Cuckoo follows a British family of four, as their daughter brings home a new husband from Thailand. Originally a show on BBC 3, Netflix has also picked it up for a few more seasons.
First season featured Andy Samberg as Cuckoo, Rachel’s (Tamla Kari) new husband. Samberg is great at getting into a silly, hippy character like Cuckoo but unfortunately I never felt too connected to him. Perhaps it was the writing and a stronger focus on the reactions of the father figure, Ken (and wonderful British comedic actor, Greg Davies) to his new son-in-law.
Between first and second season, there were a few interesting and initially shocking changes. Most importantly, Andy Samberg was replaced by Taylor Lautner after his American show Brooklyn 9-9 got picked up. Although the title character was gone, second and third season weren’t hurt by the change but instead given a needed boost. Lautner’s character Dave, as Cuckoo’s son who just escaped a cult, is hilariously honest. His hi-jinks and slow discovery of British life seems more real than Samberg’s new-wave style, surprisingly making the latter seasons more enjoyable.
Another big change was the replacement of Rachel’s actor from Kari to Esther Smith. After an episode or two to get used to her, she fits in well for the family dynamic and manages better chemistry with Lautner’s Dave than Kari and Samberg ever had together in first season.
This series can be found on Netflix, and has been renewed for another two seasons. NBC has also commissioned a pilot for an American version of this show. As always, let’s not assume that version will be any good, especially since a big part of the British version is Cuckoo and Dave’s clash with their newfound proper English family.