In a surprising turn of events, comedic sensation Catherine Tate has been left disheartened and frustrated by Netflix’s apparent lack of communication. The popular comedian, aged 53, wrote and starred in the 2021 series “Hard Cell,” a mockumentary set within the fictional HMP Woldsley, where Catherine portrayed multiple characters. However, despite the show’s respectable 6.4 rating on IMDB, it was abruptly canned after just six episodes, leaving both fans and Tate herself unsurprisingly “bovvered” by the lack of transparency.
Critics had their say on the show, with Gabriel Tate of The Telegraph criticising it as being dated. At the same time, Rachel Aroesti of The Guardian took issue with what she perceived as a lack of plot and an abundance of one-dimensional characters. On the other hand, James Hibbs of Radio Times acknowledged an improvement in the show’s humour over time, despite some initial reservations about immature jokes.
Speaking candidly on the BBC Two Breakfast show, Catherine Tate revealed that Netflix neglected to inform her about the show’s cancellation, leaving her blindsided and disappointed. The decision to end “Hard Cell” came following a change in staff at Netflix, resulting in a desire to move forward with new programming. While understanding the network’s wish for change, Tate expressed her desire for better communication, as it would have been “nice for them to have told” her about the show’s fate.
Before the series’ release, executive producer Kristian Smith had exuberantly anticipated sharing the show with audiences. She eagerly looked forward to offering viewers a glimpse into HMP Woldsley, a fictional women’s correctional facility, and witnessing Catherine Tate’s fantastic creations. However, with the unexpected cancellation, it appears that initial excitement has now turned to disappointment.
Catherine Tate has long been celebrated for her iconic character, Lauren Cooper, who famously asks, “Am I bovvered?” In this role, she playfully represents Britain’s ‘chav’ era, captivating audiences with her comedic talent. However, beyond her roles, Tate has been an outspoken advocate against cancel culture, voicing her concerns about its impact on comedy. She has called for a return to common sense, arguing that jokes are often “willfully misconstrued” in today’s comedy climate.
In a past interview on the BBC’s Headliners podcast, Tate emphasized that comedy serves as a means of connection and that humour often arises from playfully teasing one another. She argued that in the spirit of comedy, “everyone should have the Mickey taken out of them” at times, recognising the line between humour and hypersensitivity is crucial.
Acknowledging the subjectivity of comedy, Tate insisted that her comedy has never aimed to offend. Nevertheless, she recognises that interpretation lies in the hands of the audience and that she is not “in control” of how her comedy is perceived.
Amidst the cancellation setback, Catherine Tate continues to grace our screens. Currently starring in the BBC series “Queen Of Oz,” Tate brings to life the character of Princess Georgiana, a party girl who has brought scandal to the royal family and is forced to rule in Australia. However, the reviews for this comedy are pretty mixed, currently standing at an IMDB rating of 6.
As comedy evolves in a world where sensitivities run high, it remains vital to appreciate the power of laughter and its capacity to unite people. While “Hard Cell” may have met an untimely end, Catherine Tate’s comedy legacy will remain undiminished, and no doubt her loyal legion of fans eagerly await her next uproarious venture.