Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #66

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf witnesses a microwave being destroyed and a programme that’s a month too early.

Peep Show

I think the best way to start the review of this programme is with the following statement: Peep Show is better than Father Ted.

I know that according to Channel 4’s Greatest Comedy Show Father Ted’s is better, but it’s wrong. It’s merely more popular. Peep Show’s funnier because of the writing, the plot devices, the innovative camera work, the quality of the performances and the darkness of the humour and characters. Peep Show may never have attracted more than 2 million viewers for a single episode, but the quality of it stands.

Peep Show returned with its usual mix of darkness and desperation, thanks to the struggling lives of flatmates Mark and Jez (David Mitchell and Robert Webb). At the start of this series, Mark is trying to get Jez out of the flat so his love Dobby (Isy Suttie) can move in. Mark’s plans are so desperate; he even thinks breaking Dobby’s microwave will help. Also, Mark gets a job tip from – of all people – Super Hans (Matt King), Jez decides to undergo therapy, and the health of Mark’s love rival Gerrard (Jim Howick) takes a turn for the worse.

There’s so much to like in this opening episode, including Jez’s somewhat paranoid display when he attends his therapy session, to the horrifying consequences which result when Mark tries to prevent Isy from seeing Gerrard. One interesting plot device which seems to be sprouting is Jeff (Neil Fitzmaurice), now living with Sophie (Olivia Colman), getting a bit too close to Mark’s baby son Ian for his liking…

John Bishop’s Big Year

This is a new series covering everything that’s been going on in 2012 starring John Bishop. Well, I say new. This series appears to be John Bishop’s Britain remarketed.

Like its predecessor, Bishop covers a range of different topics using both stand-up and sketches. However, this time around the sketches are all performed by the sketch trope Pappy’s, and there are no pre-filmed segments with celebrities or members of the public.

I must say that this worked rather well for most of the time. I especially liked the opening sketch about the Greek economy, which featured two Greek men trying to mend their broken plates to save money. However, I was annoyed by the pasty tax sketch which featured another lazy John Prescott gag. You’d think we’ve moved on from such a basic gag, or at least changed that target to someone more current (no doubt that would be Eric Pickles)…

However, there’s one problem I do have with this programme and all programmes of this type, really. Namely it doesn’t cover all of the year. Bishop’s show aired in November, which is just ridiculous. I don’t want to sound like someone from the Daily Mail, but these review programmes just seem to keep coming around earlier every year. It’s just not right…