3Outnumbered

There’s never been a show that’s captured the frenzied, chaotic, and frankly bizarre nature of family life quite like Outnumbered. It’s a sitcom that’s shot like a documentary, a semi-improvised production that’s filmed with handheld cameras and positively fizzes with authenticity. It takes you inside the North London home of the Brockman family, turning you into an intimate spectator to their trials and tribulations.

Comedically, the parents are mere supporting players to their three children. The eldest, Jake, is the quintessential geeky teenager, embarrassed by his dad, just starting to like girls and wanting to be cool but not really knowing how. The middle child, Karen, has a mop of angelic blonde hair, an exceptionally vivid imagination and a predilection for asking her parents embarrassing questions with the wide eyed innocence that only a small child can really pull off. And then there’s Ben, the youngest, a frizzy-haired whirlwind that creates mischief wherever he goes. He’s a compulsive liar who delights in twisting his parents around his finger to get his way, having realised early on the universal hidden truth of parenthood; it’s the kids that have all the power.

Outnumbered’s greatest trick is that no matter how ridiculous the scenarios get, there’s always a truth to them. It never feels dreamt up out of thin air, but informed by real life-experience. Well, that and the fact that it’s bloody hilarious.