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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With all the talent shows about: The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing, Soapstar Superstar and Dancing on Ice, it was about time that they were spoofed, and this one-off comedy did it fantastically well. It is made and edited like any real talent show, with a real talent show host, real talent show judges, and the only things made up are the contestants and the whole show. Cat Deeley presents the talent show, and on the judging panel through "the whole thing" are Pete Waterman, Nicki Chapman and Neil Fox, and it has come to the final night. The three finalists are R Wayne (Sleepy Hollow's Marc Pickering), 2 Up 2 Down: Jackie (Jo Enright), Wendy (Sian Foulkes), David (David Hulston) and Richard (Karl Lucas) - two men standing, and women in wheelchairs; and Geraldine McQueen (Peter Kay, also writing and directing), who used to be a man named Gerry. They all sing a medley of their best songs, and we see their journeys from auditions, to boot camp and semi-finals. R Wayne comes in third place, and then Geraldine and 2 Up 2 Down sing their versions of "The Winner's Song" (written by Kay and Take That's Gary Barlow), and afterwards, the winner, Geraldine is announced. With guest stars Rick Astley, Lionel Blair, EastEnders' Todd Carty, The Cheeky Girls (Gabriella and Monica Irimia), Louis Emerick, Coronation Street's Sally Lindsay, Sir Paul McCartney, Andi Peters, Kaiser Chief's Ricky Wilson, Conleth Hill as Geraldine's Mum and Peter Dickson doing voice-over. The funny moments are great, the near-realistic talent show element is good satire, and the cast is really good, and obviously Geraldine/Kay had to win, and I am glad that "The Winner's Song" has been released, for real. Very good!
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning
** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
In a world where an unwinnable war claims casualties every day, a recession is causing the national debt to soar and the price of living to go up and people are basically struggling to make ends meet, a lot of people must get sick and tired of being constantly bombarded with magazines and newspapers devoting tonnes of news space to comparatively unimportant stuff like who's going to win The X Factor and the crazy antics of the finalists. This overblown, over bearing programme bombards our telly viewing most Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and can't seem to leave the mainstream media alone either. Peter Kay is obviously one such person who can't stand it all, and is the brains behind this largely misfiring spoof of the whole thing.
He plays Irish tea lady cum transsexual Geraldine McQueen who is one of three who make it to the finals, including north eastern scally wag R Wayne (Mark Pickering) and Two Up Two Down involving two standing men and two wheelchair bound women. The show sends up the tricks of shows like The X Factor, with their heart tugging family tragedy stories to try and get the sympathy vote, to subtle digs at the vote rigging scandals that have dogged the recent talent shows, as well as the corny quips the judges (in this case talent supremos Dr. Fox, Nikki Chapman and Pete Waterman, obviously keen to send their own profession up) come out with. None of it manages to be that funny though. From what I've seen Phoenix Nights is still Kay's funniest hour. **
Have to disagree. I thought it was so funny and I find something new to
laugh at each time I watch it. There are some fantastic lines such as
"Best Harmonies since Brother Beyond" and "Jet skiing at Niagara Falls?
Isn't that dangerous? Yes Thanks Pete we know that now"..
Peter Kay shares the funny lines out and does not keep all the best laughs for himself much like Victoria Wood. He has a knack of seeing things us mortals take for granted like "We have the Green light" - and there it is flashing away. LOL So funny.
If you think the standard of TV these days is so good that it is not deserving of this then you need to get out more. I highly recommend this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The idea of this seems like a good one as the X-Factor is just crying
out to be victim of this type of show. Unfortunately I found the final
result poor. Don't get me wrong there are some funny bits but not many
and the funniest parts to me were the 3 medleys performed by the
"contestants". The choices of songs and the dance routines were very
funny (particularly Two Up Two Down) and although I found Kay's own
character the least interesting it did crack me up when she was singing
"Free Nelson Mandela". However the rest of it was quite tired.
I think part of the problem is that the parodies were not (and maybe could not be) as funny as the actual X-Factor and similar reality shows. The rejected acts were not as funny as the ones on the real X-Factor because rather than it being some natter who really does believe they can sing you know it is actors performing a script. The same can be said of the ridiculous judges comments they were not as funny as the comments the real judges make because again you knew they were scripted where as the "patter" of the real judges of the reality shows are much (although unintentionally) funnier even down to the fake arguments and walkouts. Please note the episode of Buzzcocks where Simon Amstell points out the utter nonsense spoken by the female judge of one of those dancing shows when praising the dancers.
It has been said by others that Kay has got less and less funny since Phoneix Nights and this is probably true. The joy of that show was that there were several very good and very funny writers (not to mention very funny characters) and they worked to make the show seem believable while also hilarious. I know there has been some sort of falling out but it seems a shame because Kay with those guys was at his peak. Maybe this show would have been better if all the Phonix Nights Team had been involved.
This was another program bursting with good quality entertainment and laughs. I have followed all of Peter Kay's work and each program or series is more diverse and original than the previous. Peter Kay never seems to disappoint, and from the moment I had first seen the advertising I couldn't wait for this. Peter Kay is hilarious as Geraldine McQueen, is surrounded by other brilliant performances and has acquired the services of many other celebrities for cameo roles. This is an almost "comic relief" style show which is always guaranteed to have many funny parts. This was a real treat and I would recommend it to anyone in search of a really good laugh.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was looking forward to this programme as I had missed it first time around. However nothing could prepare me for the dullest two hours of my life. This "parody" was nothing short of a direct copy. if i had taped the x factor then it would have been more entertaining and just for the record i hate all reality shows. The "jokes" and i use the term lightly were unfunny and predictable, the rejects start was terrible as indeed was the rest of the show. The usual parade of freaks were brought out R wayne? I'm sorry but I'm from Middlesbrough bout 30 miles south from where he was supposed to be from and no-one talks like that up north! Bolton maybe, but not the north east. None of the characters were appealing and it was one of THE worst shows I had seen for a long long time. It seems that the real genius behind Phoenix Nights were Sparkey and Fitzmaurice because everything Peter Kay has done since has been awful!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Peter Kay's return to mainstream British TV after a gap of four years
was hugely anticipated with considerable fanfare beforehand.All
positive elements were there;a large production budget,big names in
cameo roles,and a chance to make biting comments at the current state
of UK television.So why was Britain's GOT THE POP FACTOR....(I will
decline to quote it's full title in it's elongated form in the name of
saved writing space) such a disappointment?
The main problem is that the genre Kay was sending up (THE X FACTOR,POP IDOL,Britain's GOT TALENT,etc.) has as already been stated by others, more or less a parody itself,with it's weekly parade of selfish,whiny,maudlin,deluded talent-free egomaniacs being grossly exploited and providing more laughs than this programme.There were funny moments alright,particularly at the beginning with the display of failed auditionees,and some decent observation of the style of these shows,but eventually BGTPF... was overburdened by it's length,big names who had little to do (among them Rick Astley,Lionel Blair and Sir Paul McCartney),a deliberately facetious but not particularly clever title (as overlong as the programme itself) and the irresistible feeling that we had been here scores of times before with the original hybrid.The songs and choreography were quite amusing,but again went on rather too much,and the wheelchair-laden act was an obvious borrowing from Kay's PHOENIX NIGHTS.There were plenty of opportunities for mordant satire here,but Kay instead wastes such chances and settles for a half-hearted spoof (albeit laced with occasional profanities) which basically would have played far better as a ten-minute sketch.One of Kay's comic heroes,the late,great Ronnie Barker,would most certainly have done wonders with such material in such form alongside his partner Ronnie Corbett,and it probably would've been far funnier and much more cutting.
As it is,BGTPF... disappoints immensely over the disposal of such promising opportunities,and it's misjudged final scene (Geraldine collapsing while performing 'The Winning Song',it's literal title) rather summed up the whole programme.
RATING:5 and a half out of 10.
Haven't seen very much of Peter Kay's past work (love his John Smith ads!), but anything or anyone taking a pot-shot at the UK's current depressing and seemingly never-ending fascination for reality TV's pop-idol making machine will get my attention and if done well, vote. Trouble here is that in this apparently updated for Christmas special, I'm not sure if Kay loves or loathes his target subject and for me he really has to make up his mind. If anything, in fact, I suspect the former, as we get endless numbers of him in wardrobe-busting frocks "dragging"-out one big production-number after another ad-nauseum. The joke works at first as he hilariously takes on songs no diva should touch (a point ironically driven home by subsequent events with 2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra's Burke's desecration of Leonard Cohen's anthemic "Jerusalem" - talk about life imitating art!) but this soon grates although it may of course be his own post-ironical statement on the tedious stretching out of all the Pop-Idol/X Factor/Britain's Got talent shows over endless weeks - I'm kidding of course, I don't think Kay's that clever! It's not escaped my notice either that the "Winner's Song" Kay trills here has been released to the general public (and naturally is high on the Xmas charts as I write). Kay would like us to think he's accurately lambasting the whole, to my way of thinking, odious bigging up of pub-standard karaoke wannabe singers to mega-stardom (Leona Lewis anyone?), but despite occasionally hitting home with necessarily tasteless and therefore slightly shocking moments with performances by a dwarf boy-band or part-disabled boy/girl band (the joke's all in their name - "2 Up 2 Down") and getting some major celebrity help (from Sir Paul McCartney no less), you know that the hand that feeds isn't going to get bitten too hard here. McCartney gets well rewarded for his time, with no fewer than three of his career-worst songs getting dusted off en-route ("Ebony and Ivory", "The Frog Chorus" and "Wonderful Christmastime"...more post-ironic satire perhaps but I fear again that both Kay and Macca think these are all wonderful tunes ripe for re-discovery, even with a laugh and a joke!). Of course I've never watched any of the original source reality shows but you just try to avoid them on your TV, on-line browser or daily newsstand once they get into their swing... I didn't laugh enough here to make me overlook that I'd effectively been conned into watching a too close-for-comfort and far too reverential tibute to reality TV.
I've got this friend who loves katie melua , if katie melua decided to be sick in a bag and release it as an "exclusive gift" my friend would say it was wonderful, I, however would not. Peter Kay is a genius I love him in phoenix nights , max and Paddy , dvds , that Peter Kay thing and even the adverts he was in however , this wasn't so good. I thought his character was great and the idea was great but we all know the clichés of talent shows from years of having to watch them. Many a time weve be told that 4 billion people have phoned in but there's just 6 votes between them or "its just to close to call" in order for you to keep calling in. Over many years weve come to realise that a sob story gets you on and when the so called talents say "but I don't want it to alter your decision" you end up shouting at the TV "dont bloody mention it then". The only bit I really laughed at is when the lady in the wheelchair said "weve invested all our money in black cocks". Still more laughs than anything on TV at the moment especially, little Britain USA (dont get me started). Thanks Peter I imagine loads of hard work and time went into it but it wasn't up to your usual standard, sorry , all the best.
I was looking forward to this as I am a huge fan of Peter Kay. But this
prog was just a bit too 'normal' when considering the sort of people
you get on the 'real' pop factor sort of programmes.
It was very well observed, but there was too much singing for my liking (one of the main reasons I don't watch these programmes on a Saturday night), and the simple fact is that the parodies of the people who go on these programmes just seemed too real... even the most extreme parodies were just like the people you see on the genuine programmes.
And by the time I had heard Cat Deeley say "Britain's Got the Pop Factor ... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice" for the 30th time I was getting a bit bored.
A good effort, but considering the freakish nature of the contestants on the genuine programme that are constantly on Saturday night TV, it just seemed like another 'talent' show as opposed to a highly anticipated spoof. Shame.
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