Ye Olde Rose and Crown, Walthamstow, London, 16/11/2019.
Meelagoola are a sketch group from Ireland who are all Millennials, but boy do they seem to hate that fact as their debut sketch show Generation Whyyy? is all about just how self-obsessed, selfish and idiotic their generation is, at least according to them. It’s a harsh generalisation for sure, and one which they only get so many laughs from before the material begins to become a little repetitive.
Not that it’s all bad by any means, indeed for the first half hour this was going to be quite a positive review, with the group starting strongly with a sketch about a youtube influencer type arguing with her followers which is a great way to open the show, and though one where two daughters mock their mother for not being technologically with the times goes on for a bit too long it has some great lines and a strong pay off.
Much better was a skit with two women who are supposedly friends but spend the whole conversation trying to outdo the other, first when it comes to their successes and then with their failures, the dialogue is sharp and witty and the performances manage to stay just the right side of cliched. That also applies with the best sketch of the night where a teacher tells her young students all about the importance of Love Island, and gets them to sing songs like Money Money Money.
Unfortunately there’s only so much mockery of Millennials that you can do before it begins to get a bit overly familiar, and too many of the sketches were obsessed about the number of instagram followers someone had and knocking other forms of social media. It’s a joke which works well once – like a bit about the modern day Army which contains many a gag along these lines, but then it’s a case of diminishing returns. Another recurring theme is how stupid or indecisive Millennials are, and one long skit called “Who Wants To Be A Millennial?” hammers home the joke for way too long, as does an ongoing linking sketch where a woman can’t decide what her burger and fries should be like.
There’s a couple of sketches which revolve around dating and again, it’s a concept that works well once but is a little tedious the second time around, and one of the segments is outright bad, a perplexingly odd sketch which is presented as a tv show where a daughter comes out to her parents as a vegetarian, only for them to not really cope, which feels archaic in the 21st century, it might have worked in the 1970’s and 80s but even by the 90’s it would have been old hat.
It’s a shame it’s such a mixed bag, Sorcha Dawson, Laura Prendergast and Amy Kellett are accomplished comedic actors and the scripts for certain sketches are very strong. But they stretch the concept of mocking Millennials far too thinly to the point that it begins to become actively irritating by the end, and hopefully in the future they’ll expand their gaze to other subjects and not just rely on the one idea.