[ Friday, October 13, 2006 ]
Ricky Gervais will eat himself
It's the great debate that's sweeping the nation
* every Thursday night. Has become an embarrassing celeb-driven parody of itself, as previously witnessed with the sitcoms Extras Absolutely Fabulous and When The Whistle Blows? Or is it a squirm-inducing self-observational comedy masterclass **? * as evidenced by the sample population of myself and co-editor Stu, participants in a weekly SMS debate. ** Or is it, as per the extent of my own participation in this weekly debate, that "I've not watched it yet. Also on Starbuck's Top of the Box chart at the moment: Robin Hood (though Keigh Chegwin will always be the definitive Hood for me) Spooks (showing that the Brits can produce quality slick US-style dramas and STILL knock the government and security forces at every opportunity) Jane Eyre (fantastic adaptation, and Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens have been wonderful) That Mitchell & Webb Look (normally playing a central role in the Extras as funny debate) Lead Balloon (well, its Jack Dee trying to do Curb Your Enthusiasm - how could I resist? Apart from this week, when I was doing something better.)
oh I'm annoyed I keep missing spooks. I used to really enjoy it but it isn't as good now Matthew MacFadyen isn't in it any more.... *swoon*....
The trouble is that they're not afraid to kill off their characters.
You get keen on someone or other ( rather keen in your case by the sound of it!), but the writers'll have them pushing up daisies before you know it! Great stuff, though. So good that its not til later after watching a believable scary episode that it is, in fact, daft as houses.
I discussed Extras with someone at the weekend, as she (like I) have the first series on DVD, and we both decided it's embarassing (to use that word again) and jsut unfunny.
My problem with it is that every exchange, whoever is talking, is Merchant and Gervais talking. They can't write characters. Classic example being the bouncer and the tramp (seperately) in the David Bowie episode. And when did Gervais think comedy genius was to have everyone calling his character fat? This isn't the future of comedy. Mitchell and Webb is far funnier. Especially the captain pugwash in the pub sketch. THAT was comedy genius!
I'd disagree that Extras in unfunny... it certainly tickles mine and my wife's funny bones. Its the facial expressions that expecially "do it" for me.
Fair enough though that its all Gervais and Merchant. Andy's been noticably less Millman and more Gervais this series. Or has Gervais been turning into his characters a little... That Mitchell and Webb Look has been utterly wonderful, however, no disagreement from me there. Imaginative, but not self-consciously so. Can't wait to see them live next month.
Spooks might be a bit on the daft side, but lets face it, it's this decades 'Bugs', remember that early Nineties tv show with gadgets & technology?
I've been watching repeats of Garth Marenghi?s Darkplace on Channel4 - and it's so well filmed that they make it look terrible when it is in fact genius! My own working pattern kind of puts the kibosh on any other TV mind you.
Re: Bugs - see
item 3. It was great! I've heard good things about Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, but to my eternal shame I've never caught an episode. Likewise High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman, which I've always got confused with the above.
Bugs WAS great - shame about the music courtesy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop mind you.
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Season 1 is out on DVD! Also on Channel-4 on Tues at midnight. http://www.dvd.co.uk/product_C4DVD10103%20.asp
Cheers for the Garth Marenghi info.
Best thing about Bugs was its predictability - Henry/Ed gets kidnapped, Tandy swaggers in and rescues him... great stuff. Oh, and being so utterly preposterous, it was never as scary as Spooks!
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