Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
A recent HBO comedy from the multi-talented Katherine Hahn, she plays the titular character who manages an old people’s home and has to deal with a stroppy grown up son as well, struggling with the fact that he’s leaving for college even though he’s a bit of an unlikeable dick. Cue lots of cringe comedy where she wants to reminisce about how things used to be when they were growing up and he can barely stand to be around her the majority of the time, and after hearing him having sex with a girl tries to give him advice about being nice to women even though that’s unlikely given what a shit he seems to be. I’m not really sure what the point of it is other than that Hahn’s character is at a loss as to what do with her life now, and the suggestion as to where the series is going to head right at the end didn’t exactly grip me. I’d heard mixed things about the show before watching it but hoped it might be good due to Hahn’s involvement, and the fact that it’s an HBO series, but it’s a weak, often painful to watch affair and there’s nothing here that makes me want to watch another second of it.
Harley Quinn Season 1 Episode 1
This is yet another DC animated series, with the spin being that this is an incredibly sweary and ultra violent affair centring around Harley Quinn who’s effing and blinding all over the place. It starts with Harley and Joker ripping off a bunch of rich white types, but when Batman arrives on the scene Joker sods off leaving Harley captured and then sent off to Arkham. Joker promises to recuse her but a year later he hasn’t turned up, so Poison Ivy lands her a hand and helps her escape, but despite all this Harley’s convinced the kooky clown still loves her. At least until when the Riddler kidnaps Batman and Harley, and Joker has the chance to save one and he chooses Batman, one (sort of) near death experience later and Harley realises that the Joker never really loved her, and only has eyes for Batman. There’s a good few cameos from other villains like Calendar Man, and an Audrey II-esque talking plant called Frank, who have the odd funny line, the show’s treatment of Jim Gordon and the way he’s portrayed as something of a tragic Bat fan raised a smile, and Harley’s sporadically amusing herself, but a lot of the time it relies on extreme violence for laughs, or the Joker being a dick, and it doesn’t quite work on that front. In some ways it kind of feels like an attempt to copy The Venture Bros when it comes to satirising super villains, but it’s nowhere near as good as that classic series, and I’d be surprised if it ever will be. This is only the first episode and so it might get better, but unless I hear it’s improved a great deal I won’t be watching any more of it.
What A Fucking Year On Tv With Mel B And Mel B
Way back in 2002 comedian Leigh Francis hit the big time with Bo Selecta where he put on grotesque masks and did intentionally terrible impersonations of celebrities. It was something he’d been doing for a while in shorts for the Paramount Comedy Channel, but it wasn’t until his C4 show where he became hugely popular. The first couple of series were vaguely amusing at times too but the third was appalling, as was spin-off series A Bear’s Tail, and everything he’s done since, well it’s not been to my taste any how. But I thought I’d go in to this with an open mind as he once again impersonates Mel B and is joined by the real thing as they cross Gogglebox with a best of the year’s tv clip show and commented on the supposed funniest tv moments of the past 365 days. What followed was tedious in the extreme, as Francis just trotted out various obscenities like when commenting on Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Oscar’s duet he muttered “She wants to scoff his dick”, during a segment on the documentary “100 Vaginas” he claimed one looked like “Spaniel’s ears”, while when it came to Britain’s Got Talent’s Amanda Holden he came out with the Oscar Wilde-esque “I would let her fart in my face”. Oh wait, sorry, I meant “Lazy Cunt-esque”, not Oscar Wilde, sorry, my bad. Quite possibly one of the worst things ever made, Channel 4 should be fucking ashamed for commissioning it.
Ignoring all of the potential problems anyone (including myself) might have with Woody Allen, this is all a bit shit unfortunately. It’s a brightly lit film and moves at an okay pace, but the big problem I had with it is that it’s just not that funny, you can see where the gags are but they rarely hit home. Also a problem is that Jesse Eisenberg is smug and annoying throughout the movie and occasionally borders on being weirdly creepy, while Steve Carell is fine but given a lot less screen time. There’s a gangster based subplot which looks a lot more fun but sadly doesn’t take up that much of the movie, and most of the time we’re subjected to Carell and Eisenberg’s attempts at woo-ing a likeable enough but nothing that special Kristen Stewart. The overall sentiment is “Sometimes the right people don’t get together”, which may be heartbreaking in some contexts but here I think it’s a good thing, Eisenberg’s a pushy twat and deserves to be miserable for the rest of his life.
Video Of The Week
Back in the 1990s the writers behind the sublime animated comedy King of the Hill staged their own “Office Olympics”, and years later some of the writers present created the famous The Office episode which did the same thing. And now thanks to youtube you can see the original event in all it’s glory, with the first of three videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o9_MKEvmm0
Link Of The Week
Nathan For You could well be the best ever tv comedy ever made, it’s certainly in my top 2 and many a day I’d claim it is the best. The man behind it, Nathan Fielder, is currently working on a new show for HBO and I can’t wait to see it, but until then I’ll have to make do with hearing him appear on various podcasts, which he does here to fantastic effect in what is a very funny interview indeed. https://thebestshow.net/episode/nathan-fielder-wild-flowers-of-america-premier-more/
Previous Comedy Snippets:
22/12/2019 – Content, Ladhood, Silicon Valley Ten Years Later The Extended Documentary, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
15/12/2019 – Astronomy Club The Sketch Show, South Park, Joe Pera Talks With You, Lavalantula
08/12/2019 – Mom, Mock The Week, Sunnyside, The Ten
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