Comedy Snippets: 28/03/2019

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Short reviews of tv and film comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

A Youtube Originals comedy series this was quietly released back in January and I only became aware of it due to a recommendation from a trusted source. At first I wasn’t sure why they thought it was so good either, centring around a teenager called Wayne (Mark McKenna) who’s an antisocial bastard, smashing windows and purposefully hurting people, but his character is given much needed depth when we discover his dad’s dying of cancer, and how he has reasons for being so violent, only acting out towards people who deserve it. Initially it’s a pretty violent, bleak and depressing insight in to a poverty stricken American town and the lives of it’s people, but it picks up when Wayne meets Del (Ciara Bravo) and falls for her, and after his father dies he decides not to stick around any longer and hit the road, leaving behind a burning building (and a burning dog kennel, though fortunately the canine wasn’t inside it or I’d have stopped watching it instantly), with Del by his side. Though it’s not exactly packed with side splitting scenes there’s some fun to be had with Wayne’s antics, the way the other school kids are more scared of him than the headmaster being the best of these, but the final five minutes suggest it should be more fun than the majority of this first episode, without them I’m not sure if I would have stuck with it but they’re intriguing enough for me to give the second episode a go at least.

A perennial student favourite and a show I was very fond of as a child, Comedy Central have now brought this show back but without dead host Bob Holness and Dara O’Briain is the man who has replaced him. Finally explaining why it’s two students versus one despite only a year age gap as “We live in a time of inequality” the first episode saw two posh over confident twats take on a female sixth form student, and it’s a little more lighthearted than the original with O’Briain telling lots of jokes and gently mocking the students when they get an answer wrong. If anything there’s a bit too much chat and not enough quizzing but your mileage may vary depending on what you want out of such a show, but it also has to be said that the questions were pretty easy, there wasn’t a single one which wasn’t answered correctly by one of the three until the final gold run round. Given the age of the students this was never the hardest quiz show but having just watched an old episode on youtube, it definitely used to be a bit harder. I’m not quite sure why it’s on Comedy Central either, it’s amusing enough but not noticeably funnier than certain other series like The Chase. Still, this was decent enough, a cruel man would admit to being pleased the posh idiot failed to win, and I am that man, and though not essential viewing if your bored and there’s nothing else on it’s worth checking out.

Bill and Ted Face The Music
Normally when a sequel is announced that’s coming almost thirty years after the previous film there’s a lot of speculation that it’ll be a disaster, a shameless cash in on fond memories of the originals. But for once I’m I’m excited by the prospect of a third film in the series, mainly as the screenplay is by original Bill & Ted writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, it’s going to be directed by Dean Parisot of Galaxy Quest fame (and Red 2, but shhh, we don’t talk about that) and both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are back on board when they really didn’t need to be, Winter is now a successful film director and Reeves has all of that John Wick money to keep him in gold toilets or whatever it is that makes the rich and famous happy. Plus William Sadler’s also returning as Death, and who didn’t love that cheeky bald chap in Bogus Journey? It’s possible it might be a bit of a mess and mishandled given our two leads are now in their fifties, and if they haven’t changed a little and are still fairly dumb and goofy it might feel a bit embarrassing, but I’ve faith in the writers and hope that it will turn out to be as good as the first two are.

At first sight you may think this is an appallingly animated throwaway kids flick which only the youngest of the young might enjoy, but it turns out that it’s also great fun for adults. Released in 2005 I only saw it last year as a friend mentioned how funny it is, and even then I was sceptical for the first twenty minutes or so before slowing becoming enchanted by it. The film’s a spin on the Red Riding Hood story, but quite a big one as it centres around the mystery of who’s stealing the Grandmother’s recipes and forcing the closure of lots of shops in a fairy tale village. At first it might seem a little simplistic but it comes together in a really delightful way, has lots of laugh out loud moments and an infectious soundtrack too. The only downside is that as mentioned the animation is some of the worst ever committed to celluloid but if you can get past that there’s an enormous amount to like about the film.

Youtube Video Of The Week
Tying in with the review of Blockbusters above here’s an appearance from the one and only Daniel Kitson on the show, way back in the nineties. The critically acclaimed and generally adored comedian was obviously quite young back then so don’t expect enormous amounts of hilarity but he is fairly funny in a good few places, and it’s a unique chance to see him at such an age, even though he doesn’t do that well unfortunately, only winning £45 and not getting a chance to win a big prize on the Gold Run.

Alex Finch.

Previous Comedy Snippets:
21/03/2019 – Shrill, A.P. Bio, One Red Nose Day And A Wedding, PK
14/03/2019 – Corporate, The Harry Hill Movie, CJ7, The Day Will Come
07/03/2019 – This Time With Alan Partridge, Frank Skinner On Demand, Girlfriend’s Day, Comic Relief
28/02/2019 – Hot Streets, Warren, Mom, Stage Fright
21/02/2019 – Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Corporate, Doom Patrol, Nudist Colony Of The Dead
14/02/2019 – American Dad, Pen15, Afterlife, The Return Of Captain Invincible
07/02/2019 – The Other Two, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas, Roast Battle, Guys And Dolls
31/01/2019 – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Tigtone, Angie Tribeca, Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast 
24/01/2019 – Oh Lucy!, Blark And Son, Angie Tribeca, 
17/01/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Family Guy, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast, Jon Glaser Loves Gear
10/01/2018- Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, Vice, Catastrophe, Angie Tribeca

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