When The League of Gentlemen first ran on BBC Two, it was alienating to a lot of my fellow nine-year-olds. It was through pure virtue of my father’s high regard that its quotes sneakily entered my vocabulary. At that age, the horror mixed into the show by its creators was a lot more salient. It wasn’t an easy watch, but that’s exactly why its nightmarish characters made their way so carefully into my consciousness. However, its humour gave its terror a release valve. Oddly, even at that formative age, the accuracy of their characters to the England I knew was greater than that of anything else on television.… [continue reading]
It was only recently that I wrote about how damaging editing can be to comedy. Often chaining or dulling the creative process, there’s a lot of evidence for its oppressive implications. On the other hand, it’s only fair to discuss how liberating it can be for expression. In fact, creators like Super Deluxe have shown how effective it is when used constructively. There have been hints of it for years. Even Chris Morris, as shackled as he was, could reconstitute existing material into something new and interesting. To finally tie up connections to the previous article in this arc, here’s a prophetic example of Morris doing just that:
WWE‘s fledgling Fastlane event is still, in many ways, just finding its feet. It’s not a bad concept for a Pay-Per-View either, introducing last minute twists and turns to the Road to WrestleMania. This year, the main point of contention was Kevin Owens‘ Universal Title defence against Goldberg. With the victor going on to face Brock Lesnar at the imminent WrestleMania, it’s something that the WWE Universe had their eyes set keenly on. Of course, the finish was always going to end up predictable. We’ll discuss that in the end but, first, there’s quite an undercard to comb over.… [continue reading]
Gregg Turkington‘s Our Cinema Oscar Special should have been a triumph. Instead, Tim Heidecker found a way to derail proceedings regardless of his absence. It could have been an evening of insightful movie expertise; as we’ve come to expect from its host. What we ended up with was a travesty. Of course, Heidecker has a history of live meltdowns. I had deep hopes that his personal issues wouldn’t fringe on another Oscar Special. Unfortunately, On Cinema has become nothing more than a kind of therapy for Heidecker. That his chaos can extend to the cool waters of Turkington’s winning criticism should be a concern for us all.… [continue reading]
The world of British comedy is a rabbit hole you can lose yourself in for life. Just following a list of long-gone essentials would keep you busy with viewing for some time. That doesn’t even mention the constant stream of new arrivals who, though watered down, keep us restocked year after year. There’s an even bigger wellspring of obscurity beyond the surface too, where the fourth wall is of no consequence. Editspotters, as they call themselves, have made it their solemn duty to explore this abundant vein of intrigue.
Considered an important part in the fight against bullshit and political correctness, editspotting keeps a keen eye on the divine hand behind our much beloved national comedies. … [continue reading]
I was a mere eleven years of age when Samurai Jack first premiered on Cartoon Network. Because of this, I can speak with first-hand clarity of its instant obvious quality. Even at that tender age it smashed out from the screen, leaving its peers far behind with an unbelievable strength of vision. That’s not even to denigrate the network’s surrounding programming, itself a rich buffet of well-crafted material. It’s just that Samurai Jack is so singular. In no way does it ever hand-hold its audience. Instead, each frame shines with its own beauty, leading us through a slow and quietly crafted narrative. … [continue reading]
This feature has nothing to do with a blind, xenophobic patriotism. My wish to highlight the best of my country comes not from a posturing of our superiority. Such divisions have no place in an evolving world, despite current world leaders having no grasp of that. Instead, I thought it healthy and helpful to magnify the finest examples of my geographical kin. After all, it’s not my place to discuss cultures of which I have very little knowledge. Every town, city, country and land boasts its own cultural pillars, but Louis Theroux is one of the first that comes to mind when it comes to British exports; at least for me.… [continue reading]
Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!
I’ve already written about Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer here, but this is a little different. After 25 years of a highly-influential career, the two British madmen are touring the country – for what appears to be one last time. As a fan of their work for almost as long as their inception, it was quite something to see a performance. Far older than the sprightly, young fellows we once knew, I couldn’t help some trepidation. Indeed, much of their oeuvre relies on the physical; the long and demented slapstick synonymous with their act. … [continue reading]
Hear the writers mentioning this article on the Secret Cave Podcast!
Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions, where nobody goes, stands an ancient castle. Deep within this dank and uninviting place lives Berk, overworked servant of “the thing upstairs”. But that’s nothing compared to the horrors that lurk beneath the trap door, for there is always something down there, in the dark, waiting to come out…
There are some things from our childhoods that just stick with us. The majority of things are simply forgotten about; nothing more than fleeting and colourful distractions for various Sunday mornings. Other things are remembered well, but for all the wrong reasons. … [continue reading]
“AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF.”
Mankind plummets 16ft into an announce table from the top of a cell, and Jim Ross — genuinely fearing for Mankind’s life — reacts with the same conviction he would if he knew there was no threat at all.
The greatest wrestling personalities are the greatest actors, athletes and public speakers. They’re the ones who create the hyperreality of wrestling, and allow us slip in and out of the state of suspended disbelief.
Despite the WWE’s best efforts in the past, there’s no way you’re still unaware that wrestling is scripted.… [continue reading]