Monday, March 23, 2009

TV Review - Brave Young Men

from TV Scoop...

brave-young-men.jpgDo you remember a while back we told you about a sitcom being produced by Steve Coogan, or, at least, his production company Baby Cow? Well you'd think that perhaps the BBC might give us a little warning as to when it was being broadcast... but apparently not. In fact, the first episode - presumably a pilot as there are no other episodes listed to be broadcast at the moment - was sneaked into the schedules at 11.15pm last night without any fanfare whatsoever. Not one measly trumpet.

Now, there's a couple of possibilities here. One, the BBC think the show stinks, and have tried to hide it in the graveyard shift. Two, they're just trying it out before showing the whole thing, and are looking to create a bit of buzz. Having just watched it on iPlayer thanks to a tip-off from a lovely Twitterer, I'd like to hope it's the second option, because I really rather liked it.

The sitcom stars Marc Wootton and Tom Basden, the first of whom I've generally disliked and the second of whom I've generally loved a bit too much thanks to the sketch show Cowards and his own live stand-up both with fellow Coward Tim Key and on his own. Marc is Owen Malloy, a rather hapless but kind-hearted school caretaker who within the first few seconds of the show is instructed by a man from the future that he must from now on be caretaker of the whole world, too. And Tom Basden is his cynical, rather vain best friend Jamie who spends his time looking achingly cool in a Marty McFly-esque high school bomber jacket, and who agrees to be Owen's partner (not sidekick) to get his scooter.

Yes, it's the old odd couple/buddy flick set-up but dammit I fall for it every time. The plot, such as it is, is paper thin - they're trying to stop some beer getting contaminated sometime in the future by a deadly disease... and that's it - but the enjoyment here comes from some delightful writing ("If you can time travel, how can you be late?" "He's starting to sound like my wife!"), Basden's really engaging performance, a great cameo from Johnny Sweet as his jobsworth-y boss, and yes even Marc Wootton grew on me.

It's always hard to judge a comedy from the first episode alone, but I watched this with a huge grin on my face and while it won't win any awards for innovation there's real promise. Let's just hope the rest of the series sees the light of day...

1 comment:

Dean said...

I was excited for a minute as I thought this was the other Baby Cow show that's in production. Poke me if you ever spot it for a libellous funny story about that one....