In its 3rd season Benidorm changed its format – each episode is now ~45 minutes long instead of ~22. As for the story, it is continued in an expected way: free vacation vouchers awarded to the guests after the unfortunate hostage situation are cashed out by almost all of them, so pretty much the whole gang is assembled. Martin, though, comes without Kate, and brings a “friend” instead, one who would cause a major trouble further ahead. Garveys, Ramsbottoms, Stewarts, all doing their usual thing; Mateo remains in his place as the hotel employee; and Geoff Maltby comes to leaving his mother closer than ever after something sparkles between him and Chantelle.
Seems like the change of format wasn’t just a technicality, but rather signified the process of reframing the whole thing, even though the list of characters barely changed – judging from what info is available on wiki, next season would bring a larger renewal of the cast. As for the quality, I felt like the narration became more confident, like Litten stopped simply fooling around and provided himself with a development plan. At that, the humor remained as it was: the show is more amusing than it is funny, which is totally fine, because the author is simply being subtle, and doesn’t really try to force audience into laughter.
Whatever sentimental bullshit was present in the previous season’s finale, is now evenly distributed across all of the 6 episodes, which makes it tolerable. Also, in this season trips outside of the Solana territory became much more common, which is probably one of the reasons it seems more diverse and therefore more interesting.
All in all, the growth is quite obvious, and I hope the tendency to it will remain future seasons’ hallmark as well.
Created by: Derren Litten
Directed by: Sandy Johnson
Written by: Derren Litten
Performed by: Jake Canuso, Janine Duvitski, Elsie Kelly, Tim Healy, Paul Bazely, Johnny Vegas, Sheila Reid, Crissy Rock, Steve Pemberton, Siobhan Finneran, Oliver Stokes, Kenny Ireland, Nicholas Burns, Hugh Sachs, Geoffrey Hutchings, Nathaniel and Nicholas Walker, Hannah Hobley, Abigail Cruttenden, Shaun Foster-Conley, Sheridan Smith, Robin Askwith, Una Stubbs, Kamal Simpson, Vicky Leyton, Keith Barron, Stuart McGugan
Time: 4h35m (a. 6 episodes)
Entertaining quality: 4 out of 5
Art quality: 4 out of 5