No television genre divides opinion quite like comedy. With few exceptions, one person’s comedy gold is another person’s wasted licence fee (or in this case, ad revenue) and Morgana Robinson’s latest offering will probably prove that point.
This may be a slightly different animal to the project she made her Channel 4 debut with at the back end of 2010 (chief collaborator Terry Mynott gets more scope here) but despite a small improvement, the end product is still lumbered with the same weaknesses. While it’s funny in places, at times it’s also derivative and so hit and miss that my star-rating changed about a dozen times as I watched the episode.
For her part, Robinson is a fine actor, yet while there are some good sketches here.. (her Danny Dyer was uncanny and the Frankie Boyle skit was imaginative) ..there are too many easy jokes that really shouldn’t have made the cut. The double-helping based on Brian Cox gushing about science in foppish campisms has been done to death by just about everybody over the last couple of years and there were a few others that felt a bit backdated. Obviously we’re not expecting the writers to lampoon this week’s hottest news story, but the currency of this field is topicality.
I was going to put the Bear Grylls number in exactly the same category, but the final section actually had me chuckling and managed to set it apart from the plethora of amateur piss-takes on YouTube. Natalie Cassidy has also been done before, but Robinson captured enough of the C-Lister to raise a smile and that yogurt advert also made me smile. But for all the half-decent efforts, there are some turgid sketches, one of which revolved around a Facebook musical (really?). Technically, Robinson and Mynott are good performers, but this all felt a bit trashy, mainstream and unoriginal for Channel 4. The broadcaster obviously rates them, so maybe they should start taking some risks with them?
*corrected – Sorry rob