FM: Review of the new ITV2 sitcom that didn’t turn my dials at all…

by Lynn Connolly


Ok, I know it’s been a lot of years since radios had dials and in fact, many of you reading this will never actually have hunted around for a radio station using a dial and some teeny tiny movements in order to tune in without static, but – history lesson about radio tuning over – the fact is that this new ‘comedy’ simply isn’t funny, with one or two caveat exceptions in the form of one liners and Chris O’Dowd of The IT Crowd fame in the starring role.

ITV’s description of the show is as follows…

Starring, Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd, Under The Blue Sky) Kevin Bishop (The Kevin Bishop Show, Star Stories, Fat Pig) and Nina Sosanya (Teachers, Casanova, Love’s Labours Lost), FM is a brand new comedy series for ITV2.

Written by Oliver Lansley and Ian Curtis and produced by ITV Studios, FM is set in an achingly hip London indie radio station. The series follows a group of fame-hungry friends who run a daily indie-inspired show. FM is brand new and exclusive to ITV2, this February.

Show host Lindsay Carol (O’Dowd) bumbles his way passionately through each show regaling his loyal listeners with a mixture of cutting-edge tunes and stories of his totally misguided personal life. Sharp and witty on-air, off-air he’s all at sea in the world of hip bands and celebrity and constantly upstaged by fellow radio host and cool urban DJ, Topher Kiepher (O-T Fagbenle).

Lindsay’s dipsy yet too-cool-for-rock school co-host Dom Cox (Bishop) manages to irritate their music guests on a daily basis, usually through excessive partying, poor timekeeping and his general inability to take his job seriously. Lindsay’s producer, Jane Edwards (Sosanya), is supposed to keep the hosts under control and on schedule, but she rarely succeeds. Like Lindsay and Dom, Jane is an eternal singleton and they all revel in each other’s dating disasters. Together they make for a very motley radio crew.

Every episode features a performance from a top band in the FM studio, including The Charlatans, The Wombats, Guillemots, Ladyhawke, The Subways and Sway. There are also a host of celebrity guest appearances from the likes of Justin Hawkins, Marianne Faithfull, Toyah Wilcox, Jamie Theakston, Konnie Huq and Tim Westwood.

The series follows the three radio musketeers as they attempt to pull together a daily show. They come face to face with demanding managers, pushy new bands, unreliable recording artists, Dom’s relentless partying and boyband past, Jane’s shambolic love life, as well as Lindsay’s constant failure to pull, be cool or look hot in skinny jeans.

Well, that description alone told me a lot of what I needed to know about this show; anything that uses the words “bumbling” and “dipsy” to describe a comedy programme may as well add “unfunny scenarios” and “highly predictable” as well.

Granted, as I said, there were some laugh out loud ‘gags’ including at least one that I can’t repeat here because it was just too rude, but it was very funny. Other than that though, it was the stuff of typically poor sitcoms where misunderstandings abound to create embarrassing situations and where puns, innuendo and double entendres are the order of the day.

I can only assume that ITV commissioned the series because of the unique idea of having real life music artistes as part of the story line, but even an appearance by Justin Hawkins of The Darkness couldn’t drag this show out of the category of ‘lame sitcom’ and we’ve got enough of those already without adding to their number.

The central theme – as the show’s ‘blurb’ implied – is that O’Dowd’s character, Lindsay, desperately wants to be ‘cool’, and toward that aim, in last night’s episode Lindsay got himself a gig as a club DJ by lying and making up the claim that he’s a ‘Mixmaster’ but as he can’t actually carry out this DJing feat, his own tag-line, “I’m the Right Honourable Lord Mixalot. It’s like a disease; I’ve got mixamatosis” turned out to be in part true… rabbits die of myxomatosis and his ‘set’ on the night rather predictably went very wrong.

The back-story was that a ‘ghetto-kid’ character – who said “Bro” irritatingly often – supplied Lindsay with a CD of genuine mixes which of course, during Lindsay’s set got stuck and everyone then knew he’d been faking it so he was made to look like a pillock and blah blah… seriously unsurprising, seriously unfunny and seriously, I won’t bother watching again.

If however you missed it and want to catch up on it to witness the pants that it is for yourself, you can see it on ITV’s catch up player and you can visit FM’s very own website for more info about the show, the guest stars and the cast.

Let us know what you thought of it.

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Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.