In spring of 2015, NBC made a US pilot of Cuckoo, starring Michael Chiklis, Cheryl Hines and Flula Borg. UK writers Robin French and Kieron Quirke, who created the original BBC series, wrote the adaptation with The Simpsons veteran Tim Long, who served as showrunner. That US version of the show did not see the light of day, however, the original series is courtesy of Netflix.
Today sees the US debut of the first two UK seasons (or series as they are called across the pond) of Cuckoo streaming on Netflix. The show originally aired back in 2012 BBC Three in the UK. Written by Robin French and Kieron Quirke (Trinity, Roommates, Man Stroke Woman), the first season starred Greg Davies, Andy Samberg, Helen Baxendale, Tamla Kari and Tyger Drew-Honey.
Cuckoo is set in Lichfield, Staffordshire, home to the Thompson family. When Ken (Davies) and Lorna (Baxendale) collect their daughter Rachel (Kari) from the airport, they learn that she has returned from her gap year before medical school having married Dale “Cuckoo” Ashbrick (Samberg) – an eccentric American “hippy” with an all-loving attitude, who does not have a job and loves to take drugs. The first season has 6 episodes and has a soundtrack that includes Fleetwood Mac, The Chemical Brothers, and a handful of tracks from Dexys Midnight Runners, who’s most recognizable track to US audiences is the hit “Come On Eileen”. The Lumineers have also been featured on the show.
Spoiler alert! Don’t read ahead if you don’t want to know the synopsis of the second season.
Ok, so you do want to know the synopsis of season 2 or you wouldn’t have just read this. Very well. In the second season of Cuckoo, two years have passed and we learn that Cuckoo (Samberg) went missing in a climbing accident in the Himalayas, Dylan (Drew-Honey) is heading off to university and Rachel (Smith) is moving in with new boyfriend Ben (Lacey). Dale, a young hirsute American arrives (played by Taylor Lautner) — claiming to be Cuckoo’s son, searching for his father whom he has never met. Taking pity, Ken and Lorna ask him to stay.
If you are in to quirky, this is the show for you. Cuckoo is every parent’s worst nightmare – a slacker full of outlandish, New Age ideas. Here’s the original trailer released for the series back in 2012 featuring Andy Samberg and a clip from episode 1 where Ken is planning a day out bonding with Cuckoo. He goes to Cuckoo’s room to wake him, taking him a cup of tea. After taking a while to stir, Cuckoo comes round and panics, slapping Ken clean across the face. Enjoy.