"Thursdays are funny!" BBC2's trailer confidently proclaims. The attendant promo material is no less bullish. They clearly feel that the hour-long double bill of The Vivienne Vyle Show and The Peter Serafinowicz Show is so irresistibly rib-tickling that only a fool would argue against its comic properties. Too bad that both shows spend most of their time fellating foot-long donkey cock from Venus. From the moment the gay Sherlock Holmes sketch appeared in the first episode, Serafinowicz's show relentlessly set its sights on easy and familiar targets.
"'Thursdays are funny!' BBC2's double-bill trailer confidently proclaims. Too bad that both shows spend most of their time fellating foot-long donkey cock."
Some examples. O News - a spoof of E News type shows that has been done definitively a decade earlier by Brass Eye. Kitchen Gun and Toilet Grenade - Cillit Bang parodies that are two years out of date. A Weakest Link sketch even further past its sell-by date.
The sundry spoofs of American adverts are just stock footage. Last night, there was an awful spoof of a product called Gem Mania which just seemed to never end.
"They reveal the punchline in the first few seconds of the sketch and then spend the rest of the sketch labouring over the set-up'"
With depressing consistency, they commit the cardinal sin of revealing the punchline in the first few seconds of the sketch and then spend the rest of the sketch labouring over the now redundant set-up. The BBC have spent a lot of money on this and they've really fucked it up. Serafinowicz is not the problem, at least not as a performer. His impressions are good and he's very versatile. But as a writer he and his collaborators just don't have what it takes to fill this 30 minutes every week without pissing me off. The high-quality production values can't mask some absolutely abysmal material
"The seventies public information films are well done but they've been, well, done."
It isn't all bad. TV ambulance chaser Brian Butterfield usually raises a smile and the QVC style channel presenters telling us how tacky and appalling the jewellery they're selling is in their reassuring tones was very funny. The seventies public information films are well done but they've been, well, done. Serafinowicz is a talent worth having but the BBC don't seem to know what to do with him. The scripts seemed to have been specifically tailored for the kind of performances that Serafinowicz put in on Look Around You. All very well in principle but there's a reason why people stopped making those kind of shows - they've already been done
The best thing about it: Brian Butterfield
The worst thing about it: 15 year-old advert parodies