To call the character Miranda (Miranda Hart) hapless is a cliched understatement. She is not only clumsy and inappropriate, but she walks that treacherous line between awkward and too social for her own good. Also, she frequently winds up accidentally naked in public. It’s no wonder her nosy mother is desperate to hook her up with absolutely anyone who will have her. However, though Miranda may not have the allure that her co-worker Stevie has, she has enough feminine whiles to attract her friend Gary, the handsome young chef at the local restaurant. Miranda then becomes that classic sitcom formula of “will they, won’t they.”
The formula to the episodes is no secret. Miranda will be having a romantic crisis because she’s in love with Gary or Gary’s in love with someone else or someone else is in love with Miranda. She’ll gallop to her best friend and co-worker Stevie for help. There will be competitiveness between them, and Stevie will sing, “What have you done today to make you feel proud?” Miranda’s overbearing mother, Penny, will have some important engagement to warn Miranda to stay away from and will simultaneously try to set Miranda up with some ghastly man or other, all the while tooting her catch phrase, “Such fun!” Miranda will correct her on her use of “what I call” and look into the camera ala Woody Allen. Tilly might pop in to say something in an indecipherable cutesy-slang language of her own. These catch phrases are used to get back at the characters when the others are annoyed. Drama will ensue, but not before Miranda has fallen over, lost critical bits of clothing, or sang too many versus in public.
In season 1, Miranda is chasing Gary. This is a good season, but by the season 2 premier, they have the formula tight! Unlike Not Going Out, which never progresses in the “will they, won’t they” relationship, already Gary is interested in Miranda, but are either of them adept enough to make it work? The highlight of season 2 is an entire episode in a psychiaty office where the laconic psychiatrist (Mark Heap) diagnoses Miranda as seeking her mother’s approval and unable to find her own voice. Might as well be the character description in the series bible! By season 3, we’ve moved on to a new boyfriend, Mike. Unlike many romantic sitcoms, the men in this show are actually likable. Maybe it’s because that although they are good looking, they are not shallow, as they are happy to date a woman who is constantly publicly falling on her face, losing her shirt, and farting. But don’t think for a second Gary is out of the scene yet! Season 3 is sorely missing the restaurant owner Clive (though they say nothing of his disappearance), and Gary takes ownership of the restaurant, while hoping for an opening in Miranda’s love life. The highlight of the season is Miranda workshopping how she plans to break up with Mike after kidnapping a customer into becoming her new best friend.
This what I call “show” is such fun!