Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
This AMC show didn’t garner a lot of buzz when it aired but ever since I’ve kept hearing that it’s worth checking out, with The AV Club especially fond of it and running stories about how glad they are that the second season is coming soon. So I finally got around to watching it out but I’m struggling to see what the love is all about, I’ve only seen the first episode (and a quarter) so far but boy is it a slow burner and while it occasionally made me smile at other points I struggled to care about the characters. It revolves around the vaguely likeable but occasionally annoying slacker Sean ‘Dud’ Dudley (Wyatt Russell) who finds himself homeless and struggling with life in general, until he finds a ring belonging to one of the members of the mysterious local lodge. Said lodge is a fading fraternal order that offers cheap beer and strange and possibly pretentious philosophies, and Dud finds himself fascinated by their lives, and so attempts to join. It’s a very dry affair with the occasional funny moment, but it has an element of sadness in this first episode as Dud rails against the life he’s ended up in without realising that part of the fault lies with him. I was ready to quit towards the end but the final moments were just intriguing enough to make me want to come back for another episode, but fifteen minutes in I ended up giving up as while vaguely interesting there was nothing going on that I found that fun, and the characters didn’t appeal either.
About sixteen years ago Hugh Laurie starred in this ITV comedy drama which was an enormous flop (with ITV moving it to a post pub time slot half way through it’s run) despite the fact that it starred Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Anna Chancellor and a then little known actor called Benedict Cumberbatch. For an ITV series it wasn’t actually that bad however, sure, it wasn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff but it was an all rather pleasant light farce that never, or, well, rarely, got too annoying, and it was certainly a lot better than shows like Bob and Rose and William and Mary that aired in the same or a similar time slot. It may not feel particularly real, but it was flimsily enjoyable, something which very few ITV shows can claim to be. Hugh Laurie was extremely likeable as the intelligent but ever so slightly neurotic middle aged bloke, and his Dr Slippery was warm, appealing and somehow managed not to annoy despite the increasingly odd antics he gets in to. Peter Capaldi’s character was equally as fun as the slimier than Michael Portillo and increasingly deranged Dr Pilfrey, and Anna Chancellor was reliably good as per usual as well as Slippery’s wife. So okay, the plotlines were slightly on the daft side and it didn’t feel believable at all, but there was enough quality on display here both acting and script-wise for this to have deserved a far bigger audience than it got.
This is an ultra violent very westernised anime which is a co-production between Japan and France, and though I could be wrong that’s probably the first time such a film has been made. In it a teenager starts developing odd powers and the police and other government types are chasing after him and his friend Vinz, who looks like a mini-Ghost Rider. It’s got a fun sense of humour about itself and the violence is inventive and humourous, but somewhat oddly the finale is a low key affair, fairly affecting but I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed, especially as the final few seconds suggest this tale is far from over. If you’re fond of the genre it’s definitely worth seeking out, but like too many a film of late it’s best watched with low expectations.
One night a long, long time ago when I was just an innocent teenager back in 1990 I came home from a friend’s house and put the tv on planning to watch something bland for twenty minutes before heading off to bed, and just under two and a half hour later stumbled away from the television forever changed. Terry Gilliam’s astonishingly dark satire was unlike anything I’d ever seen before, and I absolutely adored it. It led me to tuning in every Sunday night to BBC2’s Moviedrome strand in which it aired, and introduced me to some amazing cinema which shaped the person I am today. So yes, I really should sue, thinking about it. Anyhow, one night this week I watched it again for the first time in twenty nine years and was blown away by it all over again, with it being like 1984 if it were an absurdist satire of the future, a mix of mockery of the insanity of bureaucracy, the British stiff upper lip, the ongoing war against terror, and all of that kind of madness. A masterpiece, and then some, if by some chance you’ve never seen this you should rectify the matter right now.
Video Of The Week
Gag reels can vary between being tediously self indulgent and painfully unfunny as cast members swear and we’re supposed to find that funny, or they can be inventive and daft as those involved are creative when they screw up. Thankfully this gag reel from the third season of The Good Place definitely falls in to the latter category, and they’re a delight to watch fuck up over and over again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uolHo5M9eZs
Link Of The Week
This week GQ posted An Oral History Of Revenge Of The Nerds, where members of the cast and crews spoke about their experiences on the movie and talk about how badly parts of it has aged in what’s a fascinating look back at the film. https://www.gq.com/story/revenge-of-the-nerds-oral-history
Previous Comedy Snippets:
21/07/2019 – Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Neighbors From Hell, Live At The BBC – Desiree Burch, Robot and Frank
14/07/2019 – Another Period, Suzi Ruffell – Dance Like Everyone’s Watching, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, Observe And Report
07/07/2019 – Bridget and Eamon, Action Team, Everything Sucks, Sisters.
30/06/2019 – Taskmaster, Year Of The Rabbit, Santa Versus Dracula, Poultrygeist – Night of the Chicken Dead
23/06/2019 – The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience, Trigger Warning With Killer Mike, Taskmaster Sweden, City Lights
16/06/2019 – Rick and Morty Issue 50, Spiderman / Deadpool Issue 50, Lobo Goes To Hollywood, Superhero Movie
08/06/2019 – Archer, The Jellies, Mom, Bye Bye Birdie.
01/06/2019 – Rostered On, Historical Roasts, American Dad, The Phantom Of The Paradise
23/05/2019 – Barry, Urban Myths, Goatface, Shazam!
18/05/2019 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Taskmaster, Documentary Now, The History Of Future Folk
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