Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #11

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf looks at family comedy and satirical edginess.

In With the Flynns

I was somewhat dreading having to watch this, fearing it was going to be something akin to Life of Riley and other unfunny nonsense. But while In With the Flynns is not the funniest sitcom ever made, it does have its moments.

The first thing which strikes the viewer is the way the show is filmed. While this show was made in front of a studio audience, the filming looks much more realistic than a programme like Life of Riley or My Family. When you first see it, it doesn’t feel quite right, but you soon get used to it.

As a pre-watershed TV sitcom there is very little in the way of offensive material. The closest to anything really disgusting was one of the sons in the family admitting to eating a pasty from a bin, which for me was one of the best bits, as well as admitting he got free soup from people who were serving it to the homeless.

Other decent comic moments included the eldest member of the family, Jim (Warren Clarke), going on a date with a woman he met in a car boot sale – but still making the woman pay £1.50 for a scart lead.

However, for me the best and worst moments were the flashbacks. This was an interesting comedic device, synonymous with In With the Flynns writers like Daniel Peak (who also employs similar cutaways in Mongrels). The best comic moment was a bit of slapstick involving an eyebrow piercing. The worst, however, was when the other son, who was being bullied, walked into a lamppost – which was clearly fake.

In With the Flynns isn’t going to set the comic world alight, and many critics will be rallying against it, but in terms of pre-watershed sitcoms, it isn’t the worst show in recent years.

Mock the Week

This week saw Mock the Week enter into double-figures as the show entered its 10th series. Judging by the latest episode, it’s set to continue for some time to come.

Without Russell Howard, the show guest starred Chris Addison, Greg Davies, Milton Jones and Seann Walsh. Out of the guests, it was Jones, with his surreal and clever one-liners, and Walsh, who came up with the best Michael McIntyre impression I’ve ever come across, who stole the show. The other comics had moments too, with Davies coming up with a Blackadderesque extended simile about his grandmother’s use of facial products.

There was some interesting stuff from the regulars as well, such as Dara O’Briain introducing a round called: “There’s No Super-injunction on our Ryan Gags”, and Hugh Dennis’s running joke about Sepp Blatter’s name sounding like the German for “step ladder”.

Annoyingly, like in so many satirical comedies, many of the jokes were lazy. Addison did one about Eric Pickles and his weight, while Walsh made one about Wayne Rooney’s stupidity. Walsh also got a rather cheap laugh from making up a taunted schoolboy called Richard Poowillie.