WHAT would you get if you took Gavin and Stacey and said to a bunch of writers: “Base this in the North East?”
I think it's a fair bet to say the result wouldn't be too dis-similar to Hebburn (BBC2, Thursdays, 10pm).
Here's a new comedy drama based Andrew, played by comedian Jason Cook, who has just got married – without his family's knowledge and in Las Vegas – to Clare. The pair are heading to Hebburn to tell Jason's family.
“I've never been to Newcastle before,” says Clare very early on.
“This isn't Newcastle, it's Hebburn,” replies Jason, at which point I feared we were about to be given a comedy based around local pride. “It's where dreams come to die.”
And with those five words, those fears disappeared.
There are other similarities to Gavin and Stacey.
Jason's family are, frankly, bonkers – with a rather well known comedian providing many of the laughs.
Swap Rob Brydon for Vic Reeves. Reeves is actually a revelation, managing to play a relatively normal, understated man while delivering some very clever gags.
Hebburn is built very heavily about playing to regional traits, of which well-meaning ignorance is apparently one.
Confronted with the fact Clare is Jewish, Andrew's mum bolts into the kitchen and starts cutting holes into the middle of bread rolls.
Presenting them two minutes later for lunch, she insists the adapted bread rolls are bagels. And that's kind of the problem.
Hebburn has a lot of great gags, but it will need more than that to work as a series.
The big announcement – about the marriage – leaked out when Gran was looking at photos on an iPhone towards the end of the episode, while the cast was in a social club.
At the time, viewers had just been treated to the sight of a pub full of Geordies responding to the death of a fellow drinker as a seven-minute warning to get a round of drinks in before the police arrive.
Thirty seconds later, someone begins belting out 'I just died in your arms tonight' on the karaoke, prompting outrage from drinkers – the very same drinkers who seconds earlier had been trying to get extra drinks in. Somehow, it just didn't sit right.
Despite all of this, I enjoyed Hebburn.
I like comedies which don't rely on canned laughter or a studio audience to tell you when to laugh.
The parallels with Gavin and Stacey are clearly there, and it doesn't require the element of ridicule The Royle Family always did to get to a laugh, a fact greatly to its credit.
But can it keep it up for a whole series and more? I guess only time will tell.
It's not the only comedy trying to plot a similar path. Me and Mrs Jones (BBC 1, 9.30pm, Fridays) follows the will-they-won't-they world of a older mum whose teenage son has just returned from travelling, and brought a friend to stay.
Cue various moments of unplanned semi nudity between mum and lodger.
It's fun, but running out of steam fast. And we're only at week two.
What I’ll be watching next week: Elementary (Sky Living, Sunday, 9pm): Premiered on Tuesday night.
It's Sherlock Holmes in New York, basically.
But with flair.