Photograph: BBC
Rating 8.4
Streamers BBC iPlayer, Netflix
Seasons 3
Episodes 17 x 30 mins

A message for all parents preparing for holidays – we promise won’t tell anyone if you stick the kids in front of the telly so you can sip a glass of vino and bingewatch this series. Mum’s the word.

This wonderfully funny series created by Sharon Horgan is now on its third season, and we are pleased to confirm for fans of the first two that the latest is as brilliant as ever, full to the brim with laughs. For those who haven’t yet seen the previous seasons, this sitcom follows the strained working mum Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin), the mean, snobbish Amanda, perfectly played by Lucy Punch, single mum Liz and stay-at-home-dad Kevin. Whilst their confidence varies from obnoxious to terrified, they’re all similarly stressed out and deeply submerged in the heady years of early parenting. And this place of struggle is where the gags really get going – it’s hilarious watching them muddle through parenthood, taking drastic measures in an ongoing bid to keep it together. Spoiler alert: they rarely do.

If you love a comedy about mums in a meltdown, check out The Duchess

With a stellar cast and cracking writing, this series has successfully mastered the sitcom genre – whilst over the three seasons we get to know the characters more and more, very little changes for them. And this hasn’t jumped on the current comedy bandwagon of having some deep meaningful message underneath all the laughs. It’s just proper, British banter about a bunch of middle-class mums. What’s not to like?

Anna Maxwell Martin also stars in the hit show, Line of Duty

The critics are lapping up this show, with consistently good reviews for every season. In Vulture, Matt Zoller Seitz says of season one, “Motherland plants a flag there in its very first scene and commences building a legacy. This is an impressive series, and lots of fun, if you don’t mind revisiting or envisioning everyday, low-level trauma.” Ellen E Jones of The Guardian acknowledges that whilst “there is no shortage of parenting sitcoms on TV, but there are relatively few that so ruthlessly dispense with sentiment in favour of stressed-out social satire. It’s oddly soothing.” The Telegraph’s Benji Wilson says it’s this “type of scalpel-sharp observational comedy that has made the best episodes of Motherland some of the best episodes of any comedy of the last few years.” And The Times’s Camilla Long agrees, calling it “one of our finest and most assured comedies.”

First shown November 2017. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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