Comedy Snippets: Code 404, The Other Two + +

comedy snippets 05092021 code404Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Code 404 Season 2 Episode 1
The first series of this largely funny sort of British Robocop saw D.I. John Major (Daniel Mays) viciously murdered but then brought back from the dead, though a lot had changed during the months he wasn’t up and about including his partner D.I. Roy Carver (Stephen Graham) having an affair with Major’s wife Kelly (Anna Maxwell Martin). Their boss Helen Chalmers (Tracy Ann Oberman) was incredibly obviously the villain from the start even though the big reveal didn’t take place until the final episode, and that episode as a whole frustrated as it decided against being funny and was largely all plot. Thankfully right from the start this makes up for the aspects that annoyed as it’s set one month later, Major arrests Chalmers and so that plotline is jettisoned, which in some ways making the first series finale slightly funnier as it really wasn’t as dramatic as initially made out. And though there’s a mystery that needs to be solved in this episode most of the time the humour revolves around Major refusing to forgive Carver for sleeping with his wife, with Major making prank phone calls, cutting Carver out of all of his photographs and pissing on his computer as he’s so peeved. But even that is resolved by the end which again is a definite plus point as it was a plotline that was starting to run out of steam, and along with the way they brought to a close a running gag about Major calling a character by the wrong name suggests the show is much more aware of what does and doesn’t work now. As well as having a lot of strong dialogue it’s beautifully filmed too, with one scene involving the characters diving in to water being all rather stunning, and due to all of the above I’m looking forward to the rest of this second series a lot, lot more than I was by the end of the first. ★★★★

The Other Two Season 2 Episode 1
The first season of this came to an end in March 2019 and so has been off our screens for over two years, but thankfully now it’s back albeit on HBO Max rather than the increasingly awful Comedy Central which bizarrely has been cancelling a lot of its best shows of late. If you’re not familiar with it the series follows the two siblings of teenage pop sensation Chase Dreams and how they cope with having a famous younger brother, though at the end of the last season Chase decided to retire and head off to college, but in a twist I didn’t see coming their mother became famous and was given her own chat show. This second season was written pre-covid (and filmed just before it all kicked off and then at the start of this year, though you can’t see the differences as the cast somehow managed not to age while the rest of us have) so pleasingly it’s free of any mention of the pandemic, and most importantly it’s just as sharp as it’s always been. The way it follows the character’s personal and professional lives is never less than delightful, it’s full of brutally caustic yet hilarious lines, the main cast are fantastic, and yeah, if you’ve not seen this yet rush to watch the first season and then become addicted to this second one. ★★★★1/2

What We Do In The Shadows Season 3 Episode 1
I wasn’t madly in love with the first season of this spin-off from the fantastic film, some episodes were great and some episodes had Nick Kroll in them, and don’t get me wrong, Kroll’s normally amazing but the night club episode really was quite poor. The second season was a massive step up though, all of the characters had been established and they started being extremely playful with what happened to them (and who didn’t love Lazlo pretending to be the very human Jackie Daytona), Colin Robinson was even more annoying than ever, an adorable doll version of Nadja joined the cast, and best of all Guillermo became an at first accidental but then a very deliberate vampire slayer. This episode carried on with that plotline as they’ve locked Guillermo in the basement and don’t know what to do with him, but the ever optimistic fella is okay with aspects of it as he’s able to get pretty good wi-fi and watched Gilmore Girls again, plus their prison isn’t as secure as they think, and by the end the show was taking an intriguing new direction. As well as a strong plot it was packed full of some very funny running gags (though one involving Colin Robinson and scat was a little grim), Taika Waititi and Kristin Schaal were once again a lot of fun, the explanation of two, three and four way hypnotism was the show at its funniest, and I’d be shocked if this wasn’t a highlight of my tv week for the rest of its run. ★★★★

Out Of The Dark
Stephen Chow stars in this comedy horror from Jeffrey Lau which doesn’t have much of a plot, it’s just a series of daft events taking place in a block of flats where some ghosts are a little murderous, and Chow’s sometime mental patient claims to know how to deal with them and recruits a good few security guards to aid him. It’s beyond silly most of the time, and there are a couple of dodgy jokes which I wish had been cut, but it made me laugh a great deal and despite having a few minor issues with it it’s something I really liked as a whole. ★★★3/4

Video(s) Of The Week
Laura Daniel’s knocking it out of the park in the current New Zealand series Taskmaster, and the same applies with Funny Girls, a great sketch show she made with Rose Matafeo a few years ago, and rather handily all of the sketches are on the official youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC14BztgtuXYpCfJq6QOLEHw

Link Of The Week
Frank Oz recently gave The Guardian an interview which was unsurprisingly funny, but what did take me back is how refreshingly honest he was too. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/aug/30/frank-oz-on-life-as-fozzie-bear-miss-piggy-and-yoda-id-love-to-do-the-muppets-again-but-disney-doesnt-want-me

Alex Finch.

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Previous Comedy Snippets:
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