Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Wellington Paranormal Series 2 Episode 1
To be completely honest I didn’t have high hopes that I’d enjoy this episode of Wellington Paranormal, a comedy series from New Zealand which is a spin-off from the film version of What We Do In The Shadows. The first series was a patchy affair and I only ended up watching about half of it before getting bored, but now it’s returned and I thought I should give it one more chance. And for a change I’m glad I did as it’s a big improvement over what I’d previously seen, as Sergeant Maaka, Officer O’Leary and Officer Minogue investigate supernatural crimes and try and keep it a secret from other officers on the force, with this first episode of the new season seeing them look in to a missing person’s case where ten people have gone missing, all by the coast. The storyline isn’t anything that fresh compared to what’s gone before but it’s the quality of the jokes which made me like the episode so much, from a great gag revolving around a very unreliable witness, a camera crew being killed without anyone really caring, and a more politically correct version of the old horror story about the man with the hook for a hand. It also has some strong physical comedy including a very funny bit where Officer Minogue should be saving someone’s life but runs out of the sea because it’s so cold, while the final reveal as to what the monster is, and what it’s doing, is a fantastic one. So if like me you had mixed feelings about the first series I’d definitely recommend giving it another go, the mixture of mundane police work and the supernatural is a lot funnier this time around, especially given how inept they are, and it was a very enjoyable affair indeed.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 14 Episodes 9 and 10
As a whole this most recent season of It’s Always Sunny has been pretty strong, perhaps not the show at it’s very best but it’s been mostly very funny. So it’s a shame that the final two episodes weren’t examples of the show at it’s best, and airing them on the same night made this all the more glaringly obvious. Not that they were in any way bad (which some of season 13 was), just a bit humdrum, pushing the buttons the show often pushed but without doing anything that fresh or original. So while episode 9 saw the reappearance of Mac’s seemingly immortal dog Poppins and there being lots of jokes about dog abortions, and there was also a plot about the guys trying to control women and stop them from getting short haircuts, it was only okay, with a couple of decent gags but not a lot more than that. The same applied with the season finale too, a bottle episode set in a laser quest game which was mostly Dennis and Charlie chatting away about the nature of life, whether they were aware of that or not, with occasional appearances from Mac, Dee and Frank. Bottle episodes can be irritating at the best of times due to their claustrophobic nature and it’s almost like they were trying to do the exact opposite of last season’s season finale by having a very low key episode, but it was too static and sluggish, again some of the jokes were fine but all in all it felt disappointing.
Tourist Trap Series 1 Episode 1
The second series of this is currently airing and so I thought it was kind of about time I watched the first, just to see if I was missing out on a piece of essential comedy. Or even quite good comedy, as I’m happy to watch that if I’ve the time, but sadly I don’t think I am. I wanted to like it too as I’m a big of Sally Phillips, who was one of the best contestants Taskmaster has ever had and a comedy actress who’s starred in a huge amount of amazing shows, but in this she plays a rather bland character in the form of Elaine Gibbons, the new head of tourism for Wales despite the fact that she hasn’t stepped foot in the country for 47.5 years, and she’s currently only 48. Gibbons is perhaps a bit naff and occasionally slightly misguided but she’s mostly competent, and it’s a mixture which doesn’t make her that amusing at all unfortunately. The same applies to most of the people she works with, like Wyn and Charlotte, a flirty couple who can’t help but brag about their sexual exploits, and Nez who is the head of IT, he’s a ridiculously patriotic man who’s proud that he’s named after a politician who resigned over dental fees, all are sort of likeable but nothing more than that. There are occasionally funny moments, like a snippet of a radio voice over which discusses a competition to name the Greatest Ever Welsh hero that’s between Geraint Thomas or Super Ted, and and a list of banned hashtags is quite amusing, but other parts of the episode were sometimes a bit dull, to the extent that I doubt I’ll bother with the show again.
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
One of the biggest flops of all time and a film people often mock because it’s considered to be the first time Robert DeNiro did a film purely for the money, after it was recommended by a trusted friend I gave it a shot and am glad I did as it truly doesn’t deserve the derision it’s received over the year and is a pretty charming film. Sure it’s very silly, and while DeNiro’s doing his best his performance is a bit one note (and the “Are you talking to me? bit really wasn’t needed), but Jason Alexander’s clearly having a great time hamming it up and there’s lots of dumb but cute gags which made me laugh a surprising amount. The mix of cartoon cgi and live action has aged a little but most of the time it looks good too, and is a far better film than it’s shockingly low IMDB rating of 4.1 might suggest.
Video Of The Week
We’re a bit late with this one, but Billy On The Street recently celebrated it’s fifteenth anniversary by having Chris Evans take to the streets in what’s a smart and funny little clip, it’s not quite as good now that so many people know who Billy is but it still has some very funny moments, especially when Paul Rudd joins them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zja_cIAwY8
Link Of The Week
Vic and Bob recently promoted the return of Big Night Out by interviewing each other, and Chortle have a great transcript of the best moments which includes an intriguing anecdote about David Walliams, an amusing one about Tom Baker, and some really interesting thoughts on their own work. https://www.chortle.co.uk/interviews/2019/11/21/44834/david_walliams_was_a_very_strange_fella
Previous Comedy Snippets:
17/11/2019 – 2100: A Space Novelty, Silicon Valley, Zomboat, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
10/11/2019 – Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, Taskmaster, The Good Place, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
03/11/2019 – Bojack Horseman, Comedians Giving Lectures, Living With Yourself, A Town Called Panic
27/10/2019 – Joe Pera Talks With You, Would I Lie To You?, The Band Wagon, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil
20/10/2019 – Star Trek Discovery Short Treks, Zomboat, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, High Society
13/10/2019 – Perfect Harmony, Family Guy, Afternoon Delight, The Death Of Dick Long
06/10/2019 – Bless The Harts, South Park, Stath Lets Flats, She’s Out Of My League
29/09/2019 – Danny’s House, Hot Date, Idiotsitter, Crimewave
22/09/2019 – Alternatino with Arturo Castro, The Good Place The Selection, American Dad, American Reunion
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