Psychoville Review: Magical Marmite

PSYCHOVILLE: Thursday 19th May, BBC2, 10pm

Marmite’s great isn’t it? Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t disagree that it stands out in the condiment cupboard for being decidedly different in taste to everything else. It’s also a product that divides the world, with one side wondering how an earth the other can either dislike or like the slimy black stuff.

Much like it’s forerunner, League of Gentleman, Psychoville is a bit like our dear yeasty friend. With the show’s jokes often closer to the bone than Victoria Beckham’s waistline and it’s plot darker than the seediest Soho nightclub. The second series of the award winning BBC2 offering will not be to everyone’s tastes, but if you enjoy black comedy – and we’re not talking Lenny Henry here – you’ll absolutely love it.

Written and acted in part by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the show is almost as good as it’s beloved predecessor set in Royston Vasey, featuring a surprising and at first glance unlinked plot and characters that over time we’ve grown fond of. Often cringe-worthy, it’s also very, very weird in places, and decisively different to any other BBC comedy offerings.

Last night’s episode was no different, making me chuckle and squirm in several places. Recently married Hattie was determined to bed her gay visa craving husband, Mr Jelly tried his hand at an operation, and Jeremy the librarian is still trying to appease the weird Silent Singer, an eerie character sporting pigtails and fangs that has a strange hold over him. It was also good to see more from blind man Lomox and his trusty companion, Tea Leaf.

I’d recommend Psychoville, but if you’re a newcomer to these murky waters, do yourself a favour and watch it from the beginning of series one. The plot is too good not to.