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1  
2002  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Ria Kataja ...
 Various Characters (1 episode, 2002)
Tiina Lymi ...
 Various characters (1 episode, 2002)
Ismo Apell ...
 Various Characters (1 episode, 2002)
Ilkka Heiskanen ...
 Various Characters (1 episode, 2002)
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sketch comedy | See All (1) »

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Comedy

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13 September 2002 (Finland)  »

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A couple of good laughs
7 October 2003 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

A well-made if minor sketch show distinguished mainly because good shows of this genre were scarce in Finnish television at the time (no real hits after the brilliant Studio Julmahuvi four years earlier). The format is four actors and the same set of stock sketches varied in each episode - a recipe for disaster in some past attempts, when more faith was placed in the actors' ability to ad-lib than the actual script.

Here both the cast and the script are up to the task, and the production is polished enough. The unifying theme of all the sketches is couples and relationships, a somewhat conservative subject handled with wit but without attempt at controversy (even if one couple comprises two gay pastors). A kind of self-mocking female angle in the style of Smack the Pony is also present, of women laughing at both themselves and male perceptions of women.

The sketches themselves include gender stereotype reversals (foul-mouthed old ladies with only thing in their minds; gruff construction workers complaining about losing their figure or lack of romance in their lives), genre parodies (American-style shopping television - an easy target for ridicule if there ever was one), and even a bit of slapstick. Obviously, it has its hits and misses: the best one features Heiskanen as an insanely jealous pensioner who is convinced that his mousy wife is having it off with just about everyone and everything. On the other hand, the one bit about a Kama Sutra couple who find it anatomically impossible to translate the instructions into action, is funny the first time but just becomes excruciating upon repeat. The balance is on the positive side, though, because most sketches can wrench enough surreal excitement out of familiar ideas and the cast is capable enough to play the necessary range of types with suitable relish.

In the final analysis, it was a pleasant diversion but didn't change the world. Few shows do.


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