It was so unfunny. I can't believe it was the pick of the day in some TV schedules!
Maybe it'll be a slow burner (The Office or the IT Crowd - which had the same producer - took a while to get into). Or maybe the reviewers were so bowled over by the stellar cast list, which includes Jane Horrocks, Mark Addy and Rita May, and the fact it's written and directed by ex-Shameless folk they didn't notice how bad the dialogue was or how non-existent the gags.
Consider the following exchange between Valco's interim deputy manager Julie (Horrocks) and butchers Andy and Kieran.
"I am the interim manager and my word goes as long as I'm interimming," she says, trying to assert her authority with the pair.
Cue incredulous looks. "Did you just say you're into rimming?"
Julie is oblivious. "Yes, is there anything wrong with that?"
Err, yes, I felt like screaming at the TV, it's NOT FUNNY.
Weirdly, there was loads of leaden innuendo like this more often than not inexplicably involving Andy (Addy). One character says she'd "shag him but wouldn't let him do the back door though not a butcher". Delightful! Andy later nonsensically describes himself as a BILF (work it out) and says his perfect woman would be fit and deaf deaf people, he reasons, have extra taste buds and "wouldn't be able to get enough of my meat".
He says it innocently, but are we really supposed to believe he's not aware of the double meaning when he's just dubbed himself a BILF?
I didn't laugh once during this. Not once. I hated the supermarket's stupid name and slogan: Serves you right - yet another witless double entendre. Most of all, I hated Horrocks. She's just not a good comedy actress.
Unlike Ricky Gervais in The Office, she always looks as though she's acting (and pleased with her efforts). The upshot is that I had zero interest in her character, even though on paper it should have been more likeable than David Brent. The truth is she was more plausible and amusing in the Tesco ads.
More from this column