...It all sounds very admirable, especially the amount of investment and the supposed creative freedoms they're offering writers and performers. The comedy playhouse stuff on sky arts sounds especially interesting....
...But has it all actually produced anything good so far?
If The Cafe was the firing of their broadside, I'm not going to worry too much.
Why are Dave showing Red Dwarf and not the BBC?
Perhaps surprisingly, UK Gold are investing in new comedy too: http://www.comedy.co.uk/news/story/00000754/uktv_gold_to_create_new_comedy_shows/
It's inexplicable that the BBC didn't want another series of Red Dwarf (and possible shiteness hasn't stopped them bringing back stuff in the past), considering all the other shit they make. Itd rate well and at the very least they'd get their money back wouldn't they?
Lumsden thinks this boldness and contemporaneity are key. When I speak to her I’ve just finished watching a preview of The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, a wiffly whiskers-and-whimsy BBC2 series set in Dickensian times. I can see her point.
It contradicts this bit of the Lumsden interview (although there's no direct quote):…
…I didn't think Chickens was all that funny, despite liking the original concept. It'll be interesting to see what they can pull off in a full series.
Chickens just wasn't that funny, really. It's also an odd concept to spin - during a hugely unpopular foreign war, there's a sitcom based in the past, where the "villains" of the piece are people who don't want to go to war. Saying that, I could have gotten over the odd central premise if the writing had been better and if the two Inbetweeners had played characters other than the two Inbetweeners, just with tweed clothes on.
Every channel seems to have a pathetically low hit-rate with original comedy, I don't buy the idea that 'high-risk' shows with little to no chance of success would be a brave thing for Sky to do, just a stupid one….
…Shows like Seinfeld or The Simpsons had things that made them lower-risk (established stars, established formats whatever)…
…… likewise you get a Porridge by putting an established star actor with established star writers….
Despite track records of actors and writers, success can’t always be assured. Casanova ’73, anyone?
Come Back Mrs Noah was not a success, with some regarding it as one of the worst British sitcoms ever made
Or Croft & Lloyd, riding high on the success of Are You Being Served in 1977 not quite having the same success with their next project, essentially 'Molly Sugden In Space.'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_Back_Mrs._Noah
After a failed effort to nudge the craft into the Earth's atmosphere, the series concluded with Mrs. Noah, and crew, careening off uncontrollably to the depths of space.
Clive and Mrs. Noah then go to the sleeping quarters, and find the toilet is on the wall and have to use magnetic shoes to use it.
The Magnificent Evans (which evolved from I'll Fly You For A Quid)
From what I remember of the discussion here, it was pretty much what you’ve said. Very much agree with what you said about the concept.
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