Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Alternatino with Arturo Castro Season 1 Episode 1
There’s been a fair few sketch shows of late from the US that have been pretty impressive, like A Black Lady Sketch Show, and Sherman’s Showcase, and this is another strong effort. Castro is likeable lead, he may initially seem a bit bland but he plays on this in a couple of the sketches, like one where he tries to give his son “The talk” about sex, only for his son to lecture him on intergender and genderfluid individuals, and sex between two men or two women or multiple partners, which is very funny stuff. Also strong is a skit where he goes on a date but is left due to the woman finding him to be too delicate, and in the second and third parts he plays up his latino roots in a very amusing way. Other parts which work are Arturo playing a helpful if slightly inept robot, an advert for Guatamala (#alsoaplace), a sketch which sees the president giving out items to a disaster hit area and a guy catches some toilet roll, runs around incredibly excitably using it to solve problems which technically toilet roll shouldn’t help with (ie repairing an electrical cable, curing a broken arm) which has a strong pay off, and the only bit which didn’t make me laugh were a trailer and then clip for a “Broken Home Hunters” series which was fine but stretches it’s central concept a little too thinly.
The Good Place – The Selection
This NBC web series features Shaun and a collection of immortal demons trying to decide who the four humans should be who will take part in Michael’s experiment to prove that humans can change. It kind of cheats a little in that we don’t find out who the four are set to be, bar those already announced, but it’s still fun to spend time with the denizens of The Bad Place, as they argue over who should go in and suggest people like Hitler, John Wayne Gacy, and “White musicians who did a semi-ironic cover of a rap song”, before Shawn clarifies the judges rules where the worst humanity has to offer up are not allowed, they have to be average people in the way Eleanor, Chidi, Jason and Tahani were. There’s lots of amusing references to life in hell, like how they brand Mike Tyson’s tattoo on people and eat “Mixed teeth” and babies (though a whole one’s a bit too big for a meal), plus it also includes the odd dig at celebrities, with Johnny Depp being mentioned as the perfect foil for Tahani, though sadly he can’t be chosen as he’s still alive because “He uses giraffe blood transfusions to prop up his diseased organs”. At 13 minutes it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, and it whetted my appetite for the new season, but it does go to show that as much fun as Shaun and his evil friends/enemies are the show is at it’s best with the main central cast in it.
American Dad Season 16 Episode 20
I’ve been umming and ahhhing as to whether American Dad is still worth watching for a little while now, I’m fond of it but at the same time it’s been a bit repetitive for the last couple of seasons and only a few episodes have been inventive and engaging, plus it’s lost a little of it’s warmth too. But for the time being I’m sticking with it, if only because when it works it is pretty delightful, this most recent episode being a great example of this as Steve wants to be a babysitter but Francine doesn’t trust him, but to prove to her that he’s capable he looks after Roger’s off spring (and former tumour) Rogu. It’s packed with a lot of bizarre and daft nonsense (Rogu definitely shouldn’t be fed after midnight, for instance), while the subplot with Stan joining an exotic food club and Francine being part of a Mum group being packed with gory silliness, yes both storylines are nothing the show hasn’t done before but it’s executed in an efficient manner, and the main plot line is so strong that it doesn’t matter that the subplot isn’t the show at it’s very best.
Bah, I have to say that this really disappointed, and I was expecting very, very little from it. It’s amiable enough at times, but just not that funny, and I don’t care enough about these characters to want to watch them develop and grow, I just wanted stupid shannigans and funny dialogue, both of which were mostly missing here. The set pieces fall flat, Stifler shits in a box and destroys some jetskis in a painfully unfunny moment, while also misjudged is a bit where an 18 year old tries to rape Jim and then after he accidentally knocks her unconscious the gang have to sneak her back in to her house, avoiding angry parents. Eugene Levy is great, and saves it from being a wasted watch, and if you could cut 40 / 50 minutes worth of emotional nonsense out of it (too much of which comes at the end) then it might be worth watching, but overall it felt mostly like a waste of time.
Video Of The Week: Tuesday After Kitchen
This is a new web series where we’re given a clip from a live daytime magazine show where presenter Simon is joined by Rupert Sebacious-Smythe. Rupert’s normally a wine expert but now he’s reviewing soft drinks for reasons that they choose not to explain but which become increasingly obvious as it goes along. The main joke is that Ruperb reviews soft drinks as if they were expensive wines, and it’s a strong joke too which they get a lot of mileage out, with the moment he describes some orange sqaush as “Playful, very, very playful. It’s sandwiches in the park, hiding under the school desk in Ms Quinn’s french class… I utterly love this. I would pair this with a pepperami and a bag of Quavers” making me laugh hard. Also great was a bit where calls a Dark Elderflower “He’s a ****ing bully, isn’t he?” and “Excellent, I’ll take a whole case if you don’t mind”, while they shake up the format by taking some calls from the audience, including one from a very disgruntled B&B owner who’s recently met Rupert. I’m not sure how much mileage is in the concept, but this first episode is a fantastic one, and it’s something I definitely look forward to seeing more of. https://comedycrowdtv.com/campaign/387/tuesday-afternoon-kitchen
Link Of The Week
Tuca & Bertie was one of the best new Netflix shows of this year so it’s slightly more than a pain in the arse that it’s been cancelled. If you’ve not yet seen it though, this Vulture article sums up just why it’s so great, and why it deserves to be brought back too. https://www.vulture.com/2019/09/speckle-tuca-bertie-nice-josh-gondelman.html
Previous Comedy Snippets:
15/09/2019 – Off The Air, Taskmaster, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark Issues 1 – 3, Smiley Face
08/09/2019 – Amusical, The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Fleabag, Digby The Biggest Dog In The World
01/09/2019 – Final Space. On Becoming A God In Central Florida, In Fabric, Archie’s Final Project
25/08/2019 – A Black Lady Sketch Show, Bajillion Dollar Properties, The Righteous Gemstones, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
18/08/2019 – Sherman’s Showcase, Succession, Hesher, God Bless America
11/08/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Preacher, Archie Vs Predator II, Juan Of The Dead
04/08/2019 – Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Boys, Los Espookys, Hamlet 2
28/07/2019 – Lodge 49, Fortysomething, Mutafukaz, Brazil
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