Presumably it’s an experiment, though I couldn’t tell you what into exactly. Today, the BBC launched six new, short comedy programmes via their iPlayer. They’re all pretty big name affairs, with Frankie Boyle, Matt Berry, Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, and plenty more, lending their time and talents.
I watched the lot, which must have taken about 35 minutes. About 25 minutes of which were rather disappointing.
A good part of the problem, I think, is how the shows have been cut and edited. Meera Syal’s fake interview program is airless, Bob Mortimer and Frankie Boyle’s cookery show is fragmented and glitchy, and Matt Berry’s fake natural history program is shapeless and meandering.
It’s a real shame that none of the shows are full-on successful, but there are some laughs to be had, here and there.
I’d advise you pick out the ones featuring people you like first and foremost. Reece Shearsmith and Sally Phillips‘ short, incidentally, was written by Bob Mortimer, if you’re particularly keen on him.
Overall, I think they most satisfying was Micky Flanagan‘s Foxageddon. It feels a bit like a student film in many respects, but there were a couple of moments where a laugh actually escaped my body, and there’s a loopy, nightmarish quality to the concept that has a certain effect.
The overall lowpoint, I think, was Meera Syal prefacing her film with a dry explanation of its origins and, rather disastrously, spelling out its themes and subtexts. This is all before the film, and, honestly, you wouldn’t have missed her point in any case.
I hope the BBC do this again, but without the ‘assistance’ of Pett Productions and directorDave Walker.