Pete versus Life: A review

Channel Four has become a big hit with television viewers over the years. With huge shows such as Big Brother, Come Dine With Me, Deal Or No Deal and Hollyoaks, the channel has established itself as one of the most-viewed terrestrial channels in Britain. In new comedy sitcom, Pete versus Life, Channel Four have struck gold once again.

Rafe Spall excels as a budding sports journalist who struggles with both his personal and professional life. Spall’s character, Pete Griffiths, deals with issues coming from relationships whilst also trying to find work as a sports reporter. The show is very much in the same comedy bracket as The Inbetweeners, another hit from Channel Four, with a very interesting difference.
Pete is commentated on by two announcers as if his life were a sports broadcast. The commentators sound more American in their observations, even thought the show was created in England by George Jeffries and Bert Tyler Moore. This adds to the already first-rate humour, though, as American commentators are stereotypically more critical and excitable. One of the commentators, Terry McIlroy is loosely based on everyone’s favourite football punditry scapegoat, Andy Gray.
Spall, who has had previous roles in films such as Shaun Of The Dead, Green Street, Hot Fuzz and Kidulthood, is perfectly cast as a witty and sharp character, with a list of various acting newcomers behind him.
Pippa Duffy plays an obsessive girlfriend to Pete’s best friend, Rob, played by Joseph Kloska. Duffy’s character, Anna, is an emotional wreck at times and is melodramatic most of the time. Pete finds Anna annoying and doesn’t think that she is best fitted to his friend, but he has bigger issues on his hands.
Pete versus Life may not be the national phenomena that The Inbetweeners brought with it, but the idea is a brilliant one and, with Spall being a relatively new face on the acting scene, the creators could well look forward to a second series.
The show can be seen on Channel Four, every Friday at 10:00pm.
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