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.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6
When this was cancelled last year I was upset but not surprised, ratings had always been a little weak and it was a rare example of a fun live action Fox sitcom (or Fox sitcom in general, with only Bob’s Burgers and occasional episode of The Simpsons worth watching) but then NBC picked it up as in general when it comes to comedy they’re rather lovely. Chelsea Perretti leaving did give me concerns but if anything it’s gone from strength to strength since then, and the episode where Jake had to pretend to have multiple personalities contained one of the funniest scenes in the show’s six year history, while they’ve built on Captain Holt’s character in impressive ways, his relationship with Kevin is especially normally delightful to watch as the recent Heist episode proved and Tim Meadow’s monstrous character is always hilarious. They’ve also beefed up Scully and Hitchcock’s roles and made them more layered, even if they are still pretty gross still, and it’s a rare example of a sitcom with a Will They / Won’t They relationship in the shape of Jake and Amy where the couple got together and it didn’t become intensely dislikeable. The quite beautiful season finale aired this week, and I’m all but counting the days until it’s return as I’m already missing it a lot.
Taskmaster Series 8 Episode 2
In the review of the first episode of this I praised Lou Sanders, Sian Gibson and Paul Sinha, didn’t mind Iain Sterling and struggled with Joe Thomas. But I said I could be wrong about the last two and at least when it comes to Joe Thomas I was, the jury’s still out on Stirling who has some funny moments but isn’t bringing that much hilarity to the series, but Thomas’s oddly uncomfortable and slightly rubbish reactions to life have led me to warm to him, and I’m finding him strangely endearing. I’m not sure why he agreed to go on the show considering he meets each task with either fear or confusion, but dear lord is he trying his best and that along with Greg’s piss taking is making him a decent contestant. As for everyone else, well, two episodes in and I’m still convinced Lou Sanders is going to be the most fun to watch, she’s got a unique comedy mind (with her entry in to the fake moustache task – a mix of fake flies and real mealworms – making me laugh the most in the episode) and she’s completely unpredictable which is always a good thing, but Paul Sinha’s almost up there with his mixture of inventive solutions and dry commentary, and while Sian Gibson was less strong this time around she still clearly deserves a place on the line up. This is shaping up to be a really great series, Greg and Alex are on fantastic form and help make it so much fun to watch, and though it was always going to pall in comparison to last year’s amazing collection of inspired madness it’s not making me miss James Acaster, Rhod Gilbert and co which is all to it’s credit.
Documentary Now Season 3 Episodes 1 & 2
I’m only just catching up on this due to the deluge of peak comedy tv on right now, and I’ve often found that whether or not I’ve seen the documentary the episode is influenced by is a big factor as to whether I find the show funny, I know many disagree with me but some of the parodies are so specific that they don’t work if you haven’t seen the source material. These first two episodes of the third season, Batshit Valley Parts 1 & 2, are based upon the documentaries Wild Wild Country and The Source Family, neither of which I’m familiar with, so I wasn’t sure they would be episodes I got on with. That said I have seen a lot of documentaries based on cults so I tried to be optimistic, and it certainly does have it’s moments, with the cult being nicely silly – vegetables having to give permission before they’re eaten, the people joining being ridiculously gullible, and the orgasm jars and the shite the leader trots out all generated a lot of strong humour – and the rivalry between the townsfolk and the cult was also amusing. But there was the sense that I was missing out on something, that certain parts were clearly referring to something I was unaware of, which proved to be the case upon looking in to the documentaries in detail, and that slightly frustrated. It also can’t be denied that the second episode was weaker than the first too, with a lot of the FBI parts being a tad repetitive and the pink eye stuff didn’t hit home, at least until the end. Still, it’s definitely an entertaining series, the concept is a strong one, and the guest cast (which included Michael Keaton and Owen Wilson in these episodes) are normally fantastic, it’s just one that benefits from either watching a lot of documentaries or at the very least researching them beforehand.
The History of Future Folk
In which the two members of the (real life) band Future Folk turn out to have been aliens all along, who were originally on a mission to destroy humanity. Fortunately they decide to save us as we’re the only life-form ever to have created music, and thus hijinks ensue. It’s a lo-fi daft but fairly sweet comedy, and whilst one romantic subplot is flawed and doesn’t quite work it’s mostly a really likeable watch.
Video Of The Week
I’ve not raved about Kim Noble enough on this site, but that’s partially due to the fact that he hasn’t created much recently, his most recent live show was back in 2014 and since then he’s been working on the odd video and a graphic novel that’s yet to see the light of day. But back in 2014 he was invited to appear at Diane Morgan’s Clickbait at the Edinburgh Festival and this is his short but very funny apology for not doing so. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcF1Ge2TY_M And if you’re not aware of his work in general, here’s a link to his youtube channel which contains much comedy goodness – https://www.youtube.com/user/thekimnoblecompany
Previous Comedy Snippets:
10/05/2019 – Dead Pixels, Santa Clarita Diet, Scot Squad, Lemon
03/05/2019 – What We Do In The Shadows, Lazor Wulf, Al Murray’s Great British Pub Quiz, Brigsby Bear
26/04/2019 – Barry, Bonding, Special, Repo The Genetic Opera
19/04/2019 – Hot Streets, Lazor Wulf, Tacoma FD, The Tick, Safety Last
12/04/2019 – The Unexplainers, The Tick, The Funny Women Awards 2019, Popstars Never Stop Popping
04/04/2019 – Santa Clarita Diet, Abby’s, This Time With Alan Partridge, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein
28/03/2019 – Wayne, Blockbusters, Bill And Ted Face The Music, Hoodwinked
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