The new “Little Britain”

We watched it last night; I do hope that they up the comedy ante this season.

Some of the old skits absent this time around are: the projectile-vomiting lady, the giant agent and the very tiny actor, and the shopkeeper and his wife “Margret!?, Margret???” New this time around are: an incontinent elderly woman who loses control of her bladder in a shop, and a man who sends away for a mail-order Thai bride (pictured as slim and sexy in the magazine) and who gets a rather obese lady complete with suitcase ringing his front doorbell.

Returning are: Sebastian and the Prime Minister (who needs Sebastian to destroy some evidence), Dafydd (the Only Gay in the Village, who’s put up a personal ad at the local newsagent’s), Vicki Pollard, the wheelchair-unbound man with his friend (both of whose skit-names I forget), the “We are Ladiez!” couple, one of whom discovers in Brighton that she hadn’t shaved that morning and goes to a chemist’s shop for surprising results. (I like it when these things are filmed in places I’ve been and remember well). And, of course Bubbles de Vere, who meets her ex-husband’s new wife for the first time when they show up at the spa.

I think that this may be the last season, judging from some of the quality. They’re going for the belly-laughs from slapstick (watch Vicki trying to compete with a young lithe break-dancing girl; cringe as the incontenent lady pees more than an elephant all over the floor, see the Prime Minister in Sebastian’s clutches), and the new skits aren’t necessarily very funny. One of the glories of British TV humour is that, generally (with the notable exception of Absolutely Fabulous) the writers and cast of a show know when it’s time to stop and do something different.

Innovation often becomes tired after two to three seasons. One of the reasons Fawlty Towers is still endlessly rerun on all channels that can is that it was hilariously funny and didn’t wear out its welcome. Thus, we welcome it still. I hope we’ll be able to welcome Little Britain for years after it’s ended its run, and the the stars will continue to innovate in other vehicles.

One Response to “The new “Little Britain””

  1. urban_bohemian says:

    Oh dear a third season?! To the internet!! I do love Little Britain and it seems like lately David and Matt are becoming the “new” French and Saunders as far as having easily recognized catch phrases and characters, but many of my friends here are very tired of the series, perhaps because the characters are recurring instead of newer material every episode. Personally I like a running joke because it lets them put so much more into a sketch when you already know a character’s history.

    British comedy always sits very oddly over here, we love seeing people with “proper accents” get into the craziest situations, but only for so long. I think AbFab lived so long because it was women doing all the drinking, smoking and carrying on which is something you don’t have in shows here. Not to mention all the british shows we’ve copied over the many years.