TV: Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, Mad Dogs

Posted on May 12, 2012

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Apologies for my relevant lack of activity recently, but a staggering amount of essay writing has unfortunately kept me aware from my favourite glowing box in the corner and shackled to the laptop. Because of this I’ve been forced to take advantage of online catch-up services to look into some of the bigger shows of the last two months. The results have been mixed to say the least.

There are some words and phrases that you simply don’t want to hear. S

entences which can inspire either a weary sigh or a deep-seated terror, moments of such intense stomach dropping, you could end up digesting your dinner somewhere near your toes. Scrotal Tear, for example would fit nicely into the latter (as well as being a

good name for a metal band), whilst One Direction Calendar is squarely in the prior, eye-rolling category (for good examples from either camp, see also; ‘colonic irrigation gift voucher’, ‘what’s all this under the bed?’ and ‘presented by Eamonn Holmes’).

The four little words that have really caused me pain this month (along with plenty of other people who don’t spend their day flicking their lips with their index finger, I’m sure) are the words ‘Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy’. Now, if for some reason you are unaware of Mr. Fielding’s body of work then I envy you with the same yearning sadness that I envy anyone who’s never heard Rolf Harris singing ‘I Touch Myself’ by The Divinyls on Youtube (seriously don’t do it…).

Now that you’ve all searched for that on Youtube (those scars will never heal by the way, sorry about that), I can explain that not since Horne And Corden was aired three years have the schedules groaned under the weight of such a self indulgent, egotistical, star-wank as Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.

If you didn’t enjoy the amiably surreal Mighty Boosh then this latest offering from the long haired one clearly isn’t for you. But to be honest, it’s hard to imagine who it could possibly be aimed at other than Fielding himself. Not only are the sketches so bizarre and unfocused as to appear as little else than an exercise in masturbatory writing, but for a show with the word ‘comedy’ in the title they’re startlingly unfunny, labouring under the (false) assumption that weirdness is a substitute for actual humour. It’s not hard to imagine Fielding shaking his head to one side and using whichever ideas fell out of his ear-hole and made it past the ironed-hair curtain before being patted on the back by E4.

Unfortunately for the 99.99999% of the British population whose post isn’t addressed to Mr. N. Fielding, a second series has already been commissioned by E4, and I assure you that this is no laughing matter.

Elsewhere (or Sky1 to be more specific), the superbly cast Mad Dogs made a welcome return to the small screen. Featuring some of the best and most compelling of our small screen talent as ageing school friends Baxter, Woody, Rick and Quinn (John Simm, Marc Warren, Max Beesley and Philip Glenister), Mad Dogs arrived last year in a whirlwind of sand, sun, drugs dismemberment and midget murderers wearing Tony Blair masks.

To be brutally honest, a second season of Mad Dogs wasn’t really needed; it worked fine as a self contained series and ended on a nicely suggestive note. That aside though, it is good to see the four unlucky friends back and bickering. Series two however, was played as more of a straight black-comedy thriller, missing the more absurd set pieces that escalated the story through series one. That’s not to say that series two was bad, far from it, but with a third series already filming, it’s plain to see that Mad Dogs has had it’s eyes set more firmly on the wider story this time around. It’s just a shame that we’ll have to wait another year to see just how much more unlucky Baxter, Quinn, Rick and Woody can be.

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