Uncle

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There is nothing about this series that should have worked for me. It is a broad comedy about a slacker uncle and his nephew from a broken home learning about family and growing up together. Recipes for slapstick disaster and absurd situations abound.

And yet it has enough heart, humor, and grounding to be both endearing and hysterical. Much like The Ambassadors, it rises above the premise in unexpected ways. The start of the series is, admittedly, stronger than its end, but without that initial foundation the rest of the story wouldn’t have worked.

Amusingly, the least known of the talent, Helm and Speller-Gillot are the leads, while supporting parts contain more broadly known performers: Haggard, White, Toussaint-White, O’Neill. The interplay of all these folks rarely takes quite the path you are expecting, avoiding most of the standard tropes.

A second series has already been ordered. If they can capture more of the magic of the first two episodes, the second go-round will be even stronger. But this first series was still unexpectedly entertaining and surprising.

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