Critical Condition: Bliss

Bliss | Lightbox, from Friday

➢ “A new dramedy from David Cross, starring Stephen Mangan as travel writer Andrew, who divides his time between two families. This opener charts an excruciating dinner engagement, where Andrew worries about being discovered. Your enjoyment may rest on how much you sympathise with Andrew’s anguish at his own situation.” — The Guardian.

➢ “If David Cross had removed all the jokes from his new Sky One series Bliss, it would have made a very fine, uneasy drama about bigamy and the lies we tell ourselves. Unfortunately, he didn’t. And as a comedy, it fails pretty spectacularly. The daft gags and pratfalls, which punctuated the opening episode, diluted any sense of realism and prevented you from ever caring about the characters. This was particularly troublesome for a show that should really have serious things to say about love and guilt.” — The Telegraph.

➢ “The set-up unfolds at a rather languid pace, making this feel like a half-hour comedy filling to an hour-long comedy-drama, with the gags subsequently stretched out. The tone is often on wry lines rather than laugh-out-loud funny ones.” — Chortle.

➢ “The sustaining joke behind Bliss, a new comedy that can’t decide how dark it wants to be, is that its protagonist, Andrew (Stephen Mangan), is chronically indecisive. ‘You can’t have them both,’ says his wife, Kim (Heather Graham), demonstrating two possible models of kitchen tap as his home undergoes renovation. Oh, can’t he? … Who would have thought that maintaining two different households for 15 years in one city, with a child by each women, could be so difficult?” — Irish Times.

Bliss had very little redeeming features and outstayed its welcome within the first fifteen minutes of its forty-five-minute running time. Written and created by Arrested Development’s David Cross, Bliss focuses on travel writer Andrew (Stephen Mangan) who uses his job to cover-up the fact he’s leading a double life … There was a myriad of problems with Bliss, which is one of the worst comedies I’ve seen in quite a while.” — The Custard TV.

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