Did we like it?
Half an hour of being peppered by parodies and splattered by spoofs is exhausting stuff – but worthwhile. Even the bits that aren’t especially funny are superbly performed by Bishop and his small team.
What was good about it?
• The pace. Using a format of flicking through the TV channels, keeps it moving fast so even the items we didn’t find funny had been and gone so quickly it didn’t really matter. It also helped the show stand out against the likes of Karen Taylor and Armstrong and Miller.
• Kevin Bishop is a quality actor and a so-so impressionist (Al Pacino great, Gordon Ramsay terrible). And he’s endearingly cute.
• Brian Cowell, Simon’s less famous but equally arrogant brother, who runs Rotherham’s fourth largest convenience store and doesn’t pull the punches in his criticism of shelf stacker Brian.
• The US version of Countdown was a highlight with a cheesy host, bikini-clad version of Carol and idiotic contestants.
• In Fast Show style, the repetitive gags worked, especially Jonathan Ross introducing, over and over, Ricky Gervais on his chat show. “I don’t know how we’ve managed to book him! It’s Wicky Gervais!”
• Sophie’s Choice; The Musical, with interactive audience participation (“you must chose which one to lose”), seemed an attempt to gratuitously shock – but was executed (literally) with style.
• STD Kelly’s video for Legazlise, his song of seduction in which he advises guys to photocopy IDs before sex.
• Also enjoyable: screen tests of the famous (especially Bruce Forsyth in The Shining. “Heeeeere’s Brucie! Nice to see you…”), the Playbox games (Barman Attractor and Illegal Imiigrant Windscreen Washer Man); the patient who is told he has Smallcock Disease; Pimp My Ride souping up Dr Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair; the driver talking to his wife like a radio traffic reporter; the Guantanamo Bay playset; the man who wakes up to the Village People; The Lazy Vampire; Classic Movie Twists Revealed; the Nursey Crime Squad arresting the three bears for being nonces; and Dangerously High School Musical.
• The closing music: Dog Eat Dog by Adam and the Ants
What was bad about it?
• Preferring TV to movies, there were some sketches we didn’t really get, including the opener, a trailer for The Dark Knight, and the (Christopher) Walken’s Crisps ad.
• There wasn’t a huge amount of originality – the parody of the urgent 24-hour news channel anchors, spoof perfume commercials (Publicity by Sienna Miller/Recession by Gordon Brown) and fake TV and film trailers have been done before, sometimes better by the likes of French & Saunders, Rory Bremner and Alastair McGowan.
• The unhinged rapist detective and Bridget Jones’ Diarohhea were tasteless and laughless.
• Jodie Marsh guest starred and, although she sent herself up, we’d rather not endure her.