Angelo's - Friday November 16

angelo’s(1/6)

Following in the steps of ‘Suburban Shootout’ and ‘Respectable’ is another home-grown sitcom for Five. Written by Sharon Horgan (‘Pulling’, ‘Free Agents’), Angelo’s follows the fortunes of a group of misfits, wannabes and losers who frequent a greasy spoon in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Widowed Italian owner Angelo (Steve Brody, ‘The Office’) is – sort of – assisted by his truculent daughter Maria (Shelley Longworth, ‘Tittybangbang’, ‘It’s Adam and Shelley’), an aspiring singer who thinks her talents are wasted in the café. Angelo’s regulars include married police officers Karen (writer Horgan) and Dave (Paul Garner), intimidating minicab driver Shelley (Miranda Hart, ‘Nighty Night’), Maria’s best friend Alicia (Alice Lowe, ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’, ‘Hot Fuzz’) and bitter mime artist Kris (Simon Farnaby, ‘The Mighty Boosh’, ‘Blunder’) – who has a major crush on Maria.

In the first episode, Maria thinks she has a chance at stardom when the singer of her boyfriend’s band is shot; Karen and Dave visit the fertility clinic and Angelo receives a tempting offer from a representative of an American café chain.

It is just another day at Angelo’s. While Angelo indulges in one of his regular rants to a radio talkshow host, Kris professes his love for Maria through the medium of mime, Shelley yells “Minicab… minicab… minicab for Pete… MINICAB!!!” and Karen and Dave pop in for two glasses of milk and a chat about their fertility problems.

Exciting as all this may be, Maria is convinced that she is destined for bigger things. She spots her chance at the big time when boyfriend Mickey tells her that Minx, the singer in his band, has been shot. Maria thinks that she would be an ideal replacement. “It’s gonna be great, man,” she insists. “We’re gonna be like Jay–Z and Beyonce!” A derisive laugh from Alicia indicates that she does not agree. “Nothing like Bee-yonce,” she snorts. However, when she accompanies Maria to an audition, Alicia finds herself caught up in all the excitement and decides to try out as a dancer. But was “you shouldn’t disrespect yourself like that” really the response she was after?

Elsewhere, Dave and Karen drop in at a fertility clinic but have to leave when their radios crackle – “couldn’t get the time off,” explains Karen apologetically. Patrolling Trafalgar Square, Karen spots a lost child and tells Dave that she will take the boy back to the station… missing out the part where she takes the kid on a day out at the London Dungeon on the way!

Also in this opening episode, Angelo is intrigued by a classy customer and takes the chance to introduce her to his wall of fame – a line of celebrity punters including Noel Edmonds and Anita Dobson. But it soon emerges that the mystery woman has come for more than a ‘frothy coffee’ – she has a proposal for Angelo. How would he feel about turning his café into the latest branch of an American coffee chain? Maria thinks he should take the offer, reasoning that he will most likely be offered “a million” for the place – but can Angelo let his beloved café fall into corporate hands?

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