Maybe it’s because I hail from the other side of the Pennines, but I don’t get along with Brassic (Sky One). Everyone says it’s the new Shameless, because it has the same co-writer in Danny Brocklehurst and because it’s about a group of chaotic ne’er-do-wells, but the energy is more Early Doors reimagined by Guy Ritchie.
In this opening episode of series two, set in a sleepy Lancashire town, the hapless crew robbed a circus in order to sell the stolen goods to a man called Chinese Dan. How else would they get the £10,000 to make an offer on the local strip joint? Because this is a comedy, of course the operation didn’t go to plan, and they turned out to have accidentally stolen a lion. “It’s a f—ing lion!” as they put it.
Everyone in Brassic, but particularly the lead character, Vinnie, swears like a trooper. Very uncouth. We don’t do this in Yorkshire.
Madcap adventures followed: they held the lion to ransom after deciding they couldn’t just give it back (“We can’t unsteal a lion, we’ve only just nicked it”), and the comic dialogue between the gang was often nicely done. It’s endearing that everything is deliberately rubbish – the opening chase scene featured Vinnie (This Is England’s Joe Gilgun) legging it through the town, pursued by a goon, all the while carrying his two plastic bags of shopping – and it has an authentic feel, because it is inspired by Gilgun’s own younger years and Vinnie shares his bipolar disorder.
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