No Signal, FX

Did we like it?
If you loved The Kevin Bishop Show on Channel 4 – the one featuring short, sharp clips from lots of spoof TV channels and programmes – you may have liked this identical twin but, like us, would probably have felt it was a lot less successful.

What was good about it?
• The only genuinely funny, novel sketch was The Chavvy Wavvys, who are like the Tweenies with added burping, Burberry and benefit dependency.
• Cop Swap, in which hardbitten New York cops keep law and order in sleepy Buckinghamshire, could have been good if the accents had been half decent and there were more than a couple of funny lines.
• Also, America’s Next Serial Killer was a smart idea (“Ten ordinary Americans all with a dream of being a notorious serial killer”) but dragged on and on (and was also hampered by poor accents).
• The one weakness of Kevin Bishop’s show was the attempt to satirise news channels. No Signal did it better, with its New News Now channel, featuring anchors giving the game away about how cynical it all is (“for the latest on people being killed on the other side of the world…”).
• We laughed at the spoof ads for Super Giant Chicken Kebab Pizza’n’Chips Burger (“new for the lazy mum”) and Home Terrorist magazine (“part one and a bar of Semtex, only 50p”).
• The porn film sign language sketch was acceptable.

What was bad about it?
• Spoofing TV is becoming so redundant in an age where your worst nightmares now become primetime programmes and every channel has more crass shows than classy ones.
• When there were clever ideas, they were ruined by poor writing or poor performances. For example, the Real Adolf Hitler (“he likes to do stir fry, tofu…”) could have been brilliant but never hit the mark.
• The endless keep fit informercial and spoof sofa store commercial were dull.
• Granny Chat XXX was just horrible.
• The attempt to parody late-night quiz channel was pitifully unfunny.
• Worst of all was Pimp Up My Wife, a nasty piece of work frnted by the charmless DJ Spoony.

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