Comedy Snippets: Bless The Harts, The Simpsons, Family Guy

comedy snippets 04102020Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Bless The Harts Season 2 Episode 1
This has a viciously harsh 4.9 rating on imdb, whereas it’s clear that it should be at least 5.3, maybe even 5.4 on a good week. Snark aside, it really doesn’t deserve such a low rating but at the same time it’s very much a 6/10 or 7/10 affair at best, amiable enough but nothing more than that. Which is a shame as there’s some talented individuals involved (Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph especially), and the characters are likeable enough, and this week the storyline had scope for amusing moments as Violet hit her teenager years and was rebelling (or locking herself away in her room, anyhow) and Jenny and her mother Betty started panicking about what they might entail, while Wayne watched on in a frustrated manner as he knew they were inevitably going to spiral out of control. Which they did, as they somehow managed to believe she was part of a cult, and it’s here that the episode loses points as it became a bit too silly and frantic. A subplot where Wayne was being sued by a shitty neighbour who makes a living out of petty court cases wasn’t any better either, again, there was the odd decent joke but all too often it’s only okay, and the ending disappointed even if it was technically a win for the character.

The Simpsons Season 32 Episode 1
I always used to check out The AV Club’s reviews of The Simpsons to see if it was an episode worth watching, but they’ve been discontinued because they were incredibly unpopular and only me and four other people were reading them (or something like that, anyhow). That means I now have to go in cold, and risk watching a bad episode, of which there are twelve each year so the odds aren’t good. Fortunately this season opener isn’t the show at its worst, though it is not at it’s best either, just a middling, quite good episode that I probably would normally have skipped and life wouldn’t have been any worse for it. Basically a riff on The Secret Millionaire, it saw Burns hire a bunch of experts to create an expensive costume / face mask so he could go undercover in the company to see what people were saying about him, where he quickly makes friends with Homer, Lenny and co. What follows is a fairly sweet effort as Burns bonds with them, which has the odd cute moment (Burns singing a very old song at karaoke being the highlight), though it has a silly, stupid ending meaning that it ultimately frustrated a little. It could have done with a b-plot too, as Bart, Lisa and Marge didn’t really get anything to do this week, and it’s a shame it wasn’t a little funnier, but if like me The Simpsons is sometime comfort tv, and you’re in the mood for an inoffensive, okay episode this won’t disappoint.

Family Guy Season 19 Episode 1
I’ve quit Family Guy over two million times in my life so far, or six at the very least, but every so often I wonder if they’ve somehow decided to make the show fun again, if they’ve exchanged lazy, shock humour in exchange for smart silliness. Of course disappointment was inevitable, but for once it wasn’t too poor, so, um, that’s nice? Ah, as with The Simpsons review above I’m damning with faint praise, but at least it wasn’t actively hateful, and the storyline was fairly new (within the show’s world, at least) as Stewie says his first word in Church, or the first word that everyone can hear, anyhow, with it being of the sweary variety, and Lois decides to try and find who or what is responsible after being shunned by friends, neighbours and local stores. Most of the cutaways were of the amusing enough variety and didn’t go on for too long, and a potentially bleak dolphin killing leant in to being daft rather than grotesque, but as ever with the show there was a fair amount of weak nonsense, including a couple of piss poor gags about all Canadian men having vaginas and Kim Kardashian being obsessed with black balls. Anyhow, that’s me done for the year as I can’t be bothered watching this very, very average fare, but as I’m downright stupid I’ll probably check in again in a year’s time on the off chance its somehow improved.

Nocturna
Now after all of that idiocy, if you’re in need of some superlative animation to cleanse your palate this 2007 Spanish effort should do exactly that. All about a kid who is afraid of the dark, one night he sees that the stars are slowly going out one by one and decides he needs to save the day. It’s packed with some impressive imagery and ideas, and a cute, fun watch, spoilt only by the fact that I found the dubbing to be a bit poor, perhaps the original Spanish original suffers from the same problem (frustratingly I couldn’t track down a copy) but one of the main characters is voiced in a particularly annoying manner. Still, it’s a minor complaint and I was quite enamoured by this charming, odd little film.

Video Of The Week
Mary and Max is one of the sweetest, funniest stop motion films yet made, and this short film from the same director is also an essential watch, deservedly winning the Best Animated Short Film Oscar in 2004. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0uV2jWMKvU

Link of the Week
Beavis and Butthead and Daria are soon to make a comeback to our screens, but is anyone really interested in seeing their return? This Guardian article attempts to answer that question, and has some interesting thoughts on the subject. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/aug/10/generation-x-animation-beavis-and-butthead-daria-ren-and-stimpy

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
27/09/2020 – Mapleworth Murders, Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club, Archer, Jumanji: The Next Level
20/09/2020 – The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway
13/09/2020 – The Boys, Two Weeks To Live, Bad Words, CJ7
06/09/2020 – All My Friends Are Superheroes, Calypso, Hits and Misses, Frances Ha
30/08/2020 – Waitress, Ruthless The Musical, The Last Five Years, Howard
23/08/2020 – Star Trek: Lower Decks, Other Space, Moone Boy, Yes God Yes
16/08/2020 – Corporate, Central Park, Opening Night, Only Lovers Left Alive
09/08/2020 – Die Hart, Middle England by Jonathan Coe, Sleeping With Other People, The One and Only
02/08/2020 – In My Skin, Norsemen, American Ultra, My Neighbors The Yamadas
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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