Let’s have a quick Sitcom personality test for you, shall we? Do you like any of the following? Armstrong and Miller? Men Behaving Badly? Things that are Old to Make Them Like New? The Olympics?
If you answered, “No, nope, not a one, and christ sake, stop asking me questions” It’s likely that the one-off comedy offering from Simon Nye and Armstrong and Miller may fall at the first hurdle.. (Trust us, this is a marginally better Olympic joke then the ones featured in the programme). But maybe we’re automatically being too harsh.
The primary focus of Felix and Murdo, is that it is set in 1908, aka when the first Olympic games was introduced (Ah, we see what they’re doing! We must be satirical too!) and circles around the hilarious incapabilites of Felix and/or Murdo as some sort of thing happens somewhere or other down the line all to do with family values, competitiveness and friendship – in tights! The press release virtually writes itself.
It’s incredibly easy to be lofty about a one-off sitcom that uses the term ‘a festive treat for Christmas’ as it’s opening gambit, and perhaps even more harsh to bully a miniature project with prevalent voices of British comedy positively beaming from it’s foundations. Maybe we’ve just been spoiling ourselves with all our culturally significant dark satire pieces and all those advanced actual jokes that make us laugh for the past couple of years, when we could have been regressing back to the good old fashioned British way of having a chortlen- combining Edwardian costumes with modern jokes, a bit like that time that Blackadder thing did n’ that. Cor, talk about DATED comedy. Haw haw haw.
But, why must we be so cruel? The show is doing absolutely nothing wrong, and yes, might work out well for a ‘festive treat’ for people who care about that sort of thing. And if we’re going down the road of ‘festive treat’, then it might be a good time to point out Felix and Murdo’s pre-packaged cracker jokes, (“Have you tried turning it on and off again?” No. Pearl necklace double entendre? No…) pantomime-esque comedic devices, and general low self esteem. Good tidings, it certainly does bring.
But for what it’s worth, (and yes, that might seem like precious little in the grand scheme of things) the programme does undeniably have a warmth and set of characters that a lone 25 minutes can absolutely warrant, and your token cool aunt will pretend to laugh at all the ‘it’s like the olden days but it’s got modern jokes’ jokes which are frequent. And sure, it’s a little like the C4 Prop Department Christmas Party got a little out of hand, and a couple of drunken cheques and contracts may have been hautily scrawled. But nonetheless, Felix and Murdo serves it’s purpose for it’s precious time it is in our lives. And now it’s gone, and you can just watch Horrible Histories instead, if you’re going to insist on being this person.