So, the monster of Mr. Keith Lemon is once again upon us. Prior to Lemon La Vida Loca being shown, the ITV2 announcer warned us of “strong language, sexual references, nudity and adult humour”. Was that caution message really necessary? It’s all we’d expect from Leigh Francis’s irrepressible alter-ego!
‘A BRILLIANT SEND-UP OF THE GENRE’
Now, I’ve never been a fan of the fly-on-the-wall documentaries which depict “celebrities'” everyday lives – I’m not interested in seeing Katie Price and her new man’s blossoming relationship, nor Peter Andre filming his new calendar in some exotic location. Therefore, I started watching LLVL without much idea how such shows are formatted. However, even I could tell immediately that this was a brilliant send-up of the genre.
I don’t think anyone could fail to notice the shameless plugs for other Lemon shows, such as Celebrity Juice, LemonAid and the cheeky mention of his soon-to-be-released Keith Lemon: The Film (which, despite quite negative reactions to the trailer, I think could be this summer’s answer to The Inbetweeners Movie).
‘NARCISSISTIC, SELF-CENTRED AND TOTALLY EXTREME’
Brazen plugs aside though, I thoroughly enjoyed Lemon La Vida Loca. Right from the off, it was typical Lemon – narcissistic, self-centred and totally extreme. Of course, comparisons to Celebrity Juice (where many fans – and indeed I – first discovered Keith) are inevitable and I think many would agree that it isn’t quite as good but I certainly think it’s very nearly there. I rarely laugh-out-loud at comedy but this show did get me on quite a few occasions. There were many stand-out moments, such as the apparent ‘pool table’ discussion during Keith and Rosie’s (his fictional girlfriend) house-hunting, Keith’s “succession of trumps” (again, quintessential Lemon) and his determination that he’s allergic to cats (a very quick moment, but very funny).
The visual gags were genius, too, and gave the audience some familiarity with his Celebrity Juice antics: we had cupboards with ‘Mott Mott Mott’ written on them, pictures of Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby around the flat (but strangely none of Rufus Hound…) and just shocking – yet hilarious – duvets, one of which had to be censored.
My only worry is that, with Leigh Francis doing so much associated with Keith this year, he may be squeezing too much out of the Lemon brand. In addition to this, Celebrity Juice, LemonAid (the least said the better) and Keith Lemon: The Film, he is also releasing the character’s autobiography in the autumn, called Being Keith. I’m really looking forward to the movie and book but I really hope Francis doesn’t carry on exposing Keith for too long, to the point that we’ve seen it all before and get tired of it. That’s not so say I’m at that point yet – I still love Keith anarchic behaviour and (c)rude sense of humour – but I think it’s fair to say that fans like myself wouldn’t be particularly bothered if after all of the projects listed above, Francis just kept his creation behind the desk on Juice to do the stuff which made us fall in love with him in the first place.
IF YOU’RE AMERICAN, ‘TWITTOR WARNING’!
I would just like to warn you, reader of this: if you are on Twitter (or if you’re American, ‘Twittor” (couldn’t help myself!)), don’t follow Rosie (@rosietwittor) and Keith (@lemontwittor) during the show. I made this unfortunate mistake and found their commentary – which, incidentally, was out-of-sync with the actual programme – quite distracting and it slightly spoiled it for me.
If I don’t see you through t’week, I’ll see you through t’window!