The 15 Storeys High Day Thread (21st August)

15 Storeys High was a demented BBC sitcom created by comedian Sean Lock in 2002. Set in a seedy London housing estate, it starred Lock as the depressed, misanthropic Vince, and Benedict Wong as his childishly innocent flatmate Errol. Two wildly disparate characters living together is a standard sitcom trope, but the show proved to be so much more, so much weirder than that. It’s not really about anything, except for missing Tesco clubcards, extremely persistent Jehovah’s Witnesses, and energy drinks named Blue Rat (all the energy of a rat, trapped in a can). It’s strange, meandering, and absolutely hilarious.

We’re also given occasional glimpses into the lives of the other tenants of the titular 15 storey high rise: indoor ponies, reggae fitness regimes, mail-order brides, and dead swans.

Critically acclaimed at the time – Armando Iannucci described it as “a strange blend of gritty realism and mad surrealism, and very, very funny” – the show only lasted two seasons as the BBC clearly didn’t know what to do with such an oddball comedy: shunting it around from graveyard slots to digital-only platforms until it was cancelled in 2004. It was released on DVD and quickly forgotten. If you’re lucky though, there might be episodes available on YouTube.

15 Storeys High

 

In the years since Sean Lock has settled into the low-effort, easy-money roles on various comedy panel shows, whilst Wong graduated onto the big screen, most notably as Wong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Enjoy your day!