Lancashire has a lot to proud of – the beautiful countryside, the great food scene around the county, and now, it seems, Chorley’s own Joseph Gilgun.
Gilgun co-created and stars in Brassic (Sky One, Thursdays, 10pm) a tale of ne’er-do-wells and chancers in smalltown Lancashire.
It’s funny, profane, and has heart a mile wide.
Yes, it’s a romantic view of working class life, with it’s witty, loquacious central characters, all of whom have hearts of gold, struggling to get by as best they can.
The stunts they pull seem to be victimless – a Shetland pony is rustled from a local gangster, and a stolen car is returned with petrol in the tank – and a dead pheasant (or possibly chicken) on the radiator grille.
But you can forgive it a lot. The plot motors along, taking in horse theft, accidental chloroforming and illicit poker games, fuelled by dialogue – written by Danny Brocklehurst (Ordinary Lies, Clocking Off) – which is packed with zingers and inventive swearing.
But underneath the hijinks and the heists, the effin’ and jeffin’, Gilgun’s creation has a melancholy streak. Vinnie is seeking treatment for bipolar disorder, and Gilgun’s own struggles with mental health illness give this a real impact, even when his scenes with doctor Dominic West are interrupted by filthy gags.
It’s also refreshing to see the north west represented beyond Liverpool and Manchester, and represented with a real manifesto to change metropolitan views.
“We’re not victims,” says Vinnie, “we just have a different way of living. It’s about having your mates, having a laugh, just finding a way to survive.”
Brassic is more than Last of the Summer Wine for millennials, it’s a genuinely funny comedy with heart. Something to be proud of.
Fighter Pilot: The Real Top Gun (ITV, Tuesdays, 9pm) should have been adrenaline-fuelled excitement, but ended up being another dull, fly-on-the-waller. Much like the hi-tech planes, it needs a reboot.
Mindhunter (Netflix, streaming now) has returned for along-awaited second series, and is just as dark and dismal as the first series, which actually is a recommendation for a drama about serial killers.