BBC debuts two comedies: 'Outnumbered' and 'Friday Night Dinner'

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BBC America introduces two sitcoms Saturday, one significantly zanier than the other.

"Friday Night Dinner" (11:30 p.m. Saturday) is an absurd family comedy about the Goodmans who have a weekly dinner with their two sons, Adam (Simon Bird, "The Inbetweeners") and Jonny (Tom Rosenthal). Adam is more uptight; Jonny sends Adam text messages from their mother's cell phone saying things like, "You came out of my bum. Love, Mum."

TV REVIEWS

'Outnumbered'

When: 11 p.m. Saturday, BBC America.

Starring: Hugh Dennis.


'Friday Night Dinner'

When: 11:30 p.m. Saturday, BBC America.

Starring: Tamsin Greig.

The parents are no less offbeat. Dad (Paul Ritter) is first glimpsed using a magnifying glass to look at his nether regions and mom (Tamsin Greig, "Episodes") is a little too honest with her sons. Written by Robert Popper ("Peep Show"), the humor in "Friday Night Dinner" is often as surprising as it is rude. But there's a spirit of good-natured goofball charm evident in this family whose members clearly love one another, quirks and all.

"Outnumbered" (11 p.m. Saturday) is a naturalistic comedy about parenthood. Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner star as the parents of three children: an 11-year-old worrier, a 7-year-old liar and a 5-year-old questioner. There's no laugh track and how much a viewer laughs may be determined by how close to home the show hits.

Mom loses her keys, resulting in a mad search for them so the kids can get to school on time, but even upon finding the keys she takes time to send an angry email, much to her husband's chagrin.

It's a comedy that's more likely to draw recognizable smiles of been-there, experienced-that than it is to conjure real laughs.



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