Thursday, 4 August 2011


Thursday, 4 August 2011

I like the premise and potential behind E4's Beaver Falls, a six-part comedy-drama about three British university graduates—Scottish ladies man Flynn (Samuel Robertson), heartbroken A-Rab (Arsher Ali), and geeky Barry (John Dagliesh)—who gain employment at American summer camp "Beaver Falls", where they intend to party with the body beautifuls who go there every year. However, when tanned and sexy Californian teens pour off the coaches to begin their holiday, the trio find themselves expected to cater for a niche group of chubby ubernerds—which rather spoils their plans for a hedonistic summer of sun, sex and booze...

A key problem of Beaver Falls is how it's not funny enough for a show that inspires thoughts of an al fresco Animal House, or as clever as you'd hope a British comedy to be in this foreign milieu. It's easy to watch, mildly entertaining, and the three leads are good together, but there's a pervasive feeling Beaver Falls lacks edge, inspiration and enough big laughs. Still, it's something of a tonic that Flynn, A-Rab and Barry aren't socially inept idiots (nixing comparisons to The Inbetweeners), but this also means the boys don’t have a steep uphill struggle on their hands. After just one day in the US, Flynn's shagged Pam (Alison Doody), the MILF wife of his boss; Barry's smitten with lissome lifeguard Kimberly (Natasha Loring), whose boyfriend may be the camp's alpha male, but you know Barry's goofy charm will eventually work its magic; and sweet A-Rab's endeared himself to cute guidance counsellor Rachael (Kristen Gutoskie) without even meaning to.

So the comedy isn't so much about the frustrating pursuit of unobtainable women in an environment awash with them, but rather the irritation of having to look after a group of overweight nerds as the ultimate cockblocks. It remains to be seen if this is going to be as funny as the admittedly less original idea of putting three randy guys in a sun-kissed paradise of bikini-clad beauties, but Beaver Falls should be allowed the chance to develop and discover itself. The show's arc will assumedly see three libidinous Brits come to realize there's more to life than sex, drugs and drinking, as they help boost their nerdy campers' confidence, self-esteem, and social status. They may even get girlfriends primarily because of their newfound maturity, right? Of course they will; we all know what we're getting with a show like this.

Overall, Beaver Falls is a pleasant enough way to spend a summer evening infront of the box, but it lets itself down for only providing modest chuckles and embracing so many clichés (the blonde bully's dating the fittest girl around, the bureaucratic boss has an unfaithful man-eating wife, fat nerds are given painful wedgies). In its favour, it's not often you see a fairly expensive-looking UK show that's filmed abroad (South Africa doubles for the US), and has qualities that will definitely appeal to its demographic. But I wonder if Beaver Falls is actually deserving of a post-watershed mid-week timeslot, as it feels like a Sunday morning show 15-year-old would enjoy more than 25-year-olds, ignoring the inclusion of a few sexual moments like a flip-flop covered in semen.


  • You may recognize Alison Doody as Nazi villain Dr Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. She also holds the record as the youngest ever Bond Girl, having appeared in 1985's A View To A Kill when she was 18. Oh, and she was Peter Jackson's first choice to play Eowyn in Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, but had to decline because of pregnancy.
written by Iain Hollands / directed by Daniel O'Hara / 27 July 2011 / E4