Of all the things to come out of the UK invading Afghanistan in 2011, a BBC 3 comedy show about a bomb disposal squad trying not to get killed is probably the most surprising outcome. What’s even more surprising is that it was good – very good. Good enough to get recommissioned for a second series that’s just come to an end. So, did Bluestone 42 series two live up to expectations? Well, if you paid attention to the title of this post, you’ll know that the answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ not least thanks to the fact that writers Richard Hurst and James Cary added a couple of new elements. First a story arc – about an Afghan bomber which has realistically real conclusion – and a new character called Corporal Gordon “Towerblock” House played by Matthew Lewis who replaces Millsy, a tough act to follow. Luckily, Towerblock slotted into the cast as if he has always been there; even more impressive when you consider that Lewis was last seen fighting He Who Must Not Be Named outside Hogwarts as Neville Longbottom. This just makes lines like “tell me or I’ll take a dump in your dos bag” even funnier. The rest of the cast continues their good work with most scenes stolen by the two daft Scots Private Kevin “Mac” McDowell (Jamie Quinn) and Private Euan “Rocket” Armstrong (Scott Hoatson). The only casting down side is Lance Corporal Simon “Skip” Lansley (Stephen Wright), who gradually became so annoying that his character will soon be reclassified as a weapon of torture. Ok, it might not approach the lofty heights and black comic genius of Blackadder Goes Forth, or the poignant realism of M.A.S.H. – it’s far too silly for one thing – but nevertheless the second series of Bluestone 42 did a great job of balancing comedy with the reality of war. There are frequent mentions that someone has died, while the effects of combat aren’t glossed over either: best demonstrated by the punch in the stomach cliffhanger that ended the season (I won’t spoil it for you in case you haven’t seen it, but needless to say, it’s a doozy). Bluestone 42 continues its march towards being one of the funniest programmes on TV. Thank goodness that series three is currently being trained to be deployed in the coming year. Don’t miss it.]]>