The camera crew have left Kerry and Kurtan’s small Cotswold village, concluding This Country.
Series three of the BAFTA-winning mockumentary continued to follow the Mucklowe cousins facing rural difficulties, painting real issues with comedy in six well-written episodes.
With nothing to do in the countryside, siblings Daisy May (Kerry Mucklowe) and Charlie Cooper (Kurtan Mucklowe) wrote and starred in a comedy about their life. What makes This Country successful is the hilarity of these true to life moments.
We are shown parish quirks, like the Harvest Festival and open gardens. Through skillful use of shot framing, we intrude through windows or doorways, but are welcomed by heedless and humorous characters.
The juxtaposition of characters is ingenious. Len being found half dead in an ambulance causes worry for the vicar and excitement for Kerry and Kurtan. These contrasting emotions create a comedic effect, which is heightened by the mockumentary style camera zooms and acting choices, such as Kerry’s hand movements.
It happens again when Mandy shares her disturbing creative writing. This jarred story is possibly the funniest scene in the show, with lines such as “‘Bark,’ said the dog.” The Vicar’s awkwardness and shock is amusing because Mandy regards her story as normal.
Bizarre scenarios, such as Kurtan throwing Kerry’s shoe onto a train, are made believable through the actor’s glances to the camera during conversations and well-timed pauses.
The final episode saw the Vicar saying goodbye to the village and despite Kerry and Kurtan’s devastation they encouraged the Vicar to move on. It beautifully emphasises the loss rural communities suffer, even if it is through Kurtan’s bizarre Toy Story analogy which lightens the mood.
The character development of Kerry is prominent throughout the final series, but she still displays her lovable flaws. She is still selfish – leaving Kurtan to cook her meals, turn over her mother with a snow shovel and losing Griff his job – but she gives Kurtan the money she owes him.
She finally betrays her scummy father and teaches the Vicar that he doesn’t have to please everyone. Her flaws provide the humour while her maturity shows her journey.
Series three contains the best writing and acting from the entire show. It is the perfect conclusion to a series which balances comedy and realism to shed a light on rural life. As another friend leaves the village, Kerry and Kurtan remain. They would rather be happy at home than miserable and “successful” elsewhere.
The last six episodes show their newfound maturity and place in the community. The small props, such as the Vicar’s “Keep Calm and Love Your Village” sign and washing drying in the background place the audience in the middle of a close-knit community, made rural by intercut shots of the countryside. It is a faultless build that never fails to put a smile on its audience’s face.
Feature image credit: BBC3