Critical Condition: Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves | Lightbox, from Tuesday

➢ “This loving and funny sitcom set on a Wolverhampton council estate puts poverty porn documentaries such as Benefits Street to shame … Benefits Street might have been shot a few miles down the road in Birmingham, but the same channel’s Raised by Wolves is a million miles from its philosophy. Journalist Caitlin Moran and sister Caz have plundered their Wulfrunian childhoods for a sitcom set in the broken Britain that Benefits Street and Shameless were too chicken to imagine, one in which the leads not only have vocabularies and library cards but know how to use them.” — The Guardian.

➢ “The world they’ve created is lots of bs — bright, brash, blinking funny and brilliantly realised. It would have been easy to make the show totally Caitlin-centric: instead it’s a true ensemble piece … Huge praise should go to young actors Helen Monks (perfectly wide-eyed as Germaine) and Alexa Davies (scowlingly supportive Aretha); to Rebekah Staton as mum Della — and also to Philip Jackson as Grampy, the token male in a sitcom that is likely to win hearts and ratings as well as Bechdel test points.” — The Times.

➢ “Raised by Wolves waves the flag for both working-class intellectualism and Wolvo pride (‘We’re not southern twats and we’re not northern twats; we’re Midlands twats’), leading to comparisons with the Manchester-set Shameless, but it has  more in common with flashback family sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Malcolm in the Middle. The difference, more radical than it should be, is that while those shows are from the point of view of teen boys, Raised by Wolvescpulls back the shower curtain on female adolescence.” — The Independent.

It’s about time we saw working-class people on TV arguing about books, thinking about the environment and deconstructing gender stereotypes … Although every one-liner was a zinger, the first episode didn’t build much narrative tension with Della troubleshooting every problem within minutes. But I’d put money on Della’s feckless father (Philip Jackson) to generate more complex storylines in future.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “Some of the jokes sounded laboriously written-out rather than spontaneously spoken, and blokes are kept firmly in their place — Della’s dad Grampy (Philip Jackson) keeps popping up, but only so we can cringe at his embarrassing macho delusions. But the characters are sharply drawn, and it’s startling to see a portrayal of council-estate life teeming with creative energy rather than drugs and muggings.” — The Spectator.

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