Inside No.9 (Season 5) Review
by J. Ellmers
** 2 Stars
‘As a whole, the opening of season 5 was not what I expected, nor did I particularly enjoy it.’
Episode: ‘The Referee’s a W***er’
Cast: Reece Shearsmith, David Morrissey, Steve Pemberton, Dipo Ola
Synopsis: The beautiful game. The crunch clash between United and Rovers in the last match of the season, all safely in the care of the four match officials
As someone who has little to zero interest in football, but rather enjoys Inside No. 9, I was quite disappointed with this season’s opening. Although an English show, I was hindered by my lack of football lingo (Throw-in?) and paid the price. That being said, the twist at the end of the episode (a staple of Inside No.9) was not particularly harrowing or gory and made a pleasant, refreshing change from previous seasons.
Notably, the inclusion of LGBT+ issues was thoughtful in theory, however, in this episode it felt almost shoe-horned in, and Martin’s (Morrissey) sexuality appeared more of a plot device than an opportunity to make a statement about the treatment of LGBT+ individuals in a heterosexual male dominated occupation.
Nevertheless, the shocking element would have been more appreciated by somebody with a genuine passion for football. After searching up the episode online and reading what the twist actually was because I had initially missed it, I did find it quite amusing. It is not as serious or hard-hitting as other episodes in the series, instead offering more comedic relief. Something that Inside No.9 handles very well is that balance between episodes which have a serious impact and those which function more to make an audience laugh.
As a whole, the opening of season 5 was not what I expected, nor did I particularly enjoy it. However, I can appreciate the large demographic of football fans who would. The reversal of expectations was admittedly funny, and allows audiences to understand the truth behind the referee’s a w***er.
Inside No.9 (Season 5) is currently available on BBC iPlayer and was rated 15 by the BBFC.