“Am I being unreasonable?”, or AIBU for short, is the name of an infamous forum on the Mumsnet website, where parents can share their potentially controversial opinions. Now the ubiquitous phrase has given its name to a primetime comedy — and an invigoratingly risqué one, too. I look forward to seeing Mumsnetters furiously debate the merits in posts that start with “AIBU or is AIBU a bit…”
Co-written by and starring Daisy May Cooper, who won a mantel full of Bafta awards for rural mockumentary This country, Am I unreasonable? (BBC One) returns to the same Cotswolds setting — just for this rousing, adult comedy, Cooper has swapped teen tracksuits for swishy coats and Smeg wine coolers.
The six-part series follows Nic (Cooper), an unhappily married mother of one child, mostly as she grieves privately for someone she can’t talk about. So far she has managed to keep her dark secret hidden. When she sees a kindred spirit on the school run in Jen (co-creator Selin Hizli, Cooper’s real-life best friend), they instantly form a close alliance. Can Nic trust this enigmatic newcomer?
Cooper has described the series as “genreless” and resists categorization. It goes from romance to thriller to horror, sometimes within the same scene. It’s traditional for critics to carp that none of them quite succeed, but that would miss the point of this endlessly surprising series.
Just when the show looks like it’s about obsessive female friendship, the carpet is swept away. Nic’s grief, when revealed in flashback, creates a gut feeling, while beneath all the mischief is a gripping love story. Fear of jumping makes the nerves ring. Unreliable witnesses abound.