Ahead of the release of ITV2’s latest comedy sitcom Plebs later this month, TQS went to a screening of the first two episodes ‘Orgy’ and ‘Gladiator’.
Plebs follows the lives of three young adults Marcus (Tom Rosenthal), Stylax (Joel Fry) and their unenthusiastic slave Grumio (Ryan Sampson), living in a flat together in Ancient Rome as they try their best to pull women and have fun.
The three men are soon joined by the beautiful Cynthia (Sophie Colquhoun) and her less than cheerful slave Metella (Lydia Rose Bewley) who move into the flat next door.
The writing is hilarious: “We’re prioritising orgies over food now?” and the comedic timing of Ryan Sampson as Grumio is really brilliant, he got the most laughs.
Plebs director and Co-writer Sam Leifer said: “Me and my co-writer Tom Basden have a theory, which is that desperate young blokes are desperate young blokes, whether it’s set in 27 BC or now it doesn’t matter.”
He said the writers have taken their own experiences from living in London and set them in Rome instead as he has always found the setting fascinating since his four-year degree studying Classics.
“It’s basically a really rich and interesting backdrop, and if you are going to have guys talking about their genitalia why not do it in Ancient Rome?
“We liked the idea that this nebbishness is timeless and everyone desperate to get girls, get on the social ladder and desperate to get jobs.”
It is the Roman backdrop that really sets Plebs apart from other sitcoms and they make the most of it. There are not many overly modern jokes apart from a couple of interesting job titles that you’ll notice, but the humour is there and it works.
As well as a very talented new cast there also a cameo from Danny Dyer who plays a gladiator in episode two.
Think The Inbetweeners in togas and you are pretty close to what Plebs is all about.
Plebs is a six-part series and can be seen on ITV2 on March 25th. Watch a brand new clip below: