Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Mom Season 7 Episodes 1 and 2
I’ve always been fond of this CBS show, if only for the fact that it’s a mainstream network comedy where six out of the seven main cast members are female, and the one male actor is sometimes absent from an episode and isn’t missed at all. But seven seasons in and I’m starting to lose interest a little, partially because they’ve run out of interesting things to explore, which to be honest shouldn’t be a surprise as they’ve burnt through a hell of a lot of them in the past, and partially because it’s lost it’s edge a little. It used to be a really sharp sitcom that dealt with big, heavy themes, not just alcoholism and addiction but death, and, well, pretty much every serious thing you can imagine, but these two opening episodes to season 7 have just been the characters bickering with each other in an annoying manner, which has been an aspect of the show in the past, sure, but not the only thing. There’s still a few funny moments, but it’s definitely a blander affair without the slightly twisted sense of humour that it used to have, and it’s starting to get rather repetitive too, and so though I plan to stick with it for a little while yet if it doesn’t improve soon I may well ditch it.
Mock The Week Series 18 Episode 11
Unfascinating fact time, but I was in the audience for the recording of the first ever episode of Mock The Week, where producer Dan Paterson promised us a show which could be seen as a follow up to Whose Line Is It Anyway with comedians improvising jokes on the spur of the moment, and that those comedians would be new and on the cutting edge of comedy. Fourteen years on and 193 episodes later that’s still not the case, with many a round just allowing the comedians to throw in some of their prepared jokes or bits from their routines, but at least the comedians are sometimes decent, with Ed Gamble, Rosie Jones and Rhys James impressing in this particular episode. On the downside Kerry Godliman was often painfully weak, coming out of the kind of jokes and vague rants that your drunk friend might make while watching the show, and big chunks of the show aren’t exactly satire at it’s very best. Still, complaints aside, it does prove that I really do need to get around to seeing Rhys James and Ed Gamble perform live again, Hugh Dennis is a very likeable chap indeed, and that my disdain for Tom Allen is still not misguided.
Sunnyside Season 1 Episode 1
Unceremoniously dumped on to their streaming service after just four episodes, NBC’s Sunnyside is one of the biggest flops I’ve seen in a long time even by US network standards. But could a show which was produced by Michael Schur (The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) deserve such a fate? The short answer is of course not, especially while series like Perfect Harmony and Carol’s Second Act are still on the air, but it’s not as good as Schur’s series normally are. Perhaps that’s as he’s only the executive producer, and it was written by Matt Murray and show star Kal Penn, and so it lacks the inventiveness he normally brings to a series. Nut it’s still a likeable affair which sees Penn as Garrett Modi, a politician who has been kicked out of office after failing to deliver on all of his election promises, and his girlfriend’s dumped him too so he has to move in with his Sister. Desperate for money he uses a Fiverrr type site and hires himself out for $50 an hour and though at first people just use it to mock him, then a group hire him to help him pass a citizenship test. It perhaps follows a predictable route with Penn seeing the error of his ways far too quickly, his sudden transformation from selfish dick to all round good guy is a little absurd but it has a strong central message about how immigrants are treated horribly unfairly, and a good few strong gags, including a running joke about the number of jobs one of the group has, a dig at real life politician Anthony Weiner, and a youtube video of Garrett acting the twat in front of two policeman was funny too. Overall then, it does have some minor issues, and not all of the jokes are that great, but it definitely deserved a longer life than it got.
A 2007 comedy from David Wain which tells ten stories relating to The Ten Commandments, if this was released now it’d probably be a big hit given that it stars Paul Rudd, John Hamm, Winona Ryder and Ken Marino among others, but back then it was mostly ignored which is a shame as it mostly works and is very funny. There is one poor element though, the “Though Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbours Wife” skit which is a bleak and far too drawn out rape gag that I found to be horribly misguided, and I really thought Wain and co were better than this. If you can ignore such a mis-step however, or are happy to skip watching it, it’s a comedy that’s definitely worth watching.
Video(s) Of The Week
Joe Pera Talks With You returned this week, as our glowing review should have brought to your attention, and the only downside is that at two short episodes a week I’m already having withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately there’s quite a few stand up sets by the man on youtube, and I’d particularly recommend his 2013 appearance on Showtime with Anthony Apruzzese, where he performs a lovely little set – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIntFMexCzw – and then this week he was on Colbert, in what’s a very funny interivew that made me love him even more than I previously did (which I didn’t think was possible either). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsSZTjLYDJ0&fbclid=
Link Of The Week
Hal Hartley’s produced some of the best American independent comedies of the last few decades, with his Henry Fool trilogy being a particularly fantastic piece of work that should be sort out by all, though if you’re new to his films I’d suggest starting with Amateur as that’s the most accessible. Anyhow, he’s now doing a Kickstarter for his latest film, and if you’re a fan it’s something you’ll definitely want to back, and if you’re not, well back it any way as not enough films as quirky and as unique as Hartley’s get made these days. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/260302407/where-to-land
Previous Comedy Snippets:
01/12/2019 – Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out, Kongen Befaler (aka Taskmaster Norway), Harry Hill’s Clubnite, Scout’s Guide To The Apocalypse
24/11/2019 – Wellington Paranormal, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Tourist Trap, The Adventures Of Rocky and Bullwinkle
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