Tv Review: Grave New World

grave new world tv review indexIn a self-deprecating manner Stuart Laws introduces himself as a “Single threat” at the beginning of this first episode but as he wrote and stars in it, it’s patently not true and he goes on to prove this over the course of this four episode series in what is an extremely funny mix of sketches and interviews. Exploring this strange world we now live in where we’re almost but not quite over the pandemic, Laws examines just how the world has changed, with Alex Kealy on hand to explain any potentially confusing terms, including “Jargon”, “Allegedly” and “Rectal Molars”.

A number of different comedians also tackle various ideas about what this almost post pandemic world is like, including Sunil Patel and Annie McGrath delving in to the experience of filling up your car with petrol these days, with the very funny suggestion being that it’s akin to wine tasting. Sadia Azmat discusses the dating world which somehow spirals off in to the suggestion that due to the pandemic a crazy amount of men are now fucking animals, while James Acaster talks about his love for fizzy drinks, in what’s the strongest segment if only because during it Acaster and Laws are at the very top of their game.

There’s lots more to the series than the above of course, Laws himself films a skit about what a trip to the cinema now involves, and just why Simon Webb from Blue sings all of the names in the credits, while a visit to a theme park with Daniel Cook has a pleasingly weird ending. There’s also lots of playing around with the format with a running gag about the editor not being up to scratch eliciting a lot of amusing moments, and there’s a number of other strong running gags which makes the show all the funnier.

Many of the sketches and interviews contain some very quotable dialogue, Laws and co have a real talent for unique phrasing which is laugh out loud material. It’s packed with ideas as well and it’s rare for anything to play out in a predictable manner, while the cast deliver some hilariously unusual lines in such a way that you’ll believe what they say, even if it is as ridiculous as the idea that “Birds can’t see fizzy drinks at all”.

There’s been many a time where I’ve wondered if any good comedy could come from the pandemic, and whether or not it was something that I wanted to be reminded of while watching tv, but Laws and all of the other comedians involved in this series have managed to generate an enormous amount of hilarious moments without it ever being in poor taste or potentially causing upset to anyone. A show which is a skewed but remarkably funny take on the pandemic, I hope a second series is on the cards as there hasn’t been a slice of British satire and silliness this good in far too long a time.

★★★★1/2

Related Links:
You can watch Grave New World here.
Stuart Laws’ Official Website.

Alex Finch.
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