British sitcom Hapless could be the new Curb Your Enthusiasm

British sitcom Hapless could be the new Curb Your Enthusiasm

May 9, 2023

Trailer for Netflix sitcom Hapless starring Tim Downie

British comedy Hapless had returned to screens on Amazon Prime Video for season two.

The show follows the misadventures of cynical local journalist Paul Green as he covers stories for the fourth largest Jewish newspaper in the UK, The Jewish Enquirer, while helping out his sister Naomi (Jeany Spark).

Season one first came out in 2020 and has already garnered comparisons to both Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld, but how similar is the show to these American counterparts?

Speaking exclusively to, writer and director Gary Sinyor addressed the conception of the series: “I was actually in the States when Curb Your Enthusiasm started airing, I was working out there and I was a big fan certainly the earlier seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Sinyor continued: “Because that was such a low-concept thing, in other words, it’s not set on a spaceship – TV loves the high-concept stuff, so I came up with a very, very low-concept idea, which is basically I want to make fun out of the things I want to make fun out of.”

The director said the idea for Hapless first came to him 10 years ago under the working title of The Jewish Enquirer, which later changed to its current name.

Despite being a fan of Curb, Sinyor admitted the big element which didn’t resonate with him was the Larry David comedy was set in the world of wealth and celebrity which was of “zero interest” to him.

He said: “What actually matters to me is the people that I meet out here”, adding, Hapless was “much more down to Earth”.

Sinyor also warned the show wasn’t the British equivalent to Curb: “It’s sort of its own thing. It was inspired by what was going on with Curb, I guess, when I started writing it.

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“But now I open a book or a turn on the news and I just think, ‘Oh, I can take the p*** out of that and explore it’.”

In fact, Sinyor said he also included elements from his own life into Hapless, including being forced to swim naked as a child while a student at Manchester Grammar School from the ages of 11 to 14 – a practice which mercifully has since gone but nonetheless left its mark on the director.

Sinyor even wrote a character into season two who endured the same childhood trauma.

“There are some things that are just little gripes of mine that I have from a long time ago, I’m going, ‘That was not acceptable.’ Naked swimming was unacceptable,” he said. Sinyor joked writing Hapless was a cathartic form of “therapy” and by far “cheaper”.

Season two of Hapless will see lots of famous faces cropping up including comedienne Ronni Ancona, Saturday Kitchen chef Matt Tebbutt, Loose Women’s Linda Robson and comic Sally Phillips, among others.

Sinyor said he’d like to get Hollywood star Damian Lewis and Iranian comedian Omid Djalili to appear on Hapless next.

With season two hitting screens, Sinyor is already turning his attention toward a possible third outing.

He said: “I can come up with ideas and know exactly where I’m going to shoot it,” referencing the fact the series is shot in his house along with some of his friends’ homes.

In terms of future projects, Sinyor simply said: “I think it’s Hapless from now on”, saying he wanted to focus all his efforts on the sitcom going forward.

Hapless season 2 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now

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