Friday, 11 August 2006

Metal Theater does Comedy

Dear Faithful Readers, due to TV Tasty Knows extensive (paid) work commitments we have a very special treat for you this week in lieu of his regular report. Metal Theater himself has provided his own review of the current crop of comedies on our TV screens and we thank him for that. – editor GGBlog
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American Comedies
There's been a bit of hype about Julia Louis-Dreyfus new show "The new adventures of old Christine". Unfortunately it's terrible. All I need to give you is two words : "Laugh Track". Ergh, I feel so dirty. Avoid this rubbish like the plague.
While we're on the topic of Seinfeld, Larry David's show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" features the old Seinfeld jokes, performed by Larry doing his best Woody Allen impersonation ... without a laugh track. The script is (at best) uninspired with the same old jokes that we've seen and heard hundreds of times before. It's sort of like Seinfeld but without any of the funny bits or good comedy acting. Avoid.
In the same vein, Charlie Sheen shows how low he can stoop in "Two and a half men", playing a hideously unsympathetic sexist character making jokes which are all followed by a laugh track. I'd love to see these shows performed in front of a live audience - they would die a terrible death.
The American version of "The Office" is still quite good. Not anywhere near as squirmingly bad as the UK version, but still worth a laugh or three.
Futurama (7P 10), quickly replaced "Yasmine's getting married". Futurama never had the same following as the Simpsons (which would be very difficult), but it's still quite good. Watch a couple of episodes before writing it off.

Australian Comedies
Flying across the globe from America to Australia, we have our own cultural icons Kath & Kim, who are still going strong and are still pretty funny. If you can put up with the accents and the antics, Glenn Robbins and Peter Rowsthorn are always funny.
"Chasers War on Everything" is almost starting to get a little bit tired, but these guys are pretty inventive and often come up with new ideas. Not a bad show.
On the downside, "Comedy Inc" is being aimed at 14 year old boys. Avoid unless you're in that demographic.

UK Comedies
The English don't do much very well, but what they are world leaders at is comedy. The old classic "Men Behaving Badly" (ABC 130P) is worth setting the VCR for.
"Absolute Power" is Steven Fry's new comedy, which is not bad, but I've found it to be slightly too light, and to contain too many references to current events in the UK. Not to mention people. This left me in the dark when it came to a lot of the jokes. Still, not a bad show, but it didn't really travel across the Atlantic very well.
Which leaves us with our finale, "Extras", by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. I happened to glimpse a few "advanced screenings" of this series and I can assure you that it is gut-wrenchingly funny. I would even go as far as saying funnier than "The Office". I know that's a big call, but I'll stick by it for the moment. Do not miss this show.

3 comments:

The Artist formerly known as the Artist said...

What an inspired, emotional and intelligent review of Australian TV comedies! I wish I was as cool as Lach.

rise tall or dwarf c said...

I'm not sure TV Tasty Knows would share your views about Curb.

TV Tasty Knows said...

You are correct in this instance "rise tall or dwarf c" but please don't hypothesise what TV Tasty Knows or doesn't know (and TV Tasty Knows who you are by the way). TV Tasty Knows about Extras too and concurs with Lach. Work committments however restrict further posts at this time. Play nice till TV Tasty Knows gets back.