12 reasons why we can’t wait for Here We Go to return - and how you can watch the first series of this highly-acclaimed family drama

The comedy gem is definitely on its way back for more

The cast of BBC sitcom Here We Go
(Image credit: BBC Studios/Jonathan Browning/Future)

Here We Go was one of the best BBC comedy offerings of 2022. With series two currently filming and a third commissioned, here's every reason you should tune in to this hidden gem.

Most people were glad to see the back of 2020, and were in much need of a comedy interlude to end a year primarily consisting of uncertainty and bad news. To see out the period of life most will eagerly want to forget, the BBC gave us one of the best comedy families ever to grace our screens - the catastrophically dysfunctional Jessop's in Here We Go. From the first episode airing on December 30, 2020, we were hooked.

Although later series like 2023's Henpocalypse! also used the pandemic as a tool to generate comedy, Here We Go was one of the pioneers - the pilot episode perfectly pitched the Jessop family's failed 2020 dream holiday to America, because buffoon dad Paul had refused to purchase flexi-tickets to allow for date changes and cancellations... The remaining six episodes didn't land until 2022, and if you're looking for what to watch this month, get yourself to iPlayer and binge the entire series. With series two confirmed to be filming and a third already given the go-ahead, here's every reason to tune into this epic comedy.

Reasons we can't wait for Here We Go to return:

1.The cast are amazing

Featuring well-known comedy heavyweights to some phenomenally talented newcomers, the Here We Go cast couldn't be any better. Creator Tom Basden, who also stars in the show, already had in mind exactly who he wanted for the leading adult roles of the Jessop parents and Grandma Sue.

He was ecstatic when the people he imagined in the roles agreed to be part of the cast - once they were on board and the pilot had been made, Basden was then able to pen the full series with their voices in mind.

2. Did someone say Alison Steadman?

Yes, someone did say Alison Steadman, because she is one of the comedy veterans Basden had in mind for his series, and takes the role of the sole grandparent. Although predominantly recognised by a generation as Pam from Gavin and Stacey ("It's all the drama Mick, I just love it!"), Alison Steadman is an incredibly talented actress who can turn her hand to serious and heart breaking roles, as well as comedy.

Ditching the Essex accent to become a Scouse grandma in Here We Go, Steadman proves once more that anything she touches will turn to gold, as her character Sue Jessop (not Big Fat Sue) steals every scene she appears in. In Sue Jessop, she manages to perfectly balance the effects of ageing and increased dependence on family that ageing brings, with a level of humour that doesn't make a joke of the elderly - she pitches it all perfectly.

2.There's also Jim Howick

Starring as Steadman's on-screen son is Jim Howick as Paul, a former Olympic archer now living a directionless life with only memories of his former glory. Adults will know Howick from Peep Show, Ghosts and Sex Education, among a multitude of acting credits. Those who tuned into Sex Education season four, who didn't cry when Howick's character, Colin, stepped in during a funeral to play With or Without You on the piano when the sound system broke? 

Both children and adults will recognise him from Horrible Histories too - this is definitely one to watch with your children if you haven't already. Horrible Histories offers everything from gross-out humour and gore, to laugh-out-loud fun and a genuine opportunity to learn something. Bringing his diverse comedy talent to Here We Go, viewers will feel feel sorry for Howick's character Paul and want to throttle him at the same time - it's conflicting.

3. There's even Katherine Parkinson

Can this cast get any better? Yes, it can, because Paul's wife Rachel is portrayed by Katherine Parkinson. Frustrated by her husband, the endless pressures of motherhood, and the apparent never-ending presence of mother-in-law Sue and her own brother, Robin (Basden), the versatile Parkinson brings Here We Go her A-game. 

Already a British Comedy Best TV Actress Award winner for her role in The IT Crowd, Parkinson has also been on the receiving end of BAFTA and Olivier Award nominations. We would love to see her add to her awards list with her highly relatable turn as Rachel Jessop.

4. Thank you, Tom Basden

It's Tom Basden we have to thank for the series, as he is the BAFTA-nominated mastermind behind it and has also given himself a role. His character Robin is another TV male who has failed at being a grown up. Playing at being a wannabe womaniser while ending one episode begging for his former girlfriend (Tori Allen-Martin as Cherry) not to marry somebody else, is just one of Robin's cringe-filled character arcs. 

Viewers are certain to join Cherry in quickly tiring of Robin's man-childishness, while laughing at him (and definitely not with him.) Robin is far removed from the character a lot of people will recognise Basden from - that of Matt in Ricky Gervais' After Life. Away from the cameras, Basden has a well-decorated comedy writing career, and Here We Go is one of many on a long list worth looking up.

5. The newcomers are stars of the future

Completing the Jessop family are daughter Amy (an excellent turn for Freya Parks who has 'superstar' written all over her), and hopeful YouTuber son Sam (Jude Collie). Freya Parks isn't only one to watch on our TV screens, she's also a talented musician who can turn her hand to a number of instruments and plays in a band.

At just 19-years-old, Sam Collie has a few screen credits to his name, but Here We Go will put him well and truly on the acting map. In October this year, Sam shared some brilliant behind-the-scenes pictures of Here We Go series 2 filming. Captioning the snaps "7 more weeks of being Sam and the end of filming for another incredible series of Here We Go," it appears the cast were having just as much fun away from the cameras as they were in front of them.

6. Critical acclaim

It's not just us who love the series, the critics were all over it too. Here We Go received five star reviews aplenty, and has a Broadcast Tech Innovation Award under it's belt. Benji Wilson from The Telegraph was just one critic to award the show five stars. He said "Don't be fooled by its ordinary appearance, this is a comic masterpiece," adding "Tom Basden's seemingly routine sitcom about a hapless British family grows into something truly special over its six episodes."

Nick Hilton from The Independent was similarly impressed. He referred to the show as "The unassuming, unadventurous – but brilliant – comedy everyone should be watching." He added "Light catastrophe is something that British comedy has always done well, from Peep Show to Outnumbered. And Here We Go is definitely the latest iteration of this formula: a sitcom of almost claustrophobic normalness." 

7. Unique filming style

It's through son Sam's eyes the story of the Jessops and their catastrophes unfold, with most of the footage being wonky camera angles as he films the family for his media studies course with a hand-held camera. This acts a brilliant narrative tool, to capture mundane family existence through his teen lens, as it turns to comedy gold.

Tom Basden has spoken about the inspiration behind the mockumentary style of filming, telling the British Comedy Guide the idea came from childhood holidays. "My Grandad used to film our holidays to Cornwall when I was a kid and his videos were often very funny by accident, because he'd capture things that were embarrassing or ridiculous despite setting out to make the family look happy and harmonious," Basden said, adding the idea of a family aware they're being filmed "Puts them under even more pressure to project positivity while everything is going wrong around them."

Actor Tom Basden

(Image credit: PA Images/Alamy)

8. The series has a cult following

Phrases such as "slow burn" and "unassuming" have been used in abundance in relation to Here We Go. Not hugely publicised, and quietly placed on iPlayer with episodes originally airing on a Friday night slot weekly, it was slow to gain momentum. But when viewers did arrive, they not only stayed, but told all of their friends about the best show they weren't watching. 

Fans of the show were referred to by The Independent's Nick Hilton as "Jessopheads," which is a title we definitely don't mind taking on. With a growing and dedicated fan-base, we are keen for more people to tune in and become part of the Jessop adoring cult alongside us - nobody should be missing out on being a part of something so special.

9. The characters are just so relatable

The beautiful simplicity of the show is that it follows a very normal family, doing very normal things - it's their sheer ineptitude that elevate what is an otherwise boring life to the heights of hilarity. It can become very easy when living the life of a 'normal' person (not a celebrity or someone who gets to do a super exciting job on a daily basis), to ruminate on how boring and ordinary life can become. 

However, witnessing the fact that most people live under the stresses and strains of domestic drudgery, slaves to their children's lives and desires, and burdened by endless domestic tasks, acts as a reminder that a certain stage of life can be the same for everyone. Rachel's side-eyeing of her mother-in-law, exasperation at every aspect of her existence, and simmering rage will resonate with most mothers out there. 

Watching Grandma Sue shriek "fire!" when a hapless Robin vapes from the back of the car it's taken hours to load everyone into, then promptly ask to go back for a wee at the end of the road, ramps up the empathy for Rachel even further. As a mother caught between still being needed by her children and also increasingly having her time eaten up by an ageing relative, is the current existence for many of the sandwich generation. Somebody give that woman a holiday, preferably the one to America she could have rearranged if it weren't for Paul, not the disastrous un-jolly to Margate she ended up with...

Actress Alison Steadman

(Image credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/Alamy)

10. It's genuinely funny

We understand comedy can be subjective, but trust us, this series is HILARIOUS. One particularly notable moment comes when gathering excitement for the giant inflatable pool placed in the Jessop garden, causes the clan to gather. Supposedly for the sole purpose of Grandma Sue's hip exercises, it's not long before a calamity involving a suspected arrival of menstrual blood or a possible shart takes place when everyone is in the pool. 

Speaking to the Herald Scotland on why he particularly wanted to do a family comedy, Tom Basden elaborated on why family dynamics made for the perfect set up. "To be perfectly honest, I don't think I had wanted to do a family comedy before. I think it's getting older, having kids myself and beginning to find your parents and grandparents funny, rather than just annoying," he said.

He added "There's a change that happens - you just have a slightly different perspective on family when you realise that you're turning into an embarrassing dad. The other thing is hitting on the idea of Sam filming everything. Once I'd seen it from that perspective, and seen all the things you could do with the youngest son filming everything, I got really excited about it and felt like we could do something that feels very different."  

11. The episodes come in short, manageable chunks

Long episodes forming part of even longer series can be difficult to fit into busy lives as a parent. That's why six episodes and a pilot episode of Here We Go, with each episode coming in at the 29 minute mark, are easy to slot in at the end of the day. 

The need to watch episodes in order is only also vague. There is a loosely linear motion to the storyline that makes watching in order preferable, but each episode has it's own fresh Jessop disaster. Therefore, if you accidentally miss one, or find yourself on the wrong episode, you won't be scratching your head trying to work anything out. 

12. The changing timelines are easy to follow

The home video style of filming gives way for an easy switch between the past and present in the series. However, this backwards and forwards shift doesn't require intense concentration to follow, or require brain-melting levels of deciphering (looking at you here, Bodies.)

We defy you not to fall in love with this series - you might arrive for the humour, but you'll stay for a very real love for a bunch of ordinary Bedford residents that are full of heart, and will make you snort-laugh.

How to watch Here We Go

The easiest way to watch Here We Go free of charge is on BBC iPlayer. The pilot and all subsequent episodes are all currently available to view on the streamer. For those with a NOW TV subscription, the series is also on there in its entirety. 

For more TV recommendations, viewers asking when will Doctor Who return don't have long to wait. We've also delved into whether Doctor Who is suitable for kids, and revealed everything there is to know about brand new Doctor incarnation, Ncuti Gatwa.

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.