‘Friday Night Dinner’ serves mirthy dysfunction

BBC America’s upcoming laffer “Friday Night Dinner” operates on the premise, as creator Robert Popper says, that “whenever you go home and whatever age you are, you revert to being kids.” 

Popper practices – and confesses to – what he preaches. Popper said that in his own home, that includes he and his brother pulling their own hair out and dropping strands in his father’s water glass.  

But the kids came by their dysfunction honestly. 

“I grew up in a household where my father would refuse to wear a shirt – ever,” offers Popper as an example. And so when his pop sees “Friday Night Dinner” now, “he just watches it and goes, ‘That’s me.’ “

Simon Bird of “The Inbetweeners” plays one of the boys in “Dinner,” once again becoming the victim in many situations but, Bird says, “much more comfortable in his own skin.”

A second season of “Dinner” has already been commissioned in the U.K. Bird is also co-writing another comedy, “Chickens,” with “Inbetweeners” co-star Joe Thomas, which sounds more than a little promising. It’s set, Bird said, in 1914 about “three men who don’t go off to war … set in a village of women who hate them.”

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