When my brother sent me this
I laughed…a lot.
What makes us laugh is very unique to our personality so when I was invited to watch a preview of the new ITV4 football cartoon, Warren United, I was excited.
A British based comedy that encompasses football and family, it sounded right up my street. Henry Normal from Baby Cow Productions, the genius company who brought us Alan Partridge, produces the series. Simon Nye, the man behind Men Behaving Badly, has also written a few episodes.
It all sounds very good on paper.
Warren, the main character voiced by Darren Boyd from Spy, is a diehard Brainsford United fan. His passion for his team is illogical and pig-headed at times but they are the centre of his world. He works in a kitchen salesroom where he daydreams about the game and how he can be involved with his club.
Warren’s family doesn’t understand him. None of them are vaguely interested in football. His wife Ingrid is busy learning to be a flight attendant and his teenage children (voiced by Morwenna Banks) are too busy being stereotypical.
Warren’s mum lives in a granny annex attached to the house but spends her time drinking and having it off with her French-Canadian boyfriend.
The trouble with Warren United is I didn’t laugh once.
The main issue for me is it’s trying to be all things to all people. If the randy gran was taken out then this programme could easily be shown on a Saturday teatime in between repeats of You’ve Been Framed and it would do very well. There were children in the preview audience who appeared to enjoy it and I could easily see it being a gentle family comedy.
The scheduling of 10pm in an evening suggests that it is an adult comedy such as Family Guy but this is misleading. If the makers decide which audience they are pitching to it could be a success. There are very few British cartoons being produced and with programmes such as this getting a helping hand from the Government with generous tax breaks, the content needs to be stronger.
Warren United isn’t really about football. Warren is not like any football fan I’ve ever come across and he’s very isolated because he’s the only one who appears to have any affinity for the game. At one point he swaps his season ticket for two hamburgers, when he’s brainwashed into thinking ‘football is evil’ by his family.
I know it’s supposed to be an exaggerated version of the truth but this just feels ultra middle class and safe. I’m so disappointed, it feels like such a missed opportunity.
If you’re a fan of My Family (the post Kris Marshall years) then you will probably enjoy Warren United. If Family Guy or laughing at roadkill with a slightly deflated get well soon balloon attached to its wrist is more your thing, then you might want to avoid.
Warren United starts on Tuesday 22nd April on ITV4 at 10pm. Take a look and make up your own mind.
Leave a review of the first show on this page and the best two (decided by myself) will receive a free Brainsford United scarf.