Saturday, 3 March 2012

TV Review: Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy

Okay, here's something more contemporary, a review of the first episode of:
Noel Fieldings's Luxury Comedy, Channel 4/E4/4OD (pick your poison really)

“Luxury Comedy” is an apt title for, what feels like, a vanity project for Noel Fielding, one half of British comedy act, The Mighty Boosh. Fielding has stated he intended to “make something in the spirit of Spike Milligan or the Kenny Everett Show.” If you don’t know who those are, get on youtube now, but suffice to say it is an appeal to recreate old-school British absurdism, and to me this animation-comedy mash up most closely resembles “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

I can’t settle on how I feel about the show. It’s a free form sketch show, with no consistent theme or story to tie it together... or jokes for that matter. On the other hand, the visuals are impressive and are created by Fielding and collaborator Nigel Coan (who also contributed to the graphics and images of The Mighty Boosh). The look of the show, from the backdrops to the costumes, is so enthralling, bizarre and different from anything else on television, I don’t want to criticise it.

But I can’t escape the fact that calling itself a comedy is practically a bare-faced lie: some of the sketches are just vulgar (the “Secret Pieces” bit) or tragic (a sketch with a zoo-kept lion going slowly insane from mistreatment and loneliness still haunts my dreams). I did chuckle a few times though.
It has some familiar faces many (well, just me) have missed since The Mighty Boosh finished, such as the peculiar Michael Fielding and Tom Meeten, as well as Rich Fulcher (who seriously deserves more work). The brilliant Richard Ayoade is scheduled to appear. The Moon even turns up for one fantastic gag.
Overall, I recommend it for the imaginative visuals, rather than the humour. If you were a fan of The Mighty Boosh’s crazy visuals and bizarre non-sequitors, check it out. Here’s hoping this strange yet original format improves over the next few weeks.

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