Not Going Out, season 7

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Feeling bad Lucy’s purse was stolen, Lee gets her a new bag.

When you’re in the 7th season with the same old formula, you really need to push the “will they, won’t they” up a notch. After a place-holder episode 1 and an episode 2 that rehashes the baby-sitting escapades of season 2 (with added stupidity that makes you question why Lucy would ever want to have a baby), episode 3 finally puts Lee and Lucy in the bedroom together, albeit because Lucy bullies him into being her sperm donor. However, Lee, ever the romantic, is still holding out for a real relationship with his landlady, one that is not obscured by a pre-designed estranged fatherhood that would mean he’d become in charge of this baby if Lucy was killed in a car crash. Episode 3 is a real treat, especially since Lee Mack applies his knack for wordplay to 40 minutes of non-stop innuendos.

Outnumbered‘s Hugh Dennis plays Toby, the new neighbor upstairs who doesn’t like Lee but resigns to his companionship when he sees how badly he stirs the nerves of his over-bearing wife. Eventually, he settles into the Tim-shaped hole left by Tim Vine’s departure at the end of season 5.

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Is Hugh Dennis the new Tim Vine?

In a leap just left of reality, this season takes Lee and Daisy onto the game show Pointless with Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman. Although much more absurd than Lee getting drunk and ruining an evening out, many people will find this episode to be their favorite, even if they aren’t familiar with the celebrities.

Bobby Ball returns as Lee’s alcoholic father Frank. Ball represents Lee Mack’s success in many ways because Mack used to stand on the roof of his school doing Bobby Ball impressions to get attention after the kids made fun of his northern accent, and now Ball is playing his father on his own sitcom. This year, Frank deflects accusations that he’s an alcoholic by getting Lee and Lucy to wonder if they themselves drink too much. Of course, it’s all a rouse to be allowed to stay in their apartment for longer.

We also see a reality-inspired plane trip where Lee has a meltdown when he mistakes a man for being a terrorist and nearly gets shot for acting like a terrorist himself. The real Lee Mack is also afraid of flying.

Episode 9 makes a beautiful finale with a pub discussion between Lee and Toby about Lee’s relationship (or lack thereof) with Lucy. Will Toby be able to convince Lee to admit his feelings to his landlady before he loses her for good? Season 7 will soon be on DVD. The series finale special will be reviewed in a separate spoiler-full blog post. Season 7 is predicted to be the final season of the series.

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