Friday, 4 February 2011

disappointing comedy shows

Not something that will drastically change my life but something which I have staunchly defended when met with other nationalities who decide to inform me that British humour is not in fact the best in the world.
One of the few things I did desperately miss when on the road, and being not tech savvy enough to think about downloading-as-you-go -comdey-shows, was a good weekly dose of British humour. It didn't matter if it was in the form of a bloody good sitcom or a sketch show on the brink of being banned for it's cringeworthyness or the immaculately funny stand up from the cream of the crop of comics, I yearned for the dark, quick witted, self critical comedy. I'd listen to my one and only comedy download I have on my i-pod which was Eddie Izzrds timeless Glorious stand up and laugh my head off everytime (to some very strangte looks from the locals on the buses)

I get 'home' and am excited at the prospect of some great shows and that I can at last indulge in. Aniticipated by hours of giggly fun I settle in only to find that they are rubbish.
One promising show, Episodes, turns out to be a great waste of the talents of half the cast of the Green Wing (excelllent!) and it's pretty obvious Matt doesn't even want to be there. I've seen the first 3 installments and have actually forced myself to laugh at the slapstick, slow pace and ...well...normalness of this show as I did so want to like it. The fact that I am sitting there cringing at the softness of the delivery and the variety of 'humourour' facial expressions character "Betsey"  manages to pull in one episode. It's as if what I am experiencing is reflected in what the whole show is really about; awkardness. The concept is potentially powerful but the actors are otherwise typecast and it's too much of an experiment overall.

Another disappointment which has been voiced all over the news and reviews is that of the 10 O'Clock Live, which again, was hugely promising with some of the best satrical comedians around taking the piss out of or expanding on in a no-nonsense manner our news headlines - a more userfriendly version of Have I Got News for you perhaps. I was most excited at the prospect of seeing Charlie Brooker in all his glory as well as the great delivery from David Mitchell and a bit of boy bashing from Lauren Laverne. But alas, I couldn't sit through an entire episode as it strove to talk over and childishly take the piss out of guests who'd come on to talk about relatively serious topics and skipped from one side of the set to the other while the comics tried desperately to keep up with the live recording. Again a waste of talent and again shamefull.

Last but not least is the Come Fly with Me episodes by the excellent duo of David Walliams and Mat Lucas. Good but not brill and a bit weird that when dressed as a lady Walliams makes no attempt to hide his gruff voice - and seems like there are too many characters to follow easily.

I don't claim to be an expert of comic timing, writing or anything else. But I cannot hide my disappointment at the calibre of shows I was hoping to spend some evenings laughing my little head off at.
Yes, I know, I should get out more and see some proper stand up in real venues, not at the telly in my living room!

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