Stags & Hens is a change of pace in this series of People Just Do Nothing – this is a radio-free episode, and things take a more character-driven turn, in what proves to be one of the show’s best episodes yet – hilarious, spectacularly written and thoroughly entertaining.
The show’s main cast are brought much closer together in Stags & Hens, as the men embark on MC Grindah’s stag do, and the women, under the close control of Miche, experience her version of a hen do. The stag do in particular provides some brilliant moments: the continuous use of Steves’ inheritance money to fund the ventures of the Kurupt FM crew – in this case for drinks, a prostitute and strippers – is as funny as it has ever been. Steve Stamp’s performance continues to shine through, excellently portraying Steves’ helplessness and inability to stop his precious money going down the drain.
The entire stag do epitomises the painful realism of People Just Do Nothing – no single part of the night goes to plan, which makes for some brilliant viewing, notably with Grindah’s temporary infatuation for a stripper, almost threatening to derail his marriage. The strip club sequence itself is simply brilliant, with some terrific performances from Allan Mustafa and Hugo Chegwin, as Grindah and Beats stumble their way around the club, like fish out of water – with their discomfort in the situation being hugely apparent through their uneasy nature – testament to both their great performances and terrific character depth, through brilliant writing.
Also brilliant is the small role that Asim Chaudhry’s Chabuddy G plays in proceedings. His position at the electrical store is still very funny to watch, as he continues to try and convince the Kurupt FM crew that he manages the shop, and his dynamic with his superiors in the workplace is as brilliant to watch as ever. When he eventually joins up with the stag do, it provides even more great moments, with his adamance to stay in the strip club, despite being ejected, being a notable highlight, before a very funny final scene.
The other plot line this week is Miche’s hen do, which seems to be the polar opposite of Grindah’s. As his is scrappy, spontaneous and unplanned, Miche’s is meticulously scheduled, and almost robotic in nature. Lily Brazier delivers another brilliant performance as Miche tries to hold things together, and her friendship with Ruth Bratt’s Roche – a dynamic not often explored in PJDN – is a refreshing development. Miche’s over-enthusiasm for the friendship, to the point of naivety, is utterly hilarious, and Roche’s reluctance, bordering on plain disgust at times, is wonderfully portrayed, summarised perfectly in their joint rendition of Take That’s ‘Never Forget’. It’s nice to see most of the main cast involved in this episode’s proceedings, with even Craig playing a small – but hugely funny – role in the hen party.
Stags & Hens takes the cast of People Just Do Nothing out of their natural environments – the only microphone seen here is at Miche’s karaoke party – and is all-the-better for it, showing the characters we’ve grown to love in situations that are wildly new to them. It allows for some of the most painfully funny moments of the series, and brilliantly balances the rich cast, leaving no key player without anything to do. In what has been a very strong series so far, Stags & Hens could be the best yet, using the show’s refined style of comedy and taking it to fascinating new places.