Comedy Snippets: In My Skin, Norsemen +

comedy snippets 02082020Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

In My Skin Series 1 Episode 1
This BBC3 comedy aired to great acclaim back in March, with it dealing with the life of sixteen year old Bethan (Gabrielle Creevy) who has to try and cope with a bi-polar mother (Jo Hartley), alcoholic father (Rhodri Meilir) and a chaotic life in general. Now it’s available to view in the US on Hulu as the lockdown has led to all of the US networks buying a sod load of British fare to fill their schedules, which is also why Taskmaster is getting an outing on the CW network next week, and Sarah Kendall’s Frayed is up on HBO Max now. Right from the start it feels like a pretty realistic take on teenage life, and so that means it’s a mixture of the bleak and the ridiculous, and shows all of the highs (getting drunk in the park, talking absolute shit about classmates fucking themselves with frozen sausages, vomiting a lot) along with all of the lows, which for poor old Bethan mean dealing with her mentally unwell mother who likes singing in the street in the middle of the night when in a hyper mood but when sectioned she’s in an understandably dark place indeed. It’s often pretty funny, the students writing some painfully amusing but also pretentious poetry is a big part of the first episode which leads to a lot of laughs, but also amusing is a cunty gym teacher who thinks they’re all losers and who is obsessed with the students “all catching diabetes” and a slightly bizarre scene with Bethan dealing with a shop keeper who seems to hate all children made me laugh too. But the upsetting scenes with her mother and the shitty way some of Bethan’s fellow students treat each other means that it’s something which has a lot more depth than many a teen comedy, and due to this it’s of far more interest and far more watchable than the majority as well.

Norsemen Series 1 Episode 1
An acclaimed Norwegian that’s currently on its fourth season, this is a beautifully filmed comedy set in 790AD about a group of vikings, and though many love it, it’s a show that I just didn’t click with at all. A lot of the humour revolves around the idea of people speaking in a modern way as they discuss the strange ways of the past, for example Orm the stand-in chieftain at one point comments “I will take an executive decision”, while the actual chieftain complains about how “Fear based leadership” isn’t really him, and when asked to commit suicide by jumping off a huge cliff an elderly slave responds “Its just not very tempting” and refuses to do so. These moments are mildly amusing for sure, but they’re the best of an average bunch and unfortunately its often got quite a crass sense of humour about itself too, there’s jokes about how one of the women got really in to raping monks while out and about pillaging and it’s supposedly acceptable as it’s male rape that’s being made fun of, but that’s something I wildly disagree with. It also seems deliberately mean elsewhere, in one scene a slave complains about his cape being stolen and is forced to eat shit, and the way the scene is constructed just made it feel unpleasant rather than amusing. Elsewhere some of the humour is a bit obvious, like how Orm moans about Freya’s necklace of monk’s penises and complains about how big they are, the joke being that they’re rather small indeed, and it’s all just a bit bland in general. Given the critical acclaim I can only presume it picks up and becomes a lot more impressive as it goes on, but this first episode really didn’t work for me so I’ll never find out.

American Ultra
A really bad case of “If you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen all the best bits”, Jesse Einsenberg’s a stoner loser and he and Kirsten Stewart have been fucking for a while now, but hey, actually he’s a mind washed CIA experiment who can kill people in really cool ways despite not understanding how he’s doing such things. It’s an odd mix, mainly as the violence is extreme and vicious, but there’s way too much relationship angst weighing the whole thing down for it to be that enjoyable. If you’re really intrigued by the premise or particularly like the cast than it’s perhaps worth watching the initial ten minute set up to see if it’s your cup of tea, but otherwise I’d just fast forward to the the action scenes but skip the rest as you really won’t miss out on much.

My Neighbors The Yamadas
This is the weakest Studio Ghibli film I’ve seen yet (though I’ve not watched Tales From Earthsea or Ocean Waves so far), it starts off in a nicely imaginative and unpredictable way before telling a cute tale about the time the family forgot their daughter in a shopping mall, but after that it’s just a selection of sketches concerning family life and while often likeable and gently amusing it really isn’t anything that amazing. It picks up during the final twenty minutes or so with a segment involving a motorcycle gang and an ending which is half sweet and half melancholic, but I still felt it was disappointing when compared to everything else that the studio has produced.

Video Of The Week
Andy Daly’s Review With Forrest MacNeil is one of the great American comedy series of the 21st Century, and Daly’s always said he’d like to bring back the character for another show. That’s not quite happened yet, but this short video / advert for the complete series dvd set sees him reprise Forrest as he tells us what he’s been up to over the past four years which is largely reviewing life for private clients, it’s gorgeously funny as you might expect, and boy is it good to have him back.

Link(s) Of The Week
Taskmaster is coming back in the Autumn, though due to the Pandemic there will be some small changes, including how the studio segments won’t be filmed in front of an audience, and in this interview Alex Horne and Greg Davies discuss this, along with other elements of the greatly awaited forthcoming series. while in this great AV Club interview Alex chats about the show and introduces it to US viewers –

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
26/07/2020 – Don’t, Central Park, Giuseppe Makes A Movie, Turbo Kid
19/07/2020 – Man To Man With Dean Learner, James Ross – Leopardoptera, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, Laughter In Paradise
12/07/2020 – The Ghost Of Peter Sellers, French Exit by Patrick DeWitt, The Man In The White Suit, Ninotchka
05/07/2020 – The Kominsky Method, Tournament Of Laughs, Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich, The Monster Squad
28/06/2020 – Man Seeking Woman, Spoiled Brats, The World Of Simon Rich, Inside Out
21/06/2020 – A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Crossing Swords, The Insecurities Of Dill, Manborg
14/06/2020 – Upstart Crow, La Princesca de la Woking, Solar Opposites, The Muppet Movie
07/06/2020 – Jeeves And Wooster, JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales, She Loves Me, Where’s Marlowe?
31/05/2020 – It Started As A Joke, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Best Worst Movie, The Aristocrats
24/05/2020 – Solar Opposites, Daniel Kitson – The Interminable Suicide Of Gregory Church, Jimmy O. Yang – Good Deal, How To Marry A Millionaire
17/05/2020 – What We Do In The Shadows, JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales, Down The Line, Bolt
10/05/2020 – The Toxic Avenger The Musical, Kinky Boots, The Simpsons, Wrong
03/05/2020 – Crank Yankers, Code 404, Upload, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
26/04/2020 – Oh Hello On Broadway, Emily Heller – Ice Thickeners, Sam Morril – I Got This, Were The World Mine
19/04/2020 – American Dad, Maeve In America Essays By A Girl From Somewhere Else by Maeve Higgins, Quiz, Simple Men
12/04/2020 – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Dave, Broke, Bran Nue Dae
05/04/2020 – Super Buddies, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, Future Man, The Magicians
29/03/2020 – Kate & Koji, The Unicorn, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, The Suicide Shop
22/03/2020 – Eugenius The Musical, Cake, Modern Family, Avalanche Sharks
15/03/2020 – It’s Personal With Amy Hoggart, Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Simpsons, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
08/03/2020 – The Windsors, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, The Big Sick
01/03/2020 – Everything’s Going To Be Okay, High Fidelity, Duncanville, His Girl Friday
23/02/2020 – Outmatched, The Secret Diaries Of Alan Bennett, Avenue 5, Hot To Trot
16/02/2020 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Indebted, Sex Education, Turn Me On, Dammit!
09/02/2020 – Joe Pera Talks With You, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, Bless The Harts, A Boy And His Dog
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
10/01/2019- Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, Vice, Catastrophe, Angie Tribeca


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