Like its BBC rival, it chiefly focuses on the lives and loves of the PAs, giving the programme makers license to fill our screens with a host of nubile, sex-mad young things who derive job satisfaction mainly from copping off with each other. Cue predictable plotline involving an unlucky-in-love PA, who meets a stranger in a pub, heads home with him, fails to do the deed, pukes in his shoe instead - and arrives at work next day to discover he's the PA for the new sexually voracious female COO, who, guess what, he's been sleeping with. Aha ha.
And there was worse to come. I'm all for tasteless gags, but the one about Kajagoogoo being more likely to come back than the colleague off sick with cancer (yes, side-splitting, isn't it), was a step too far. Even the usually reliable Neil Stuke looked embarrassed delivering the punchline: "Yes, she's got Kajagoogoo fever". And so he should. It isn't bloody funny!
Another major negative was Fay Ripley, playing the alcoholic HR director. Every time I see Ripley's smug, whiny little mug, I just want to punch her (especially in those cringeworthy Tesco ads). And normally I feel no guilt in this. So imagine my irritation when one PA lands a good left hook on her and I feel sorry for her - sorry because alcoholism is, like cancer, depressing and sad, not the place to mine for comedy gold.
It might get better, I suppose. Who knew The Office was going to be a hit based on the first episode?
It was also mildly, I stress mildly, amusing that the story revolved around the struggling retailer's relocation to Leeds - and that the building bore a passing resemblance (deliberate?) to Asda House.
The characters, however, bore no resemblance to human beings, let alone grocery bigwigs (though perhaps one or two CEOs wouldn't mind if the COO, played by Holly Aird, did). Shame, because the premise has potential - if what's in store takes place in a store.