Here We Go – Review

Worth seeing: for the fresh take on the family sitcom whose originality belies its familiar ingredients
Featuring:Jim Howick, Katherine Parkinson, Tom Basden, Alison Steadman, Dolly Wells, Ed Kear, Freya Parks, Harry Enfield, Jon Furlong, Jude Morgan-Collie, Mark Williams, Mica Ricketts, Simon Farnaby, Tim Key, Tori Allen-Martin
Key crew:Ella Jones, William Sinclair, Sam Ward, Tom Jordan, Tom Basden
Channel:BBC iPlayer, BBC1
Length:29 minutes
Episodes:2 seasons of 6 episodes each plus pilot and Christmas special
Broadcast date:2nd February 2024 [Season 2]


Paul Jessop (Jim Howick) has long since passed his glory year – that year that he represented Team GB in the Olympics archery team – and came fourth.

Now the only target he’s aiming at is trying to keep his suburban family on track. His wife Rachel (Katherine Parkinson), similarly, believes she’s achieving beneath her potential, so unable to find a job that’s worthy of her status, she decides to return to studying.

Their teenaged daughter Amy (Freya Parks) is constantly embarrassed by her parents, but at least grateful that they’re accepting of her having a girlfriend. Her younger brother, Sam (Jude Morgan-Collie), spends most of his time behind the camera, shooting a fly-on-the-wall documentary about his family, rather doing revising for his exams.

Then there’s Paul’s mother Sue (Alison Steadman), who manages to bridge the gap between embarrassing mother/grandmother and wise elder of the family.

Rachel’s brother Robin (the show’s creator, Tom Basden) seems to spend most of his time hanging around with the family too.

Together, they go on family outings, enjoy family holidays, help each other with everything from revision and relationship issues to running the local street fair.


Created by Tom Basden – perhaps best known for his work with Ricky Gervais in After Life – it follows the “fly-on-the-wall” mockumentary structure of many of Gervais’s best-known works. The suggestion is that it’s entirely filmed by the teenaged son of the family, Sam, even as he catches his family members unawares in the bathroom, and there are plenty of knowing looks into the camera.

There’s very little here that feels original, from this oft-used visual conceit to the family or work-related matters that come up – whether it’s a mystery Valentine’s card, trying to fit in with new colleagues or a mother treating her adult child like he’s still in short trousers – but Basden’s scripts are well observed and his cast is fully up to the task of making his scenarios jump off the screen, as if we’ve never seen any of it before.

As the couple at the heart of the extended family, a hapless Jim Howick and the ambitious Katherine Parkinson are charming and likeable, even when they are the architects of their own misfortune; Howick is a veteran of comedies, from Horrible Histories to Ghosts, and Parkinson – a BAFTA award winner for the IT Crowd – shows that she’s more of a natural fit in comedies than dramas, such as Humans and The Honorable Woman.

Alison Steadman – as the matriarch – takes over every scene she’s in, winning over the audience with her wisdom and her evident love for her family.

The cantankerous teenaged daughter is strangely empathetic and although it does seem just a little unlikely that Rachel’s brother would spend quite so much time with her family, Basden himself is always sharp and guides the comedy on-screen, as well as off.

Aside from the core cast, there are a handful of familiar comedy faces that turn up in entertaining cameos, such as Harry Enfield, Tim Key, Mark Williams and Howick’s Horrible Histories fellow-alumnus Simon Farnaby.

Starting with a pandemic-set pilot and blossoming into two 6-episode seasons, bridged by a Christmas special, Here We Go looks set to become a BBC favourite for years to come as it takes old family sitcom tropes that all viewers will be able to identify with, shakes them up and makes them feel fresh.