Skip to main content

16th March 2016

TV Binge: Cuckoo

Cuckoo is an easy-watching experience with intermittent laughs and without fear of the implausible

Back as an online exclusive, the late Cuckoo’s unlikely son Dale is played by Taylor Lautner, who has just returned from a business trip in China. Naïve innocence dressed in a suit and aviators provides instant comedy as he prepares ‘di shui-dong ribs with braised eggplant’, exotic fruits and chicken chop suey for the family.

Meanwhile Lorna (Helen Baxendale)—pregnant and convincing Ken (Greg Davies) to take six months paternity leave—oversees the household and acts as the beacon of normality that clashes with her husband’s new scarlet corduroys. Dylan, the all-grown-up Jake (Tyger Drew-Honey) from Outnumbered, is left unquestioned to his teenage boy pursuit of sleeping with his girlfriend as many times as possible before she goes abroad: “9 more shags to go”, slipping out of the door before a chance of reprimand from the family.

Daughter Rachel (Esther Smith) is still seeing the clingy two-shoes Ben, Matt Lacey from her ‘gap yah’, and is searching for something more than the sit down office job with the uninspiring target goal of promotion to manager. Perhaps a volunteering scheme in Perah.

Easy to plunge into without the prerequisites of the first two series, each episode begins with a brief recap of what happened before so you’re not left completely clueless.

A surprising hit from Andy Samberg’s series debut in 2012, Cuckoo has progressed to involve familiar characters with ups, downs and frankly hilarious cameos gracing the screens after children’s bedtime (if you haven’t seen the clip of ‘Ken on E’ you haven’t lived).

With Twilight star Taylor Lautner in a new, playful light as he bounds around the family home like an untrained bunny, the gold of the show shines from his kind soul and misguided actions. Unaware of his romantic competition with Ben, his every move wins over the hearts of Rachel and the viewers as he jogs the 12-mile journey to the hospital after getting excluded from Ben’s car.

With Dale’s tribal upbringing so removed from the stereotypical indirectness of English emotional awkwardness, the contrast provides hilarity as the foreign bird settles in to nest.

With plenty of back story, character development and plot twists, Cuckoo is an easy-watching experience with intermittent laughs and without fear of the implausible. Settle in for kidnapping, drug barons, Shanghai brides and above all, Greg Davies in magenta trousers.

More Coverage

Past Lives review: Celine Song delivers an outstanding debut

Celine Song’s debut film about past lovers and what could have been will mend and simultaneously break your heart

Chevalier (2022): A Noble pursuit that falls short of greatness

Chevalier, released in the UK in June 2023, strives to ascend to the heights of the greatest period dramas but falls short of that lofty ambition

Review: Disney 100 – The Concert

Disney 100: The Concert, hosted by Janette Manrara, is a touching tribute to an institution that has defined multiple generations

Interview with Luke Davies from Polari

The Mancunion spoke with Luke Davies head of Polari, a queer production company based in Manchester about Queer representation, the art of filmmaking, and untold stories.