When Peter Kay announced that series two of Car Share would be previewed at The Opera House Theatre, Blackpool, it was always going to be a sellout. So did it live up to the hype? In the end, the answer was a resounding yes.
So why in the end? The event kicked off with a repeat of the final episode of series one. Whilst the audience being comprised mostly of diehard fans, this was guaranteed a reasonable reception. It was a great idea in theory; “movie marathon” events being such a popular feature of franchise releases such as Twilight. However, in this case, it felt a little like paying money to see something we were already familiar enough with. This didn’t detract too much from the overall evening, it just felt like a rather slow start.
When the new material was eventually unleashed with episode one of the new series, it was interesting to see how supermarket colleagues, John and Kayleigh, would play out their roles given that they were no longer car sharing. This fact had been pre-released ahead of the event, and had posed some worrying questions for fans. I won’t ruin it for you with any spoilers, but it is safe to say that the storyline is handled elegantly in a way that gradually builds up to the climax in the finale episode.
After the interval, two more episodes were aired and then Peter Kay took to the stage and thanked everyone for attending. And then we got to see the fourth and final episode of the series. Yes, you read that correctly, there are only four episodes in this series, though Peter Kay did say the door was left open to do more. Finally he and Sian Gibson (Kayleigh) took to the stage to close a great night and received rapturous applause.
So what can be said about the upcoming Car Share episodes. They are very well written and acted. It certainly doesn’t feel like a series that has “jumped the shark” yet. I am particularly impressed by some of the comic details in continuity sequences, non-essential but adding to the laugh factor, along with the well observed satire of local commercial radio. It is this attention to detail and tight crafting that has made Car Share one of the greatest modern British sitcoms, and it was great to see the tradition of series one of it being previewed in Blackpool continued.
The first episode of series 2 will air on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday 11 April. The rest of the series will be available immediately afterwards on BBC iPlayer, with episodes airing on BBC1 every Tuesday.
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