I review a whole season rather than individual episodes, so there is a chance of spoilers. If you haven’t watched the whole season yet, stop reading now!
Trollied was in desperate need of a creative injection. The fourth season floundered and it struggled to find it’s creative feet, pushing new characters into the spotlight and introducing others which were largely hit and miss.
Luckily, the fifth season has found some direction. Gavin, played brilliantly by Jason Watkins, is the centre of the show and delivers the drive the sitcom needs. He is a great character and this season rightly gives him a proper arc to work with. The introduction of rival supermarket Lauda and rival manager Cheryl, played by Sarah Parish, means Gavin gets much more of a story than just trying to rectify the ongoing disasters in store.
It is, at heart, a love story and Trollied plays it very well. They take their time over the development of the relationship until they bring the two together at the right time. Of course, true love running smooth isn’t funny and the story develops further but the pair play it so well, delivering an on-screen relationship you can get behind.
There’s isn’t the only love story and luckily, the rather unusual but strangely credible relationship between the show star, Dominic Coleman’s Neville and Faye McKeever’s Linda is one that goes from strength to strength. Coleman’s Neville has some of the best moments of the series, from meeting Linda’s parents to a strange proposal.
The more familiar cast keep the show running at full steam. Carl Rice’s Colin has become a better character with every series. He now has full arcs, from taking on MMA fighters to giving Neville some awful relationship advice. In fact, relationships seemed to be the central theme of the whole show this season, with blossoming romances for the only classically “young and attractive couple” Samuel Anderson and returning cast member Kate, played by Chanel Cresswell.
The situation in the sitcom has to have some impact though and Trollied’s Valco doesn’t disappoint. The rivalry between the stores means we get bizarre conversation about two for one offers or even five for four! Or the stealing of cows for a promotional milking event. The humour isn’t just in how absurd the stories are but also in the fact that you can believe these kind of conversations actually happen.
The series has improved but it still isn’t the sitcom that Sky One first launched. Too many key characters have left and I can see the series struggling to keep the stories fresh. The relationship angle worked this season but it is a show about a supermarket, rather than a show about love and couples.
Overall, Trollied has returned to form. New characters, a rival store and once again having Jason Watkins’ store manager Gavin at the forefront made for some very funny moments. It brought the relationship angle forward as the central story for a lot of characters and this may be a sign that the series is running out of steam.
Best Episode – Episode 7: The storyline where Rita May’s Margaret can’t recognise fruits is great.
Best performance – Jason Watkins as Gavin
Should there be another season? – No. I think Trollied may have seen it’s reasonable conclusion.
Season Rating – 3
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)