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Author Topic: Recent British Television Comedy  (Read 425 times)
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Bullwinkle
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« on: October 21, 2011, 01:28:16 PM »

There are some great British comedies that have come out in the last decade or so.  The Mighty Boosh, Spaced, The IT Crowd (which took a while to get going, IMO).  All good.  There are more out there, but they're hard to get in the States.  I'm dying for Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, for example.  I've seen clips.  I love it.  I'm trying not to watch too much of it, as I just want to sit down and experience the whole thing (and not online).  However, there's no damned way to do that here.

Luckily, there are shows that are trickling our way (and maybe Darkplace or its follow-up Man to Man with Dean Lerner)

I just finished the recently released DVD for Snuff Box starring Matt Berry and Richard Fulcher.  If you haven't seen it, do.  It's a little dark, and kinda crass, but very funny.  And it's a rare show where talented people were basically just given a show and left to it.  They were asked to do a sketch show, but the last thing they wanted to make was a sketch show.  So they took a nod from Python and wove their sketches into a loose story.  There's a feeling that it's all leading somewhere, too, though maybe it never really does, and that doesn't seem to matter.  There's a rhythm to the show.  Sketches get repeated, but unlike in other BBC sketch shows where it's literally the same characters in the same exact structure with (slightly) different words (looking at you Little Brittain and Man/Woman), the repetition is part of the rhythm and adds to the sense that it's going somewhere.  You look forward to a "silver cowboy boot" bit, for example, or to hear when a woman Matt's helping might mention her boyfriend.  I know that I will never order a whiskey the same way again.  Also, I don't know if I have to puke or piss, but I have to piss.  Anyway, go get it.  I can't get the damned song out of my head.

Also I can't get out of this post without mentioning Father Ted and the complete works of Steve Coogan.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 04:45:53 AM by Bullwinkle » Logged

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WorkingMike
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 02:01:38 PM »

Darkplace was on Adult Swim a few years ago, so maybe they will replay them.

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hepcat
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 02:11:57 PM »

Quote from: WorkingMike on October 21, 2011, 02:01:38 PM

Darkplace was on Adult Swim a few years ago, so maybe they will replay them.



Darkplace ran in its entirety on Adult Swim.  It was, imho, one of the funniest pieces of work out of England in a long time.  Absolutely hilarious.

Richard Ayoade is a comedy god.

...although Matt Berry (Dr. Sanchez) comes in a close second. (not from Darkplace.  Actually from the aforementioned Snuff Box)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 02:13:42 PM by hepcat » Logged

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metallicorphan
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 05:51:47 PM »

never even heard of Darkplace...looking it up i see its original run was in 2004

British Comedy has been dead to me for awhile,or at the very least BBC comedy which used to be the best back in the day.
without sounding like my tongue is stuck up your 'asses',U.S comedy shows its strength when making 24 episodes in one season(especially when you have masterpieces like 11 seasons of Cheers or even Friends to name two) while we have a shitty 6 episodes each series

I think The Inbetweeners(CH 4) was the last British comedy i enjoyed which had its last series last year(and a movie this year),a lot of toilet humour,but i guess i go for that having also loved Bottom from the 90s

I love Steve Coogan as well,Bull..but with him being in every Hollywood movie now,i doubt we will see him back on TV anytime soon,he used to film his earlier series of Coogan's Run in Salford,where i am.Same thing with Spaced,now that we have lost Simon Pegg to movies,his TV series will be very few if any(Hippies as well..i think i was the only person in the UK who liked that)

i still long for the BBC glory days of Only Fools and Horses,Fawlty Towers and Blackadder to return..but instead we have to put up with the dire 'My Family' which is waaaaaaaaaaay past its sell by date

they are apparently filming a new series of Red Dwarf(6 episodes),their last DAVE TV special(3 episodes) was very so-so,but being a life long Dwarfer,i will certainly be tuning in,again it will be broadcast on DAVE(bbc fucked it off)
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hepcat
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 07:13:12 PM »

The Red Dwarf mini-series they did a few years back was just god awful.  The final season of the show started off promising, but then took a nose dive.  I long for the glory days of season 3 through 5. 
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Sarkus
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 08:53:05 PM »

Wow, I didn't realize Red Dwarf was coming back.  I agree with Hepcat that the most recent thing was awful.  But maybe with a bigger budget they can recapture the magic.  I have my doubts, though.  Those guys are really just getting to be to old, IMHO.  You can hide that with some of the characters, but not with Lister and Rimmer.  And the show has been really hit and miss since the other co-creator left after series 7.

I actually have always liked the UK approach of shorter "seasons" of only six or eight episodes.  It avoids the writing burnout some shows run into and allows you to get actors and others involved who would otherwise be turned off by having to spend six months a year on something.  And some shows don't really have the ability to run longer then a certain amount of time anyway.  Band of Brothers was great as a "one shot" series, for example, but never would have worked as a indefinate program.
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 04:37:51 AM »

Any thread on British comedy that doesn't mention Steven Moffat's completely awesome "Coupling" requires me to chime in and mention Steven Moffat's completely awesome "Coupling".

I also didn't know about the new series of Red Dwarf. I am skeptical based on the awful last special. I love series 3-6 though. Fantastic stuff. (and the first 2 series aren't chopped liver - and I may be in the minority, but I liked most of series 8....)
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 08:52:27 AM »

the first season of "Spaced" was pretty good... didn't care for the second season at all.
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