Channel 4’s new six-part sitcom written by and starring Rufus Jones is very promising.
The premise is that a bickering suburban family unwittingly smuggle a Syrian refugee back to Britain with them after a holiday in France.
He then moves in with them.
The first episode sees refugee Sami and the step father Peter arrested, and whisked off to the Home Office to be processed.
It feels like its made by a team with considerable knowledge of the immigration system, and a great deal of compassion for those forced to flee their own countries.
But it rarely comes across as worthy or sentimental, and there are some great lines.
In one scene Peter, played by Jones, yells at Sami, “We’re full up!” But that argument doesn’t work, replies Sami, if you say that and “it echoes”.
Jones calls it “an angry, helpless response to what we were all seeing on the news in 2015,” at the peak of the refugee crisis. This despair does seep in.
At times the show is a little too keen to see a bigot lurking round every corner, or to assume those who read the gutter press believe it uncritically.
But when large parts of the media are spewing bile about refugees on a daily basis, its refreshing to see a comedy that insists they’re every bit as human as the rest of us.
Stay Free: The Story of The Clash
This series, narrated by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, documents how punk pioneers The Clash wanted to harness a spirit of rebellion.
It features guitarist Joe Strummer describing his disappointment with sell-out musicians, such as Mick Jagger who was photographed with Princess Margaret.
When he was asked, “Do you want to inspire a riot?” Strummer simply replied, “Yes”. In one episode, Mick Jones says, “The relationship between the police and the local community had broken down completely.”
The anger and politics of The Clash is clearly still relevant today.
Available on Spotify