Outnumbered: Lots of number two’s

I don’t know why I like Outnumbered, it’s too much like real life. Mr Qwerty always covers his eyes if he goes near the telly when it’s on: ‘No! Not more children!’ After a knackering day at the coalface of buoyant, lippy kids, it is fairly masochistic to watch other buoyant lippy kids outwitting their parents. The parents in Outnumbered are easily outwitted, in fact, because they have no parenting strategies, e.g. they don’t shout. It’s the most unbelievable part of the show. If I had a child like Ben, I would spend twelve hours every day yelling and have to retire in the evening with a Fisherman’s Friend.

This wasn’t a classic episode, but it was fun watching them trail round London as I’ve been doing just that for the Easter hols, forcing the Qwertlets round the science museum. How marvellous to see Mum carrying Karen’s coat in the art gallery; it’s these little unsung aspects of parenting that Outnumbered depicts so well. Such as small children opening the loo before you’re ready. I have caused a stir by this very means in our local Pizza Express.

Karen’s best scene: her outrage that people could be stupid enough to believe in wishes and put money in fountains. Too right, kid. She’ll be sorting out homeopathy and astrology next.

Karen’s best line: when she listed all the people you mustn’t be prejudiced against, and threw away right at the end, ‘people who come from Liverpool’.

Best Ben moment: Dad asking him if he was allowed to be up on the side of the ship, and Ben’s slightly amazed, ‘No, I don’t think I am’. Ben’s always somewhere he isn’t supposed to be; he cannot do otherwise. If he ever turned up in the right place at the right time, the universe would fold in on itself.

Most like real life: Going past Downing Street and seeing Number Ten, Karen immediately calculated that a number ten could in fact be five number two’s. Oh, how many such conversations have I had?

Off to bed now to grab a few hours’ sleep before the Qwertlets wake at dawn and jump on my head, insisting I join their ongoing discussion of the glory of poo.

Posted by Qwerty


Filed under Comedy

19 responses to “Outnumbered: Lots of number two’s

  1. arialbold

    Agree that as parents they are as wet as two floppy mackerel. Except metaphor fails since fish are at least verterbrates.

    Most unbelievable part for me is having a 7 year old girl called Karen. Especially after they’ve previously gone popular with Jake and Ben.

    In practice she would be called something like Abby, Maddie or – something hugely lovely like Molly.

    • Salopian

      I have also always found it bizarre that she is called Karen, but thank goodness she doesn’t have such an horrendously ubiquitous and banal name as Molly. It’s not even a real name.

      • Qwerty

        Oi you, Salopian Tube! Some of the best children of bloggers are named Molly!

      • inkface

        I think Salopian Tube’s heart might have once been broken by a Molly (isn’t it a derivation of Mary btw?). Why else would you be so bitter? I feel the same way about anyone called Nick.

      • Qwerty

        Fair enough. I feel the same way about anyone called Fabian. It doesn’t come up much.

  2. inkface

    A colleague was just telling me he can’t see the point of improvisation if it’s not ‘live’, he just finds it annoying and a bit twee. I see what he’s saying. I’m not sure. But I do think this programme is a bit twee in general, and find myself wanting to slap people.

    • Qwerty

      I can see how it could be really annoying. I’m still not sure why I like it, but I do really like it. I think it’s partly because the children do talk like real kids, and for some reason seeing that on telly is refreshing and amusing. And partly because I love Andy Hamilton and his sense of humour shines through much of it.

    • pauseliveaction

      Mr PLA won’t watch it because he finds the mother slappably irritating. I think she’s lovely.

  3. Mr B

    I like Outnumbered too, but felt stressed by last night’s episode. I had the overwhelming urge to inflict physical violence on Ben. The boy is a demon. I imagine he’ll grow up and win the apprentice or something.

  4. arialbold

    I think they could cast him as a young Jonathan Creek in flash back scenes which establish all of JC’s annoying habits and mannerisms (just as they do with young Indy in the Last Crusade).

  5. DrTrickCyclist

    The sentiments in the first couple of lines are ones I wholeheartedly endorse. Watching more brats (especially ones in possession of wet, ineffectual parents) is entertainment. A good solid session of being tortured would be more fun.

  6. arialbold

    Dr TC, are you missing a “not” there from the second sentence?

    • DrTrickCyclist

      Well spotted. A question mark at the end of “entertainment” is clearly missing. Combined with a shrill question intonation denoting incredulity that people would watch this show for pleasure.

  7. I think half the pleasure is in knowing that you’re not alone in spending all day, every day, being outmanoeuvred and out thought by a person whose age is in single digits. And they are really funny.
    Could do without more poo and wee references in my life though.

    • pauseliveaction

      I wonder whether I find Outnumbered more funny than stressful because PLA Jr is now beyond the wee and poo stage. I mean, she still does those things, because it would be very dangerous if she didn’t, but I don’t have to clear up after her. And since she’s female I don’t have to worry that she’s anything like Jake either. Though she does have a mobile phone welded to her hand at all times.

      • Knowing how much we like to share here… Junior Hat demonstrated her singer/songwriter skills today with “Girls are the wee-wees, boys are the poo-poos”. Is there a minimum age requirement for nomination to the Ivor Novello awards?

      • Qwerty

        The kid’s a genius. That lyric is a subtle and slyly knowing dig at gender politics, overlaid by humour and pathos. Can’t wait to buy the album and the inevitable spin-off toilet paper.

  8. inkface

    I’m with Mr PLA on the slappable mother issue.

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