Growing Pains



Rhod Gilbert


Rumpus Media for Comedy Central, 12 January 2021 to present


Three panelists are in the studio. They hope to convince Rhod Gilbert to put their embarrassing childhood memories and memorabilia into a box, which will be taken away and burned.

This rubbish photo? Burn it.

A typical show might review a photo from the panelists' callow youth, then remember some early romantic fumblings. The teenage obsessions are dissected, we might hear some teenage poetry, or about a favourite band.

The panellists also talk about a foodstuff and a drink from their youth.

The show somewhat falls away in the second half. "My most embarrassing year" is a montage of videos they've liberated from Youtube with a sneering commentary by the panelist: this isn't a prompt for debate, nobody cares to defend The Reynolds Girls. A buzzer round invites the panel to interrupt Rhod's tale and ask, "Is that me?"

A winner is declared, based purely on Rhod's whim, and takes home a prize based on something they weren't allowed as a child. There's a Jerry Springer moment at the end of the show, where each panelist turns to the camera and offers some advice to their teenage self.

Growing Pains works because, in the main, everything is volunteered. There are no surprises, all of the anecdotes are offered in the spirit of, "this is what I was like as a youngster, what a pain." We have consent to laugh along with the celebs, at memories of their own discomfort.

Web links

British Comedy Guide entry

See also

Weaver's Week review


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