The long awaited return of Peter Kay’s BAFTA winning Car Share came last month, after a two-year break from our screens. The series, this time just four episodes, was released in full on BBC iPlayer after episode one aired, perfect for the serial binge-watchers among you. Series two picked up where the first left off, with John (Kay) driving, listening to Hear’Say’s ‘Pure and Simple’ from the Now 48 CD gifted to him by Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) on their last car share home.
With Kayleigh now living with her sister Mandy and family, we see her commuting through Manchester, all the while talking to John on the phone. Eventually, he picks her up on his way to work and we’re back to the same brilliant dynamic we all fell in love with in the first series. Who knew it was possible to become so emotionally invested in the lives of two colleagues traveling to and from work together each day?
Memorable moments from episode one include John being cut up by a cyclist who stopped for a rest, placing his water bottle on the roof of John’s car. After exclaiming, “It’s a car, not a coaster!” John found himself the victim of a YouTube remix, showing him hurling abuse at the cyclist, which ended up going viral.
The romance between John and Kayleigh is immediately amped up this series, with the will-they, won’t-they tension becoming almost unbearable. In episode two, we join John and Kayleigh driving to and from their work’s annual staff party. With Harry Potter fancy dress, cheesy 80s love songs provided by Forever FM and more of Gibson’s hilarious drunk acting which we saw in series one, what more could you want? We also finally met Kayleigh’s new best mate, ‘Elsie off deli’ in this episode, played by Conleth Hill, better known as Game of Thrones’ Varys. The romance between John and Kayleigh was upped even further in this episode, with them very nearly kissing, interrupted at the last moment by Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ blasting out of Kayleigh’s phone as Elsie rang to conveniently check if she’d left her inhaler in John’s car. Damn it.
“Heart-warming and hilarious in perfect balance [...] Peter Kay can do no wrong”
From the looks of social media, episode three proved a viewer favourite, with Kayleigh convincing John to bunk of work and have a day out at a safari park. Hilarity ensues once John’s red Fiat enters the monkey enclosure, with one monkey ending up on the back seat wearing a seatbelt, after escaping the park on the top of John’s car. As hilarious as this is, it is the only moment where the show begins to veer away from the observational realism Kay’s work is renowned for. This is perfectly saved, however, by the line “It’s like some shit comedy”, which both ackowledges and justifies the ridiculousness of the situation.
In the final episode, viewers were desperate for something to happen between John and Kayleigh. The final ten minutes were a whirlwind of emotions. John, reluctant to share his feelings, eventually admitted Kayleigh’s romantic gestures “scared the shit out of [him]” making him “feel things [he’d] not felt for ages”. The final heartbreaking moments came with Kayleigh leaving the car, admitting, “I love you. And it’s killing me that you don’t feel the same.” Although it wasn’t the ending we hoped for, it kept viewers hooked right to the last moment, with John’s simple final line, “Yeah, I’m done” providing what seemed to be a rounded ending to the show. Last week, Kay confirmed this is the end of the road for Car Share. As sad as this is, it is a wise decision, as too many sitcoms are spoilt by running too long. It’s better to leave them at their best, which this series of Car Share absolutely was. Over the last few years it has without doubt become my favourite sitcom of all time. Heart-warming and hilarious in perfect balance, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Peter Kay can do no wrong.