If you’ve ever been in a supermarket to buy your wares you will have noticed that peoples work there and that’s how stuff gets put out for you to purchase. For four years now Trollied has looked beyond the pineapples and ugly uniforms and taken us to the heart of the shop itself…the frozen isle? No the staff silly!
You know it is Christmas when every other show is pumping out an episode which centres on that day when people go out and give each other presents and buy lots of food to feed themselves with. It should come as no surprise then, that a show about a supermarket would think it would be a good idea to put out a seasonal show.
If you caught series 3 of Trollied, then you will have noticed that some big characters left the show, and oddly enough it happened in the Christmas episode too. After Julie (the weird assistant store manager lady) had got jiggy (apparently not a real word Will Smith) with Gavin and he had naturally rejected her advances, she decided it would probably be better if she went to Wigan (not often people say that).
Naturally Julie’s lack of talent with then men wasn’t the only story that happened at Christmas, we also had the story of two elves, a fat man and a man with a glorious beard going against a troupe of scouts. Personally I’ve never seen a full out fight between men and scouts in a supermarket (although I’ve heard they’re vicious), but I have to question the safety of throwing frozen balls of water in a supermarket when people could slip! I wouldn’t have minded so much if they had set up some wet floor signs before the snowball fight, that certainly would have been the responsible thing to do, but nonetheless the fight went ahead and it was a slaughter, with the fat guy taking one in the baby makers for the team (probably isn’t using them anyway). It all ended amicably as the four grown men kidnapped one of the scouts and tied him to a chair (thankfully this wasn’t on the BBC).
Some other stuff happened as well; with the whole of the main cast…I mean staff… getting stuck in the store because of a snow storm, could you think of anything worse? Probably actually working in the shop would’ve been worse than just been stuck in it, but maybe that’s me. The blonde lady from the customer service desk was also meant to go to Dubai but missed her flight because of that pesky snow, poor Neville ended up with some gambling debts after he took an ill-advised bet on whether it would snow or not (it never snows Neville, never) and the fat security guy from Goodnight Sweetheart got to hang out with another fat guy who thought he was Santa (understandable after a few drinks).
Pretty much the Trollied Christmas special struggled along much like series 3 did, and with an ever decreasing cast, you have to wonder how much longer Trollied can really go on for. They have lost a large chunk of the main cast and haven’t really replaced them adequately, leading to the question of whether or not Trollied really has another series left in it. I’m leaning towards no, but I guess you never know and maybe it will surprise me.
For a comedy to be successful it must aim to tick five boxes; concept, characters, acting, writing and funniness. Trollied has a great concept, who doesn’t know what it is like to go to a supermarket? It is an instantly recognisable setting and situation for people to be able to relate to. Trollied has characters that are both likable and dislikeable when they are meant to be, and the acting is of a good standard. The writing isn’t the worst and although most of the comedy is fairly easy, it is fairly funny.
So what is the problem I hear you mutter, after all Trollied does tick all the boxes (in a manner) that I believe a comedy has to be to become successful. The problem is if Trollied were to not come back for a fourth series I wouldn’t care, I don’t get excited about the next episode being on, at no point do I piss myself laughing, quite frankly Trollied is just ok, and that is the problem. Trollied has all the pieces, yet somehow doesn’t manage to put them in the correct place (ruining their nice picture of Jesus, which is a darn shame).
Series three of Trollied was easily the worst of the three series of the show, which isn’t particularly surprising when you lose what is by far your strongest character in Andy off the butchers counter (played by the awesome Mark Addy). I don’t know if he will be back (because it isn’t like he ate a bad ham and died) but I doubt it seeing as he is now in a bigger TV show called Atlantis. That for Trollied must be concerning, because he was the nucleus of the show. On top of Andy leaving, the show also lost Kieran (Andy’s butcher sidekick), which meant that the high point of the show (the butcher banter) was gone. This is culminated by the fact that so much of the show centred on Andy and Kieran, that with them leaving it also put Margaret and Katie at a loose end. They tried to combat this by adding new characters in the fish counter guys, but it just didn’t work. It was essentially the butchers with fish and not nearly as funny. To add to the misery they added two further new characters that missed so much they almost hit the corner flag. The Richard France character was ridiculous (I imagine that was the point) but in an incredibly annoying and unlikeable way to the extent where you wanted to fast forward any scene he was in (I imagine that wasn’t the point). The Anna character was also pretty annoying (not to France’s level), and therein lies the problem with Trollied series three, they lost the two of the best characters and replaced them with two which were at best ok and two which were truly awful.
Personally I don’t think that the writers of Trollied ever got the tone of the show quite right, as the show spends too much time concentrating on the upper end of management and running of the shop, rather than on the general shop workers. The other area that Trollied misses on tone is in the way the employees treat the customers, as in they are too nice to them. Trollied feels like it is written by the upper levels of management in Valco (which I know isn’t a real supermarket) about how they think their employees act, however we all know what management think is happening isn’t actually what is happening. This isn’t a new problem with Trollied, it has been a problem throughout all the series’.
That’s the problem with Trollied, it has potential to be a really good show but never really takes itself past being ok. Trollied is quickly becoming one of those shows which makes characters who initially had small roles the main characters of the show, and that is a sign of a TV show which has went on too long. I don’t know if it is going to be picked up for a fourth series, but it probably would be for the best if it wasn’t because the writers have lost major cast members and seem to have run out of ideas.