I’m not sure what to make of this new BBC3 comedy; on the one hand, writer Karl Minns is certainly capable of extreme funniness, but I’m not sure the format or the characters worked.
It’s a comedy delivered in monologues, and often with very funny one-liners, but the first show’s main character, Meeshell, was just too OTT. Who’s called Meeshell with that phonetic spelling? Surely nobody? Not that Anna Nightingale didn’t do her character justice; she doubtless did, and was blisteringly droll at times.
But it all just felt a tad forced, and as though Minns was trying too hard to make us laugh with every other breath. There was no hint of subtlety and while there are many ‘obvious’ comedies that have done extremely well – take ‘slapstick’ as an example – I felt as though I wasn’t credited with any intelligence. We, the viewing public, can most often understand humour without having it almost written on flashcards for us.
The general gist is that in this opening double-bill, Meeshell and her recently estranged boyfriend Tyler – played again with aplomb by Alex Price – each told their version of the event of their separation, and it could’ve worked better than it did had the characters been less larger-than-life and in-your-face. And rather less clichéd in their stereotyping.
The premise given was that Meeshell is a wannabe popstar, and member of a girl band, while Tyler’s a wannabe DJ, and neither is getting very far with those dreams. They’re also clashing with their alternate plans for the future. All well and good but the logistics of their relationship, or the lack thereof, was really just an excuse for the monologues.
Either could’ve been about anything, but I can see where Minns was coming from in taking two sides of what would in real life perhaps be deeply emotional issues, and telling the story from the perspective of people with shoes bigger than their IQ. Throw in some good punch-lines, as he did, and the potential for Minns’ success is there. I’m just not sure it’s going to be from this show.