Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Joe Pera Talks With You Season 2 Episodes 12 and 13
I’ve written a fair about this amazing show of late but that’s just because I adore it, 2020’s already had some astonishingly good comedy in the form of The Good Place and Bojack Horseman, but for me Joe Pera Talks With You just edges it for the best thing yet shown, and if anything beats it then it’ll be a stellar year for comedy indeed. This season has seen it move to a more narrative based show and it’s even better for it, and after the sudden death of Joe’s beloved Grandmother (which I defy anyone not to be deeply touched by) it’s been an incredibly thoughtful and affecting series packed with beautiful moments as it examines the nature of death and grief. Yet bar the two episodes after she died it’s managed to be extremely funny too, what with Gene’s fashion show and Joe’s support of his friend being all kinds of lovely, and these last two episodes see Joe slowly return to being his normal self, sure he still misses his Nana but he’s slowly able to move on. The highlights normally revolve around just how much he appreciates those close to him – with him telling Sue Melsky “Congratulations…On your family” before seconds later being squirted at by a skunk being the show at it’s very best as it’s beautifully wholesome and then out of the blue extremely funny, and then all kinds of sweet as we witness Joe’s joy at the fact that he kissed Sarah while in a bath filled with tomato juice. The final episode of the season was also a fantastic one as we hear Joe’s thoughts on school life (his amazing “Classroom Blend” coffee making me laugh hard too) while his note to Sarah once again highlights how this show specialises at creating joy out of tiny, tiny moments. I doubt it’s the kind of series that could run for years but I’ll be infuriated if we don’t get at least one more season, as it’s a unique and utterly special show which I absolutely adore.
Miracle Workers Dark Ages – Season 2 Episode 2
Sometimes a show can return for it’s second season with a great first episode and then disappoint with the rest of it’s run, but I’m really pleased that’s definitely not the case with Simon Rich’s Miracle Workers. It’s still slightly perplexing that given the type of story we were told last year this is more of an episodic affair with no overall arc (bar that the characters are trying to find their place in life), but it’s making me laugh a great deal so I’m not complaining in the slightest. Rich is great at mocking superstitious elements of the past (an eclipse is when the devil fucks the sun, for instance) and other aspects of it too, like how Doctors used to act (leeches on penis’s being a major cure for most things it seems) that became even funnier when we learnt he was a fraud who “Once made a man with the flu eat his own dick”. Meanwhile Geraldine Viswanathan is superb in the lead role as she tries to do her best by the towns folk even though it sees her suffering as a result and Daniel Radcliffe’s even more appealing this time around as Prince Henry, who in this episode learnt what guilt was for the first time in his life, and his obsession with ducks is a daft but great ongoing gag. So if you didn’t get on with it last season I’d definitely suggest giving it another shot, and if you did, well you’ll probably like it even more.
Bless The Harts Season 1 Episodes 2 and 3
Last year I reviewed the first episode of this new Fox animated comedy and thought it showed a lot of potential, and then instantly forgot about it, mainly as there was so much essential tv on at the time. That hasn’t changed admittedly, but I wanted to see if it had delivered on the promise shown, and unfortunately the answer is only “Sort of, maybe”, which isn’t exactly the kind of quote they put on posters to persuade people something’s worth watching. The mostly realistic setting sets it apart from the rest of the Fox animated shows, as does the animation which looks great, and the storylines are fairly okay (in the second episode Kirstin Wiig’s Jenny works at a strip bar, albeit with her clothes on, to make extra money, while in the third she’s stuck in the middle of a massive argument concerning the nature of smoking) and sometimes the jokes are really strong – with a gag in the third about cigarette magnate Morris Culpepper once trying to invent the smoking olympics where 19 people almost drowned, and then later died of cancer – making me laugh a lot. But these are characters that I’ve no real fondness for, and while it’s by no means bad in the slightest, it’s only quite good and so I’ve no urge to watch it week in week out. I’ll probably check it out from time to time then, and hopefully the second season will be an improvement, but right now it’s not something I’d recommend unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
A Boy And His Dog
So, um, yeah, this is quite possibly one of the strangest seventies films I’ve ever seen and that’s clearly saying something given some of the oddness that was created in that decade. It’s an oddly jaunty tale about a very young Don Jonson and his telepathic dog, and there search for women for Jonson to sexually assault, which is of course all kinds of bleak, yet the film doesn’t seem to realise that. Based on a short story by Harlan Ellison it’s a fucking weird old thing then, with a dark sense of humour and a very bizarre third act which I’d never have predicted, and I just wish the sexual aspect was absent as other wise it’s an interesting work.
Video Of The Week
Olga Koch’s If/Then was a superb hour of comedy and one of the best things I saw during preview season prior to Edinburgh last year, and here she is singing an amazingly funny song all about her penchant for fucking (legal aged) boys rather than men. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78OiMiOxXfE
Link Of The Week
Now that Bojack Horseman has finished show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg has been doing a lot of interviews, but my favourite so far is this one with Variety where the writer has chosen his ten favourite episodes and Bob-Waksberg walks him through the writing process for each. I’d avoid reading it until you’ve finished the final season though, as it gives away major spoilers. https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/bojack-horseman-season-6-series-finale-raphael-bob-waksberg-interview-1203489536/
Previous Comedy Snippets:
02/02/2020 – Sex Education, Avenue 5, Digger, Premature
26/01/2020 – Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goes Wrong Show, Mum, Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
19/01/2020 – You’re The Worst, The Skewer, Kongen Befaler, Sisters
12/01/2020 – John Mulaney And The Sack Lunch Bunch, Sex Education, Derry Girls, Frozen II
05/01/2020 – Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes, How To Produce Comedy Bronze by Jon Plowman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Comic, The Rutles – All You Need Is Cash
29/12/2019 – Mrs Fletcher, Harley Quinn, What A Fucking Year On Tv With Mel B and Mel B, Cafe Society
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