Nighty Night, Julia Davis' bitterly black comedy, burned briefly in the firmament — and in truth it lost its way in the second season — but it has left a mark on all those who found it the ultimate guilty pleasure of a late night's channel surfing or DVD box-set watching.
Written by and starring Davis as a dangerously sociopathic egomaniac trying to muscle in on her neighbour's husband, the show was perhaps the most extreme form of the comedy of embarrassment popular in British sitcoms during the early Noughties. Acting mostly as ciphers for Davis' wildest flights of id, the characters were some of the most mendacious, immoral beasts ever put on screen. That it was a woman who was the worst among them made it all the more riveting: the Guardian even had cause to suggest that it would permanently change the lengths to which female comedians can go.
As hinted at earlier, the second season was a disappointment, but the six episodes of Season One remain wonderfully brutal viewing. They will be shown back-to-back at 229 The Venue on Great Portland Street, on 8 December. Tickets cost £5.