This week, the last episode of the beloved comedy sitcom Outnumbered aired. I can’t believe it has been seven years since the first series aired, time has flown by and in each series the Brockman family have found themselves at the centre of a new crisis, from Auntie Angela visting with her new boyfriend, having ‘that’ talk with the kids, teenager angst, and of course the general drama caused by Ben, Karen and Jake. I have adored watching this series and I love how realistic and jaw-achling funny the show is, it is tailored to British audiences but I think this show identifies with everyone. We all grumble about things and it is delightful to see these questions being asked and answered in the show. Outnumbered follows the battle of wills between two parents and their three young children, who are seemingly locked into a never-ending contest to see just whose patience will run out first. Testing theories such as not buying broccoli to save money on the weekly shop, and whether or not Jesus should have used his superpowers to combat Herod, the kids ponder the imponderables in the part-improvised comedy that shows how living with kids can provide at turns the funniest and the most cringeworthy experiences available to us all. Many will recognise how the parents Pete, Sue (Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner) are just attempting to raise their kids with the minimum of emotional damage for all concerned.
Jake played by Tyger Drew-Honey is the eldest son and we see him as a very clever young boy who seems to know everything in Series 1, his habit of retelling stories from a newspaper related to the topic of conversation, always brought the talk to a halt. Over the five seasons we see Jake mature and grow in confidence as he uses his talent for remembering things to hone his sparkling wit and sarcasm. We see Sue and Pete deal with Jake’s girlfriends, classmates and his general teenager behaviour with hilarious jokes along the way.
Ben played by Daniel Roche is the middle child in the family whose hyperactivity, fondness of lying and general craziness often drives Pete and Sue insane. There was that scene where Ben was bond with the American girl names Taylor, in a game of who can bluff who, cue hilarious statements about ‘have you ever done this’. Over the series we see Ben losing his fondness for lying and becoming interested in adventure and what if scenarios e.g. : ”What would happen if a chicken was in a fight with the Tasmanian devil?”
Finally, the youngest child Karen [Ramona Marquez] is the funniest of all the Brockmans and the most argumentative. She has a knack for asking questions which seem to rile people up, her quick witted and curious nature means that she can annoy people without realising it. My favourite moments with Karen are when she is in the car with the family and Auntie Angela and they play a game called who can tell the biggest lie. Karen chose to say I like Angela, it was so funny to see that come out of an eight year old. Similarly her interactions with Brick – Angela’s weird boyfriend, her Satanist drawings and letters to the prime-minister were hilarious. By the end of Series 5 ,we see Karen mature and become more aware of the world, we see her realise that confrontation isn’t the best thing and that she should try to be less antagonistic.