Packed full with some of comedy’s biggest recent stars (Facejacker‘s Kayvan Novak, Miranda and Parents’ Sally Phillips, Very Important People‘s Morgana Robinson and The Inbetweeners‘ Blake Harrison), I sat down last night desperately trying not to believe the opinions I’d already heard about Them From That Thing. I thought it would be hilarious – it starred all of these brilliant comedy performers and was written by the great Charlie Brooker! However, what should have been the highlight of Channel 4’s Funny Fortnight turned out to be the worst so far.
The first sketch saw an MP reading a statement for the press with his wife by his side, announcing that he was planning to spend less time with his family. Now, I assume the point of this was to turn on its head the idea of MPs announcing they are leaving politics in order to spend more time with their families. However, as well as being very similar to Little Britain‘s Sir Norman Fry MP sketch, it just didn’t work.
In fact, that seemed to be true for many of the sketches: good premises, poorly executed. They were all just disappointingly unfunny. The ‘Aspect Ratio’ sketch – starring Harrison and Robinson as parents who are concerned about their son who has apparently been born “at the wrong aspect ratio”, as he is stretched wide too much (obviously, it works better visually than descriptively) – started promisingly. ‘Could this really be, after twenty five minutes, the first funny sketch?’ I thought. Well…no, it couldn’t. It didn’t fulfil its potential at all. The only real good thing about Them From That Thing, to me, was that it showcased how versatile Sally Phillips is as an actress. Sometimes I didn’t even recognise her, both in appearance and voice!
I can only presume that everyone involved thought, ‘Sod a good quality script, so long as we have this lot on board and Simon Callow making an appearance, that’ll see us through’. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t. I just couldn’t believe that such rubbish could come from such talent as the aforementioned foursome and Brooker! I wonder what’ll happen tonight?
Twitter – @UKTVReview
Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at www.thecustardtv.com, where some of my articles will also appear.