Sep 13, 2017

[Books] Miranda Hart's Joke Shop - The Complete First Radio Series Audible Review


Before the brilliant comedy Miranda, there was Miranda Hart's Joke Shop, a radio series which was pretty much a pilot for the eventual sitcom.  It's hard to tell this recording apart from the actual show but one really needs to appreciate the joys of radio dramas as much as the British continue to do given their many programs of this nature.

I stumbled across the radio series as an Audible audio book release and I had no hesitation getting it along with some of her other audio books including Is It Just Me? which was also brilliant.

While short, this radio series is about as fun as the sitcom; allbeit without the joy of seeing Miranda being her adorable Miranda self.

Synopsis: Miranda Hart's Joke Shop - The Complete First Radio Series is a compilation of the first radio show based on Miranda Hart's semi-autobiographical writing. The radio series pretty much includes the same characters who appeared on the show later on.

As this was the radio show that helped inspire the sitcom, the series centers around Miranda (Miranda Hart), who is a rather socially awkward and clumsy woman who has decided to put up her own joke shop that she runs with her friend Stevie (Sarah Hadland). This is but one of the many disappointments of her mother (Patricia Hodge), who is desperate to marry her off and get her settled down.

Things really kick into high gear when Gary (Tom Ellis) returns and Miranda's feelings for him come rushing back. The biggest challenge of course is how Miranda can not her her Miranda-ness get in the way of her efforts to win Gary's heart and for him to not just see her as a very tall, man-like friend.

What I Liked: Even in this audio-only format, the show remains absolutely brilliant and listening to this sort of pre-pilot for the sitcom just had me wanting to watch the entire show all over again. A lot of the lines feel familiar given they made it to the final show but it's hard to tell how things could have gone differently since it's all so funny.

It just goes to show that Miranda Hart really came up with a great concept with this show and  its no wonder how it got turned into a television program. And beyond that, it's easy to understand how she can be so endearing when even as an audio performance you want to root for her and hope that she gets Gary in the end.

What Could Have Been Better: Now this is only the framework that pretty much became the the first season of the show and some other bits and you will feel the pain of not getting enough of the show out of the audio book experience. It's funny and crazy but it's a little short and it doesn't satisfy any of your shared pining for Gary. This is quite the shame.

The biggest pain of this series as a audio book release is that it's about 2 hours long while other audio books go for much longer for the same point. This is not to say that the book isn't worth the money I paid for it, but I do wish it had come in at a lower price point so my credit card wouldn't have experienced as much pain as it did.

TL;DR: Whether or not you're a Miranda fan, Miranda Hart's Joke Shop - The Complete First Radio Series is totally worth a listen if you can spare an Audible credit or whichever method you use for getting audio books. It's a lot of the fun of the show in a radio program and it's SUCH FUN. Thus the radio series gets a fun 4 Miranda-isms out of a possible 5.


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