What we have here is a pretty bog standard situation, harassed mum and dad trying to juggle the pressures of work and bringing up three lively kids. Here the parents - played by Claire Skinner and Hugh Dennis – do a pretty competent job, but it seems the kids' lines weren't entirely scripted, making their performances incredibly natural and hurling a whole load of truth into the playing of the grown-ups as they have to react to whatever the little cherubs come out with.
This was obviously a brave approach to making a comedy but joyously it completely comes off, and what we end up is a highly watchable and amusing half hour. Fair enough, most of it isn't laugh out loud funny but it should certainly leave most with at least a smile on their face. Combining cringe comedy with the cuteness of the kids as they run rings round the parents is a winning mix.
In lesser hands this could have been a disaster, but Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin have yet again stretched the form of the sitcom and come up with what I would consider to be another winner.
The only puzzle here is the erratic way the show has been scheduled, making it far more difficult to find an audience. I'd recommend a speedy rerun on BBC Two's Thursday night comedy slot.
Food glorious food
We're completely awash with foodie shows and reality shows, so would a hybrid between The Apprentice and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares be a welcome addition?
This should be an easy one to slate, I was thinking, but surprisingly and delightfully The Restaurant looks like being a winner.
There are a couple of good reasons for this. Firstly, the Alan Sugar/Gordon Ramsay figure is Raymond Blanc, and wisely he doesn't dominate proceedings. When he is on screen, even when his criticisms are damning, Blanc tries to put a positive spin on things. You are left with the impression that his raison d' être is to motivate and improve the contestants, rather than raise his own profile.
Secondly, the casting of the contestants has been a masterstroke, with some emerging as stars even after only a couple of episodes. My early favourites are newlyweds Sam and Jacqui. Jacqui is the bubbly American with boundless enthusiasm who seems to cope with desperate problems caused by the kitchen with the sheer force of her personality. Sam, certainly in the first two instalments, has come across a bloke who would rather be playing his drums in the corner of their bistro than actually running a commercial catering outfit.
It's very easy to take this couple to your heart, meaning that when you can see them heading towards potential disaster, you really feel for them. When trying to have a reality TV hit, that's half the battle.
Lloyd and Adwoa are also highly watchable. The first show saw them totally muck up their opening night by failing to stagger their bookings – schoolboy error – and then serve one of Blanc's stern-faced inspectors with a piece of raw chicken. They looked crushed so it was a delight to see them bounce back by hosting a successful 21st birthday party, meaning they kept their place in the show.
The other early star in the run is the seemingly humourless and po-faced inspector Sarah Willingham, whose face you fear might well crack if she broke into a smile. I 'd love to see her face off against Basil Fawlty – that would be a telly treat.
I have the highest hopes though for Jeremy and Jane. Jane claims to be a perfectionist, which results in her appearing to be on the verge of tears when things are going spectacularly right. Her reaction when things start to go awry will, I suspect, be well worth waiting for.
Rock on Tommy
I was trying to put my finger on why Saxondale seems so much better this time around and part of it may well be the appearance of the anti-hero.
In the first series, the hair and beard just didn't seem quite right but now the image matches the character superbly.
I love the way that most of the comedy is character rather than gag driven and this is greatly enhanced by the fact that any punchlines that do sit in the script are now being very nicely underplayed.
The tweaks from series one have managed to improve the show but it still retains the atmosphere that made it so watchable in the first place.
It's not where you start it's where you Finnish
Fair play to you if you managed to stay the entire course of the Eurovision Dance Contest which at times threatened to descend into chaos.
Oddly, seasoned light entertainment hosts Graham Norton and Claudia Winkleman seemed to be having a nightmare, while commentary duties were shared between Strictly's Len and Bruno. They lacked rapport though, their style was very stop start and they kept talking over one another. More practice required there I think.
For those with Sky, it was possible to escape this and watch on TVEi with Spanish and seemingly far more restrained commentary.
The voting was a bit of a farce too, with the usual political old pals act from the song contest also in evidence here. You had to wonder whether some of the people voting had actually seen the dancing.
In the end though, the best dancers probably won while the UK – who weren't bad at all – came last but one. Nice to know that Europe still loves us. Switzerland failed to get a single point, but if it's any consolation they do make nice chocolate.
Despite my EPG being littered with programmes including the word "Diana" I've managed to avoid almost all of them. While I can sort of understand the tabloids still being obsessed with someone who died a decade ago, I'm not at all sure television has to go quite so overboard.
One of the shows I did actually catch the end of was Di's Guys, a rerun of a particularly tacky piece tracing the late woman's love life, or rather raking over it with contributions from people who claimed to be her friends but seemed perfectly happy to divulge her intimate secrets now she's gone. Nasty.
Bits n Bobs
These brief Tomorrow's World snippets we get aren't enough. If they can't bring the series proper, it's crying out from one of thoseNow and Then style treatments. Whatever happened to Michael Rodd?
Ian Beale is more irritating than ever in EastEnders. He should be force fed his own rotting haddock, though being kissed by Roxy Mitchell is probably pretty similar.