The Café (TV series)

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The Café
GenreSitcom
Written byRalf Little
Michelle Terry
Directed byCraig Cash (series 1)
Robin Sheppard (series 2)
StarringEllie Haddington
Michelle Terry
June Watson
Ralf Little
Daniel Ings
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Kevin Trainor
David Troughton
Seeta Indrani
Brian Murphy
Marcia Warren
Carolin Stoltz
Jack Roth
Composer(s)Adam Lipinski
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes13 (List of episodes)
Production
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time

30 mins

60 mins (Series 2, Episode 7)
Production company(s)Jellylegs Productions
Broadcast
Original channelSky1
Picture format16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original run23 November 2011 (2011-11-23) – present
External links
Website
 
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The Café
GenreSitcom
Written byRalf Little
Michelle Terry
Directed byCraig Cash (series 1)
Robin Sheppard (series 2)
StarringEllie Haddington
Michelle Terry
June Watson
Ralf Little
Daniel Ings
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Kevin Trainor
David Troughton
Seeta Indrani
Brian Murphy
Marcia Warren
Carolin Stoltz
Jack Roth
Composer(s)Adam Lipinski
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes13 (List of episodes)
Production
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time

30 mins

60 mins (Series 2, Episode 7)
Production company(s)Jellylegs Productions
Broadcast
Original channelSky1
Picture format16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original run23 November 2011 (2011-11-23) – present
External links
Website

The Café is a British sitcom written by and starring Ralf Little and Michelle Terry broadcast by Sky1.

Premise[edit]

The Café is set in and around a café in Weston-super-Mare run by generational trio Mary (June Watson), Carol (Ellie Haddington) and Sarah (Michelle Terry).

Acting as the social hub of the seafront town, the café sees all walks of life pass through and gives viewers an honest portrayal of life in a typical British seaside resort.[citation needed]

Production[edit]

The series is co-written by two of its lead actors, Ralf Little and Michelle Terry. The first series was directed by Craig Cash, writer and star of The Royle Family. The series was video taped in Weston-super-Mare. The first series was video taped in early 2011 whilst the second series was video taped throughout June, July and August 2012. The cafe set was built for the video taping. Cash and Little both worked together on The Royle Family. Little and Terry met around 2008 whilst performing a sketch together at the Bush Theatre for the Latitude Festival.[1]

The title song for the series is "Beyond the Sea", sung by Kathryn Williams.

Cast and characters[edit]

Episode list[edit]

Overview[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedDVD release date
Series premiereSeries finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
1623 November 2011 (2011-11-23)21 December 2011 (2011-12-21)N/ASeptember 2, 2013 (2013-09-02)N/A
2724 July 2013 (2013-07-24)11 September 2013 (2013-09-11)N/AN/AN/A

Series 1 (2011)[edit]

EpisodeTitleDirected byWritten byRatings[2]Original air date
1"There's No Place Like Home"Craig CashRalf Little & Michelle Terry1,059,00023 November 2011 (2011-11-23)
Quiet life in the sleepy seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, and its even sleepier seafront café, Cyril's, is thrown into a state of mild disarray when a flashy events manager from London comes to visit his ill mother. 
2"Afternoon Tease"Craig CashRalf Little & Michelle Terry722,00023 November 2011 (2011-11-23)
Sarah chases some literary agents, and the Dobsons spark a heated debate about jam and cream. Meanwhile, something strange is going on with Carol and the cafe. 
3"Out with the Old"Craig CashRalf Little & Michelle Terry581,00030 November 2011 (2011-11-30)
Carol introduces a new menu at Cyril's in an attempt to attract a wider clientele, a decision which does not go down well with the regulars. Meanwhile, Richard is jealous when Sarah attends the pub quiz with John, Mary reveals her dislike for `grockles', and Kieran's array of outlandish costumes continues to impress. 
4"A Note to Follow"Craig CashRalf Little & Michelle Terry535,0007 December 2011 (2011-12-07)
The night of the Sound of Music sing-along event arrives, and Chloe is desperate to get all the gossip on what happened between Sarah and John at the quiz - and she is not disappointed. Stan urges Carol to forget her financial concerns and join in with the evening's fun, and the unveiling of the costumes goes very differently for Mary and Chloe. 
5"Fragile, Handle with Care"Craig CashRalf Little & Michelle Terry662,00014 December 2011 (2011-12-14)
Sarah reveals the outcome of her meeting with a literary agent in Bristol, but gets no answer when she calls Richard to tell him the news. Meanwhile, Brenda makes a formal offer for the lease of Cyril's, but Carol is more concerned about the whereabouts of Stan. 
6"Deal or No Deal"Craig CashRalf Little & Michelle TerryUnder 518,00021 December 2011 (2011-12-21)
The Cyril's regulars hold a surprise birthday party for Carol, but the cafe owner's mind is elsewhere as she considers Brenda's offer for the lease. Her friends and family keep their fingers crossed as they await the big announcement. 

Series 2 (2013)[edit]

EpisodeTitleDirected byWritten byRatings[2]Original air date
1"Diminishing Returns"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle Terry406,00024 July 2013 (2013-07-24)
Stan is planning a big surprise for Carol, only for it to be scuppered by the arrival of a photographer hired to shoot a tourist brochure - a man who also just happens to be Carol's ex-husband and Sarah's dad. Meanwhile, an unexpected announcement from Richard and Ava causes a stir, and Mary gets more than she expected when she starts tweeting. 
2"Connection Failure"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle Terry342,00031 July 2013 (2013-07-31)
Phil tries to repair his relationship with Sarah, but his daughter is still reeling from the news of Richard and Ava's engagement and in no mood for life advice. Meanwhile, Stan experiences further delays in asking Carol the big question, Kieran clashes with a trio of clowns as the circus arrives in town, and new boy Jason reveals the reasons behind his stint at the allotments. 
3"There Were Three In A Bed"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle Terry365,0007 August 2013 (2013-08-07)
Sarah looks forward to catching up with Richard over a game of darts - but doesn't count on bride-to-be Ava inviting herself along - while best pal Chloe is forced to reconsider her dirty weekend with the estate agent after she bumps into his wife. At least Mary is having a good time - or at least she will be when she gets her hands on Jack's shiny new boules. 
4"Time And Tide"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle TerryUnder 363,00014 August 2013 (2013-08-14)
It's a big day for Cyril's as Phil prepares to take the official photo of the cafe for the tourist brochure. However, the timing couldn't be any worse, what with Carol suffering hot flushes and Stan in an argumentative mood. Sarah is much happier, however, and is enjoying spending her time with Jason, while Chloe makes a discovery and takes her driving test - for the eighth time. 
5"Mum's The Word"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle TerryUnder 336,00021 August 2013 (2013-08-21)
Sarah realises she still has feelings for Richard and believes he is making a huge mistake in marrying Ava. But that doesn't stop her suggesting they hold their wedding reception at the cafe - surely a recipe for disaster? Stan considers pulling the plug on his proposal after some surprising news, Chloe can't decide whether to keep the baby and Mare proves you're never too old to get down with the kids. 
6"Stags Or Hens"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle Terry405,00028 August 2013 (2013-08-28)
Richard and Ava celebrate their last night of singledom on the evening before their wedding. The hen do kicks off with wild drinking games and strippers, while the stag do is rather more low-key, with Richard opting for a few beers on the beach. As the parties progress, an emotional and intoxicated Sarah manages to completely misread a situation with Jason, before setting out to have a heart-to-heart with the bride-to-be. 
7"Reap What You Sow"Robin SheppardRalf Little & Michelle TerryUnder 397,0004 September 2013 (2013-09-04)
Ava leaves Richard stranded at the altar on their wedding day - and Sarah, spurred on by her father, senses an opportunity to reveal her feelings for him. Meanwhile, Carol is delighted when Stan finally pops the question, and Mare makes a decision about moving into retirement community The Lodge. 

Reception[edit]

Mark Webster of Sabotage Times had this to say about the doubled-billed premier: "Over the last couple of years or so, Sky One have clearly made a consolidated effort to present themselves as a channel that wants to do its business just like their buddies over on terrestrial, and in giving this gently lapping little comedy space alongside the likes of 'Ross Kemp On..', 'A League Of Their Own' and David Walliams 'Wall Of Fame', they are proving they've got the chops to do it".[3]

Tom Meltzer of The Guardian gave the series a mixed review. "In fairness to the writers, their performances are both consistently excellent, and the direction is both naturalistic and nicely understated. But while, as the name suggests, the show owes a clear debt to The Office in its style, it sadly failed to nick Gervais and Merchant's knack for writing characters, stories and, crucially, jokes".[4]

In an early interview before the show's release, Ralf Little told Matthew Hemley of The Stage "Let's say no one watches it and critics hate it", he says. "Michelle and I have worked our bollocks off, to put it in a not particularly classy way. We tried to never compromise our quality. We may have missed the mark, but we know that was our philosophy. We tried to produce something we could be proud of. And we are proud".[5]

DVD release[edit]

The complete first series of The Café has yet to be released.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview Extra | Ralf Little, The Cafe | TV Choice". Tvchoicemagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Café: Have Sky Got the Chops to Serve Up Decent Comedy? | TV & Film". Sabotage Times. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  4. ^ Tom Meltzer. "TV review: The Cafe | Television & radio". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  5. ^ Matthew Hemley (2011-11-18). "The Stage / Features / The Cafe: Hoping for a big splash". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 

External links[edit]