Queen of Hearts
The Golden Grain
In many ways, Sick Note is the comedic equivalent of Marmite. Going into this dark comedy, you’ll know pretty early on whether you love or hate this show. Full of dry wit and progressively insane situations that the one lie spirals into, Sick Note has a sort of humour that’s very love/hate which is sure to polarize many people. There’s a touch of crudeness to Sick Note too; one character continuously spouts genital humour and sexual jokes from others give the show an immaturity that will put some people off. Whilst Sick Note is a little rough around the edges, the all-star cast and great chemistry between the actors help to elevate this Sky One exclusive but it doesn’t necessarily do anything different to make it stand out from others in this category.
The story follows lay-about compulsive liar Daniel (Rupert Grint). Fed up with his constant lies and general apathy to life, Daniel’s girlfriend Becca (Pippa Bennett-Warner) breaks up with him. Adding to this misery, Daniel finds himself on the verge of getting fired from the insurance company he works for. After receiving the news from his doctor Iain Glennis (Nick Frost) that he has life threatening cancer, Daniel’s life is turned upside down. Only it turns out Daniel hasn’t got cancer and its a mix-up at the surgery. Instead of coming clean about the mix-up, Daniel decides to go along with the lie, realising his life is far better with everyone thinking he’s going to die. Sick Note is decidedly dark and the general plot line sticks pretty firmly to the general premise without relinquishing its grip. Not all the jokes hit but the distinct lack of slapstick helps to really focus on the specific target audience that Sick Note is gunning for. In doing so, Sick Note is a bit of a niche comedy which makes the appeal of this show a bit hit or miss for most of the audience.
You’ll know pretty early on whether Sick Note is a comedy show for you. After all, a plot line revolving around pretending to have cancer to make your life easier is a pretty taboo subject. After the initial 40 minute opening pilot episode, the rest of the season follows a predictable 30 minute run-time with each episode ending on a cliffhanger leading into the next. Whilst the comedy is decidedly dark, the plot itself jumps from dark comedy to slightly more light-hearted quips that are generally well-timed throughout. The script is generally good all round but a lot of this is thanks to the cast that manage to elevate the material they’re initially given. As the plot thickens and the lie begins spiralling out of control, the ludicrous situations that Dr Glennis and Daniel find themselves in eventually come to a head in the penultimate episode, leaving room for the second season which has already been green-lit for production.
Sick Note certainly won’t be for everyone. The comedy is deliciously dark, full of dry wit and relentless throughout the 6 episodes. The all-star cast help to sell the initial premise but there’s no denying that Sick Note caters for a very specific market making its comedy a tough sell to the masses. If you’re a fan of dark comedy then you can’t really go wrong with Sick Note. The plot is bonkers and the initial lie encapsulates the entire series with much of the comedy sprouting from the initial lie. It’s not perfect, and there are times where it feels a little contrived but on the whole, Sick Note is great entertainment, if you’re a fan of this sort of humour.
Verdict - 7/10