When new Sky original comedy ’Breeders’ was filmed, it was totally relatable for many mums and dads. The dark comedy gives an unflinching, adult look at the everyday struggles of life with a young family.
Now, as the new show airs on Sky One to a nation on daunted, housebound families, the hilarious and head-scratching conundrum of wanting to keep your kids happy and healthy at home while also wanting to boot them off the face of the earth is relatable to even more weary parents than ever before.
The series stars Daisy Haggard (Back To Life, Uncle) and Martin Freeman (The Office, Sherlock) as the mother and father of two, coping with parenting in their own realistic, sweary way,
Sweary parenting is one of the most unusual elements of the sitcom, just as hilarious as it is shocking. On set, with the show’s preschool cast, Haggard and Freeman had to substitute soundalike words into the script to avoid swearing around the children - and for them, that was the funniest part of filming the comedy.
Haggard told Shortlist. “It's such a sweary script that a lot fo the time, you'd be saying all these really random words instead of the expletives, and that just would always make me dissolve into a big pile of giggles and not be able to do the scene properly,” Haggard reveals. The most ridiculous of them all? “‘CLOCK!’ Rather than ‘cock’. I was talking about someone's clock ring. And ‘fit’ instead of 'shit'. It just makes the whole sentence take on a whole new meaning: ‘You stupid fit!”
So, has she adopted the surreal stand-ins into her vernacular, too?
“No, I prefer swearing!” Haggard admits.
Just as the content itself is more relevant than ever, so too is the need for some proper, laugh-out-loud, comforting comedy. And is there anything more laugh-out-loud and comforting than the family sitcom?
Here, Daisy Haggard reveals her favourite family comedy shows of all time. We’ll be sticking these on repeat for, oh, just the next few months, endlessly…
“I'm excited that we get to show such an honest and an unflinching look at parenting, It's nice to have a show that shows that darker side, when we’re used to seeing the softer side on TV. It’s a fresh addition to the telly world. In the very first scene of the series, Martin’s character Paul vows to not shout at the children, but then completely lets rip at them - it’s quite a shocking opener. It sets the tone in such a bold way. I feel like I hadn't seen that before.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990 - 1996)
“Growing up, my favorite family sitcom was ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’. I used to watch it every day and loved it so much, so even now when it's on telly, I find it so comforting. It immediately makes me feel like I’m home from school, sick, and wrapped in a blanket. It’s funny and silly, and I just really wanted to go round and hang out with everybody. Of course, I can still do the rap.”
Better Things (2016 -)
“I have just discovered 'Better Things'. I am really late to the party, but I like the party and I want to go to the party more. I think Pamela Adlon, who created and stars in it, is a genius. Immediately, I could already tell it would be one of my favourite things. It's about a divorced actress who's a single mum, raising three daughters on her own. Tonally, I love it. It's funny and dry and touching and surprising. It can build to a scene and then doesn't need to show you it. It's unobvious and interesting and truthful, so I really responded to that.”
Arrested Development (2003 - 2019)
“When I first met my husband, he couldn't believe that I hadn't watched ‘Arrested Development’, so we have now watched the whole of it. Through all my pregnancies, it was the one thing I really felt like watching. It's crazy, and surreal and funny. It’s a bold and brilliant show. Everyone in it is so good that genuinely, it’s too hard to pick a favourite character - I think mine swaps around with each series. But, Tobias is pretty damn funny - I love David Cross as well, he's always brilliant. Watching ‘Arrested Development’ is the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs when you're feeling like you need to laugh and you’re sick of the dullness of your own life.”
The Simpsons (1989 - )
“It’s timeless brilliance. I've just started trying to get my daughter to watch it, so I don't have to watch other rubbish cartoons. She's only five, but she loves it. I’m really enjoying showing it to her, and having her watch something like that is so clever in its silliness. ‘The Simpsons’ is just one of those things that you can have on and watch all the time. It’s endlessly brilliant, from the credits to the end, every episode. I would love to do a Simpsons guest voice - that’s when you’ve made it. I think my husband would propose to me all over again if I ever did a Simpsons guest voice.”
Sky Original Breeders airs Thursdays at 10pm on Sky One and on streaming service NOW TV.