Uncle a Show for Fat Lazy People.

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It seems quite a while since the BBC last produced a really good comedy on BBC Three.  Something different, something which went against the standard and something which wasn’t just shit.  So when I saw the adverts for Uncle it naturally peaked my interest because this is not a show which screams BBC Three.

Yes on first viewing this is a standard sitcom based show, put two opposites together and watch the sparks fly as they struggle to interact and get on.  It’s a classic comedy TV show formula which has been used over and over again.  Uncle was exactly that, it took Andy (the fat lazy uncle) and Errol (the weird nerdy nephew) and stuck them together for what they hoped would be hilarious consequences.

Well they were right the first episode put slacker/loser/useless/fat/failed musician Andy with his weird nephew and sparks flew.  The episode was going really well with good music, funny jokes and a main character that despite being a loser was likable.  Mix in to that some nice side characters like Gwen’s dad and you had the formula for what looked like one of the best new comedies of the year.

Everything was going along so well, until Andy’s about to take a punch in those big jowly chops and then for some reason we break into a dream sequence where Andy has a little sing song to himself before  breaking back into the episode…I sat there paused the show and asked myself ‘what the fuck?’  Genuinely what the fuck?  The show was going along so well then that, I didn’t understand it.  Now for those of you who don’t know, musical comedy is one of the lowest forms of comedy available.  It doesn’t require you to be clever or smart, it just requires you to be able to rhyme and sometimes not even that.  Musical comedy is a technique which bad comedians use because they aren’t actually funny, so why the hell was a show which was going along quite nicely take itself down to this level?  I couldn’t understand it whatsoever, but the rest of the show was good enough for me to watch the next episode.

Well once again I was pleasantly surprised as we see Andy take Errol to a birthday party which doesn’t go too well with both guys being on the wrong end of some bullying.  Again the episode was really well done and I’m thinking ‘yeah…this is good’, and then something happened, I don’t know what, and the show just became another generic BBC sitcom, which did nothing new and followed that same tired formula that every BBC Three sitcom seems too.  No longer was there any tension between Andy and Errol (quite the opposite), somehow the show ended up in a love square with Andy and instead of being edgy it just became soppy.

It’s disappointing to see a show which has got potential, essentially be ruined by bad writing which turns something into another generic comedy show.  Uncle isn’t you prototypical British comedy because it did at least for a while to break away from the status quo, but in the end it turned out to be another example of how poor British comedy has become.  People aren’t willing to take risks, and that means that we get the same sort of shows which we were watching fifteen years ago.  Britain used to be at the forefront of comedy, now we are in the middle of the pack.  Nothing new, nothing original and worst of all poor quality.

As a side note, whilst watching this I liked the guy that played Andy and thought to myself ‘what a likable young fellow’, it wasn’t until he started to break into the shit music numbers that I realised that I actually knew who this guy was and had seen his “comedy” routine.  You may notice that comedy is in brackets, that is because shouting and singing songs isn’t real comedy, and that is pretty much this guy’s whole act.  I thought he was good in the show though, once again showing that you don’t need to be a good comedian to be a good comedy actor, I call it the Jack Whitehall formula.

If you’re wondering if Uncle is worth watching, then the answer is sort of.  Those first two episode are good and show that the show has potential, but the four which follow it are nothing short of disappointing.

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So what did you think of Uncle?  Do you think I’m too harsh, or have I hit the nail on the head in regards to the show and how recent British comedies have performed?  Leave a comment and share your views.  Plus don’t forget to check out bm23tvreviews on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Karl Pilkington and The Moaning of Life.

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What is Karl Pilkington?  He isn’t and actor, or a comedian, the guy isn’t even really a TV personality, what he is is a regular guy who takes an odd view on the world, and people love those views.  None of his shows should have been a success, yet show after show he makes are hits.  Whether it be the Ricky Gervais Show (which carried the stars name, but really was a vehicle to show off Karl Pilkington’s take on life) An Idiot Abroad (essentially a travel show) or Derek (another show where Pilkington steals the limelight off of his more famous co-star) Karl Pilkington delivers at every chance.

When you look at Karl, he isn’t what you’d called made for TV.  He’s bald, not good looking and is so stuck in his own little world that he really shouldn’t work, but he does.  Almost all of his shows are identical, they put Karl in a position which they know he is uncomfortable in because he will then come away with some amazingly blunt comments on the situation which have people laughing their heads off.  Karl has comedic timing which some comics could only dream of, and more so than that he is an immense observationalist.  He doesn’t necessarily say anything ground breaking, but he says things which shatter that glass of perception and make you go ‘oh yeah’.  I think a great example of this is when Karl went on the Alan Carr Show, and I was watching with my dad and Alan Carr made a comment about how Karl hadn’t bothered dressing up for the show, and he replied ‘dressing up makes me nervous’, to which my dad replied ‘wow I feel that way too’.  Karl doesn’t go out and make ground breaking assessments on people’s lives or political situations, but what he does do is simple and well executed.  I don’t think he is trying to be like this, but rather that’s just who he is, and that comes across on camera; he’s just a regular guy that somehow has made a career in television out of it.

In my opinion Karl Pilkington is the most consistently funny person (or thing) on TV, and has been for the last few years.  It’s a big statement but it’s one I believe to be true.  Sky have shown faith in Karl by giving him his fourth series (the other three being an Idiot Abroad) and he has repaid them each time with his globetrotting adventures.  Karl is money; people thought would he be able to stretch out from the Gervais-Merchant tree and succeed, and the answer was yes, people questioned how he would do in acting and he was excellent.  I’ll say it again Karl Pilkington is currently the most consistently funny thing on TV.

This was really meant to be a review of the Moaning of Life, but instead it has been hijacked by my admiration for Karl Pilkington.  I thought the Moaning of Life was another excellent instalment in the Karl Pilkington book of treasures, and was a nice change of pace from his An Idiot Abroad series.  I’m not going to go into too much detail about the show because you really can’t do justice the words of the man in type and to get the true effect of his wise words you need to see the manner in which they were delivered, the situation and then also hear the words themselves.  Karl’s words are a bit like a chicken sandwich; to get the most out of it you really need some sauce and maybe a strip of bacon in there too, otherwise you are only getting half the enjoyment.

I will however give a general summary of the show; pretty much each episode had a theme (marriage, happiness, kids, vocation/money and death) and in each episode Karl would go about meeting people in different countries and finding out how each place does things differently.  As I’m sure you can expect the things these people were doing would not be described as normal and Karl reacted to them in his usual manner.  A scene which I thought was particularly good and sticks out in my mind (because I’ve been in that position) is when Karl gets left with a Filipino baby to look after for a few hours and has an absolute nightmare.  That moment when he‘s just sort of like ‘nope, get em back’ is a moment that I’m sure most men who have been dumped with someone else’s baby have went through, classic Karl.

The one criticism I could have of the show is that at times sections of episodes could drag if what was happening around Karl wasn’t that unusual or funny.  Every episode seemed to have about a quarter which wasn’t that good mixed in with the general excellence of the show, which especially if it was towards the end of the episode could really drag your overall feeling on the show down.  The other thing I didn’t like was when they delayed the broadcasting of the final episode (which dealt with death) because it had scenes where Karl went to the Philippines, and it was due to be broadcast soon after the typhoon that ravaged parts of the country.  I understand why Sky thought that this was the right thing to do because maybe they felt it was too raw to show it so soon after the event, but personally I can do this sort of filtering myself and a warning that you may get upset about this (why I wouldn’t know because it wasn’t that bad at all) would have been suffice in my opinion.

The Moaning of Life doesn’t really do anything particularly different from An Idiot Abroad or even the Ricky Gervais Show, but the Karl Pilkington formula is one which keeps coming out positive, and the guy just has something special.  Hopefully we will be seeing more Pilkington on our TV screens soon and I’m sure Sky will be more than happy to give him another TV show because I’m pretty sure the viewing figures are good, which is good for everyone.

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So what did you think of the Moaning of Life?  Do you think Karl Pilkington is the most consistently funny thing on TV?  Leave a comment and share away!  Plus find all the latest bm23tvreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Hebburn Series 2- Why Aye Man!

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It isn’t often you find a TV show which is set in the north east of England, or anywhere north of Essex to be honest, which doesn’t involve lots of posh people living out their super exciting lives that us plebs could only dream about, but Hebburn was just that.

Set in the small town (maybe a village, I’m not a geographer) of Hebburn (which I think exists, but you can never tell) it follows the Pearson family about in this weird and wonderful place called not the South of England.  This is the second series of the show, and I thought the first series was decent but not great, but more than worthy of a second series.

The problem with the second series (and it was the same problem with the first series) was that it never really tried to be anything other than a generic comedy that you have seen many times before.  It played off the small place where people act unusually and gives you Sarah (Jack’s wife) to sympathise with because she isn’t from the mad house.  Maybe there was too much North East based jokes in there as well that you would really only get or find funny if you were from that region of the country.

The main cast is good, but the writers can’t seem to find a way to make them funny enough to carry the show, it isn’t often you find your four main characters all playing the straight man but that is exactly what Hebburn does.  So instead they rely on the sub characters like Denise, Ramsey and Dot (the old granny woman) to make up for the lack of humour given by the main cast.  I don’t have a problem with that because many great comedies have the straight man as the main character, but it isn’t often that the next three also play a similar role.

I found the ending of Hebburn very odd, it was as if they had been commissioned six episodes, wrote those six on the belief that they were not going to get a third series, were then told ‘oh maybe you will get one’, only for them to write an extra special episode onto the end of the series which basically made what had happened in the second series obsolete and a total waste of time.  Maybe I’m wrong, but it very much felt that way, a good old fashioned ‘woops, hit the reset button’ moment.

Hebburn is what it is, they do almost nothing new or out there, and what they do differently has nothing to do with the actual comedy but rather the fact that the show is set in an area of the country which doesn’t really get much attention from TV shows production.  I wonder if it was not on BBC Two if they would maybe try and make it more edgy, rather than having it as a light wishy washy comedy (saying that have you seen some of the stuff they try to pass over as comedy on BBC Three?)

Should Hebburn receive another series?  I’d say no, it deserved a second one because it had showed a touch of potential but clearly the writers have already ran out of ideas and it would be best for the show as a whole if it just ended there I think.

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So what did you think of Hebburn?  Leave a comment and let everyone know.  Plus find all the latest bm23tvreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Mrs Brown’s Boys…The Best the BBC Can Offer…

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When you look at the top of the ratings table of British TV over the festive period, you don’t find quality TV shows which will in time become classics, it isn’t even TV shows which are considered highly by the critics and it also wasn’t a one off special series or episode which was made just for this time of year.  No it was none of these, instead it was Mrs Brown’s Boys, a comedy which would’ve have looked out of date and pretty shit in the 1970’s.

Although it isn’t actually clear from my introducing statement, I don’t mind Mrs Brown’s Boys.  Yes it is clearly a shit comedy and neither the acting nor the jokes are that good, but it is a nice enough show.  The characters are likable and it is sort of funny in its own sort of way.  It isn’t funny in a smart well-constructed episode or joke way but it is funny as in a man dressed as an old lady way.

I can remember when Mrs Brown’s Boys came on at first (I think it was after something like Graham Norton or Match of the Day or something like that), I watched the intro and thought this looks like so much shit you have to wonder how it was ever made.  Not intending to I ended up watching the full episode and actually enjoying it, unbelievably it ended up becoming the crown jewel in the crown of the BBC’s comedy production.  However as it gains viewing figures the funniness (as basic as it was) has decreased series on series.  The simple fact is that there are only so many times that seeing a man dressed as a woman carry an entire cast of “actors” (god I’ve used that word loosely) whilst doing the same sort of jokes be funny.

Mrs Brown’s Boys is a perfect analogy to the problem with British TV just now, it isn’t very good, it certainly isn’t clever and it is about thirty years out of date.  British TV has regressed drastically over the last ten years, and the fact that Mrs Brown’s Boys is one of the BBC’s most reliable and biggest shows is further evidence of this.  It is a sad state of affairs when the two most watched comedies in Britain are Mrs Brown’s Boys and Miranda…what is the country coming too? (Stupid David Cameron!)

Anyway, as I said I think Mrs Brown’s Boys is ok and is fairly funny in a total shit way (unlike Miranda which is total shit in a total shit way), it’s also a good comedy to watch with your family (apparently kids love it…or so I’ve been told).  The two episode that they made for the festive period were fairly good but as usual nothing special.  Watch it, take it for what it is, and don’t expect anything special.

So what did you think of the Mrs Brown’s Boys festive specials?  Do you think that this show epitomises everything that is wrong with British TV and comedy or am I just a grumpy goose?  Let me know and leave a comment.  Plus find all the latest updates for bm23tvreviews on Facebook and Twitter.

Remember When South Park Was Good? The Season 17 Edition.

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Do you remember the days when South Park was at the cutting edge of satire?  When a new episode of South Park would be met with a joyful glee?  I know it does seem so long ago, and yes it hasn’t happened for a while.  However keep remembering the good old days and things get better.

So why is it that you keep tuning in to a show that quite frankly isn’t good anymore?  It can be described quite easily in one word, loyalty.  Loyalty to one of the best comedies ever created, a comedy which defined its generation, and a comedy which was once hilarious.  That is the sad thing about South Park, it WAS once brilliant, not it is brilliant.

South Park has went from hitting in almost every episode in about the first 10 seasons, to missing in almost every episode of the recent seasons.  Season 17 was no different to the few seasons that preceded it.  I think the first six episodes of season 17 epitomised the problem that I think South Park has suffered from in recent years; too much stupid comedy, too many episodes centred on crazes and very little long term planning.  That was then followed by the last four episodes which were actually pretty good.  Why were they good?  Maybe it was the combination of two things I like (Game of Thrones and computer games) or maybe it was because they had actually went out their way to have a plan in their writing for these episodes.  Yes there was still the stupid unfunny jokes that seem to have crept into South Park in recent years but there was also an episode plan that lasted longer than what happened in the last few days.

I think that is one of the biggest problems with South Park nowadays, they seem to base the storyline for the week on whatever is making headlines at that time.  The problem with that for me is that things like Honey Boo Boo (not this season to be fair) won’t be relevant in a few years, so the episode won’t be relevant in a few years.  This came home to roost when this year an episode wasn’t able to be produced because there had been a power cut, which truly shows the blatant lack of preparation that the writers have for more than a week ahead.  Of course this used to be one of the great things about South Park, because it could make current and relevant jokes which other cartoon comedies could only dream of.  However the writers have clearly ran out of ideas, and that is beginning to show quite drastically because of their lack of long term planning.  Remember when South Park used to have season long story arcs?  Yeah you’re right, it has been ages since they did stuff like that.

Another sign of a show which is well past its expiry date is when entire episodes are dedicated to characters which are at best minor on a good day.  I’m talking about the Goth kids episode which was brutal and the Ike going through puberty episode which was even worse.  The irony is that the final episode of the season was centred around Wendy, and it worked.  Why did it work but the others failed?  Well Wendy is a much stronger character which has the ability to do more than be a sideshow to the main cast.  Wendy is one of those now underused characters in  the show who used to be a fairly central character, remember how much Kyle’s mum used to be in South Park?  She was a total bitch and a great character, now she is a shell of that.

It sounds like I didn’t like this season of South Park, and honestly I didn’t, but when you look at the actual episode breakdown I thought 4/10 were pretty good and there were only 4/10 which were brutal, which trust me for South Park in recent years is a very good strike rate.  It was a season which was more of the same old shit from South Park up until the Song of Ass and Fire trilogy which very much saved the season from being another disaster.

I would love to think that South Park will end after this season, but I know that is wishful thinking.  It sounds odd to be so desperate for a show that you love to end, but with every passing season Trey Parker and Matt Stone slowly chip away at the great legacy that South Park once had and it is only a matter of time until people will start to think of South Park as that shity cartoon comedy rather than what it should thought of as one of the greatest comedies ever.

 

So what did you think of South Park season 17?  Was it as bad as I am making out or am I being too harsh?  Let me know and leave a comment.  Plus find all the latest bm23tvreviews on Facebook and Twitter.

The Revolution Will Be Televised Series 2- For Those Who Like Satire.

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Yes it is the second series of that show where two guys go along doing stuff to politicians, big business and poor innocent pedestrians in a number of different characters and sketches.  However sadly like children, people will always have their favourites and the guys from the Revolution will be Televised are no different, and clearly the guy that does the bad sketches is the one nobody really likes.

It isn’t that the two guys that make the show do anything which is particularly funny, but rather they have massive cojones.  It takes nuts to go up to David Cameron and give him a Bullingdon club book, it takes massive nuts to go to the European Parliament and pose as MP’s, it takes massive nuts to go to the Saudi embassy with a glass ceiling to install (before being told we ordered this years ago, what took you so long?) and it takes massive nuts to walk into a major organisation with a prop and act like you belong there and not have them figure it out.  That is where to show gets funny, you sit back and go ‘yea this show is preachy, but you have to admire how much stuff they get away with’.  It isn’t really funny when you consider they go and put a sign up over the Starbucks logo, but it is when someone comes questions it and accept that it must be right.  It just shows you kids, if you wear a fluorescent vest you can pretty much do anything.

Obviously some characters are better than others and I’m sure we all know which ones they are; Dale Maily (sounds familiar…) the fearless hetero journalist who tells people how it is and shows them the light of right wing politics (damn hippies!)  Then we also have James Twottington-Burbage of James and Barnaby, the Tory MP who lets poor yucky people know that they suck and probably smell badly.  There are others which are good, but these are the two outstanding characters.

TRWBT is truly at its best when they go after big political figures.  Generally the politicians squirm as they are talked to by a mere normal, but three moments stand out more than any other.  First off we have the time when James tries to get Nigel Farage to pay for a coffee he had with a UKIP MEP on his expenses, not only is Farage generally a funny guy (who doesn’t love right wing loonies?) but it was the way that he actually was entertaining the sketch rather than realising it was a joke like pretty much everyone else does after a while (UKIP 2015 kids!).  We then have the awesome episode where the guys go up to Scotland and do lots of independence stuff and we see why Alex Salmond is quite possibly the best politician in the UK, giving him an England shirt (ewww) and a Union flag to pose behind for a photo would have lesser politicians fumbling and dishevelled, but not Big Eck.  Unluckily for them, Salmond can spot a television camera (or any camera for that matter) from two miles away and never turns down an attempt at some good media, so the joke didn’t really work and Salmond got a free England shirt (always good for burning), for any non-Scottish people who are wondering why independence is even being discussed, it is because of the genius of this one man, who is one of the finest politicians in the world.  Finally we had the coup de grace of the entire series, old posh boy himself, David Cameron.  Not only is it surprising that they got a chance to even talk to Cameron, but to talk and walk with him down a corridor before giving him a book from his dark poshy past, ooft well done lads, well done.  Naturally Cameron swatted them away when he realised they actually hadn’t went to OxBridge like they claimed, and didn’t even accept their gift (how rude).  Lesson number two kids, dress and talk like a posh person and you get places in England.

The Revolution Will Be Televised is your classic hidden camera gauges your reaction show, but with a more intelligent and political twist.  It maybe isn’t the funniest show on Earth, but it is very clever and if you like British satire then it’s a must see.

 

So leave a comment on what you thought of the Revolution Will Be Televised series 2.  Also you can find all the latest bm23tvreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Real Husbands of Hollywood Season 1. Say What?

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I was flicking through the channels the other day and fell upon BET, which translates to Black Entertainment Television and Real Husbands of Hollywood was on.  Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Scotland, but it is about as white a country as you can get.  This naturally led me onto the question of where is our White Entertainment Television!?!?!?  Then I remembered that the BBC is White Entertainment Television and I became less disgruntled (not that I was really disgruntled anyway, it was a joke, just in case you didn’t get it).

I really watched it because my man JB Smoove was in it, any man who is a friend of Larry David is a friend of mine (not that I actually know Larry David, but I can dream).  It also had that guy Robin Thicke from the naked ladies video song (you know the one, with the ladies that were naked) who apparently was famous before this show was filmed…who knew.  I also remember Nick Cannon having a dreadful show on Nickelodeon which made me dislike him, something he managed to maintain in the show.  Kevin Hart shows up every so often in TV shows and films and Nelly is a singer or something.  I have no idea who Duane is and actually thought he was two different people for like the first five episodes before realising that it was just one guy and Boris I had never heard of either but damn he’s a good looking man, I mean seriously handsome.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be married to some of Hollywood’s most glamorous women, sadly after watching Real Husbands of Hollywood I still don’t really know.  I thought these guys were meant to be married to famous women, but beyond Mariah Carey and the chick from My Wife and Kids I didn’t know any of them.

RHOH claims to be at least partially improvised but you wouldn’t really know because it all seems scripted (not in a good way).  It is also always a bit awkward when those famous people show up and you don’t actually know who they are, and can’t help but think ‘I wish they put up their names more often’ (Trey who…?).  Occasionally I’m like what the fuck, like when Robin Thicke turns in to Terry Crews, I mean it doesn’t make sense, where did all his hair go?  I also think what the fuck when I watch JB Smoove stink the joint up, then watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and he’s hilarious; what’s going on JB!?!?!

I know I’m white, but I don’t understand why I need subtitles on the screen when black people are talking (or foreign people for that matter).  It isn’t like they are talking foreign or something (except for Boris [my gosh, he is a handsome guy…damn]).

Whilst I’m here I might as well talk about how much Nick Cannon sucks.  Who is this guy?  Is he famous?  I get it you’re married to Mariah Carey, big woop, but talk about trading down from Selita Ebanks to Mariah Carey…ouch, what a dafty.  Not only that, he’s a dick and I find it hard to believe that he would have any friends or a career, so I can only devise that he is a made up character for this show.  I just checked, apparently that is not the case…but still Nick Cannon sucks.

Apparently Robin decided that he would rather have a successful song career (I wouldn’t call it a music career, he has one song) than a bit in a minor TV show.  How dare he!  I mean don’t get me wrong, Robin’s acting is so wooden that you would think he’s scared of black people or something, but I think it might actually be that he isn’t a good actor.  Maybe I’m wrong, but who cares, he isn’t even in the show anymore.

So watch RHOH or don’t watch RHOH, I couldn’t really care less.  It can be funny, but is a show carried by Kevin Hart (who is apparently black famous [thanks Chris Rock], which would explain why I don’t know him, because I am an incredibly white man, and I mean very white) and whoever the guest star is on that particular week (I liked the fat black guy that tried to go the skateboard, hahaha, fat people can’t go skateboard).  Sometimes it feels like it is trying too hard and should really just let it flow, do more stuff with the wives because there is good chemistry there and do more improve.  Shit can only get better (I’ve seen some of the second season, it does get better).

 

So leave a comment about the Real Husbands of Hollywood season 1.  Also don’t forget that you can find all the latest bm23tvreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.