Tag Archives : British TV comedy

Television Comedy: Free Agents


What is hard in comedy is to be very funny AND to have emotional depth; the default is to be have some jokes and lurch to an awkward sentimental moment, with neither section working very well. However, Free Agents manages this feat, made even more impressive by the fact that it was written by a former talent agent himself. Unlike…

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TV: No Heroics


I really want to like No Heroics. I’m the demographic (well, I would be if I was younger, sigh …): I like comedy and I like comic books. It doesn’t require complicated mathematics to work it out. So it is with heavy heart that I write the words, ‘It was okay’. Even with Warren Ellis’ seal of approval, I can’t…

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TV: Lab Rats


Lab Rats is a new sitcom on BBC2, co-written and starring Chris Addison, a stand-up comedian and Perrier award nominee and actor known for his part in the brilliant political satire The Thick Of It. The show is produced by Armando Iannucci, creator of The Thick Of It, and producer of The Day Today and the various Alan Partridge shows.…

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TV Catch-Up Week: The IT Crowd/Saxondale


A second series for both these shows. Saxondale returns with Steve Coogan with his own hair blonded and longer. The rest of the cast return to back him up in a very capable manner; however, it seems to have moved away from being a sitcom and into a gentle drama with some humour. The lines can be sharp and the…

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TV Catch-Up Week: Sketch Shows


There has been a brace of new sketch shows on television recently, trying to capture some Little Britain glory. On digital main channels BBC3 and ITV2, we have It’s Adam and Shelly and Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show respectively. Both are not good. Adam and Shelley do poor characters with silly accents and pointless punchlines; there was even a slightly…

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TV: Screenwipe


I thought I had written about the unalloyed joy provided by Charlie Brooker before on this blog, but I have been remiss in my expressions of devotion to the vicious and poetic humour and intelligence of this misanthropic television critic. My knowledge of him started with his painfully funny pastiche of television listings at the website TV Go Home. The…

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TV Round-Up: Peep Show, Get A Grip, Harry & Paul


Even though it’s more television chat, I wanted to compare and contrast three comedy programmes from different terrestrial channels and their relevance to each other. Get A Grip, with Ben Elton, on ITV1; Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul, with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, on BBC1; and Peep Show, with David Mitchell and Robert Webb, on Channel 4. When…

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TV comedy review: Extras (series two)


If it wasn’t for the fact that he is rich and happy, you’d almost feel sorry for Ricky Gervais. Having struck gold with The Office, where does he go with his difficult ‘second album’? That he and co-creator/writer/director Stephen Merchant didn’t rest on their laurels and made Extras can only be lauded for their determination and commitment to comedy. With…

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My Top Five Sitcoms


Tom started this off with his Top Ten Sitcoms (and a bizarre ‘No Animation’ rule), followed by Dr Sordid with a more-British perspective, and Logan. This was a while ago, admittedly, but, as you can tell if you read my blog regularly, being timely is not my strong point. I’ve been thinking of changing my sub-heading quote to ‘There’s No…

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