Bernard Black runs his own bookshop even though he doesn't much like people who buy books and hates having customers. Next door to Bernard's shop is the Nifty Gifty gift shop run by Fran, ... See full summary »
Meet Georgia Lass (who prefers to be called George). She is a young Seattle college dropout who is unhappy with life. She is always at odds with her mom, Joy. One day coming back from her ... See full summary »
Mark and Jez are a couple of twenty-something roommates who have nothing in common - except for the fact that their lives are anything but normal. Mayhem ensues as the pair strive to cope with day-to-day life.
Season 1: A wonderfully imaginative and slanted sitcom that is not as manic as things like Black Books but will appeal to fans of that etc
Under the surreal and rather unhinged management of Bob Fossil and eccentric ownership of Dixon Bainbridge, the Zoo-niverse is a zoo with a difference, although probably not a good one. Within this world are zoo keepers Vince Noir and Howard Moon; the former a preening and endlessly cheerful Mod, the latter a rather unmemorable man filled with his own sense of importance and intellect. Together their daily routine of feeding and cleaning gives way to adventures with the monkey afterlife, the spirit of jazz, the world of fictional (?) writing, a mission to the frozen tundra, a boxing match with a kangaroo and so on.
The problem (well one of them) with BBC3 is that they show so much dross in the name of "youf" entertainment, that when something good comes along you'll probably just dismiss it as more drek. I know I certainly did and until recently I had it in my head that Boosh was just another sketch show trading on the "wacky". Knowing the sort of sense of humour I had, a friend suggested watching it and then put the DVD boxset into my hand to be sure that I checked it out. I was very glad he did as I found myself in this slightly weird and imaginative world of constant amusement if not laughs. The plots don't really matter and those looking for narrative cohesion will be frustrated by the imaginative scatological approach to story-telling, but to be honest those here for the story rather than the comedy have maybe made the mistake themselves, not the series. The thing is though, the stories work within the twisted logic of the show and there is a certain pleasure in seeing where they go (for example, why wouldn't the deadly wolves in the forest turn out to be mods?).
However what makes the show great fun is the offbeat style of humour. Each show here opens with Vince and Howard channelling the ghosts of Morecambe & Wise with their introduction and the way that the characters are presented as being aware of being within the story and its telling. It is a nice technique and one that allows flights of fancy to be set-up within this world that we don't question. The delivery is really good but you would be wrong if you expect to be rolling with wacky laughs constantly because the reality is that you will not be. Instead what the show produces is this constant air of amusement that throws up a handful of really big laughs. It is an acquired taste and I don't mean that in an elitist way but just acknowledging that the sense of humour won't be to everyone's taste. One way to think of it would be the light approach of "Flight of the Conchords" crossed with the narrative cohesion of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"! The musical numbers don't always work that well, which is the man weakness, because even if they are misfiring they still last for a few minutes.
As writers Barratt and Fielding are to be credited with this but are also responsible for keeping it consistent across the delivery. They both get their characters bang on in regards the "in the story but aware of it" thing but also in terms of being slightly quirky. Barratt is my favourite but Fielding is fun and never appears to be taking it too seriously! The supporting cast is a delight. Fielding (the other one) is great as Naboo but for my money the real laughs come in the form of Fulcher's Fossil and, in particular, the outlandish turn from Berry (playing a character he has done several times in things like the IT Crowd but who cares when he is this much fun).
Overall then an enjoyable and imaginative comedy. It will not be to everyone's taste and it will not produce consistent belly laughs but it is smart, witty and weird with consistent amusement giving way to laughter. If you like Black Books, Father Ted, ATHF and the like then try this out as it is the chilled version of those.
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