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.