching their romances develop (or not) will have you signing up for a loyalty card.
Julie has the hots for Gavin, an attraction which could turn fatal if he continues to fend off her checkout charms. Katie and assistant butcher Kieran (Nick Blood) are meant for each other, despite him being in a relationship with someone who's obviously wrong for him (think Tim and Dawn from The Office). At the end of the Christmas special they had a little smooch, so maybe they will become more than just workmates. The Christmas special also left annoying-but-adorable kiosk attendant Neville (Dominic Coleman) on a promise with Katie. And surly shop assistants Colin and Linda (Beverly Rudd) have been doing filthy things in the frozen food all the way through the second series.
So, go on, get Trollied this season, and let Valco be the supermarket that sweeps you off your feet.
Trollied returns to Sky1 on Thursday 22 August at 9pm