Monday, 30 January 2012

Review: Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy

It's been a while since Noel Fielding did anything particularly substantial, and from the look of his latest 'comedy' vehicle it was probably for the best. Luxury Comedy appears to be some sort of sketch show made following the instructions to a Blue Peter project whilst tripping on salvia. The only hint of luxury you're likely to note from this show is that you don't have to expend much energy laughing whilst watching it, because there don't seem to be any jokes.

 The show seems to revolve around Noel and his staff living in a tree. Andy Warhol is his cleaner, and doesn't look to approve of most of Noel's work, so is probably the only borderline intelligent character in the world. As Noel talks with characters who are presumably supposed to be quirky but just come off as odd, jokes are laboured into the ground until they have to be taken off screen and resuscitated, during which time the action cuts away to another of his oh so delightfully stupid characters. One is a bright yellow police sergeant with a talking knife wound, another is a chocolate finger who used to be in the army and sings about his wife being dead, another is a man with a shell for a head who dances in a kitchen (this one seems to assume that seeing a man with a shell for a head dance counts as a joke, and everybody is fine with that). These secondary stories are no more interesting than the primary self indulgent ramblings, and everybody involved comes off as being as two dimensional as the cardboard and poster paint backgrounds which are probably supposed to add to the show's quirkiness but mainly show a lack of real effort.

 The main problem- other than the almost complete absence of any proper jokes- is that everything seems so bloody pretentious, so deliberately strange and quirky that there isn't a single thing to ground the show and give any point of reference for the audience. Not a single thing in the half hour slot can be related to or understood because it deliberately doesn't make any sense. It goes beyond surrealism and beyond absurdity all the way into complete nonsense territory. Juxtaposing ALL the things (!) is no more creative or funny than mixing up jigsaw puzzles so the images look interesting but no longer make sense. The fact it is so random give the impression that Noel developed the show entirely by using a random number generator (or possibly Seventh Sanctum) to create all of his characters so they'd be as bizarre as possible and then made a comedy series around it.

 Noel Fielding's Luxury comedy is like watching a transmission from an alien civilisation which has been translated into English, so as we can see how inferior our competition is and continue to celebrate having the best television content in the galaxy. Except we don't. Not now anyway (thanks Noel!)

 Further points of criticism would be the song that has uninteresting lyrics, tune, and no jokes in it, the sets that look like they were built by a drunk five year old, and the inclusion of The Moon from The Mighty Boosh in the only scene in which I actually gave out a laugh, as he disappointingly reveals that he doesn't feature in the show beyond this point.

 If you insist on watching this show I would give the following options for making it through without either falling asleep or sustaining severe brain damage:

-Turn off the sound, and put on something more interesting in the background, and pretend this is just a trippy, very long music video. Try Pink Floyd, Locust Toybox, or Toxic Lipstick for starters.

-Play a drinking game where everybody has to drink every time a joke falls flat. This may be difficult, as it's not always easy to tell which bits were supposed to be jokes, but to make things simpler just drink every time a character enters the shot. Within twenty minutes you'll surely be dead and free of this masturbatory shitfest.

-Pretend that this actually is a transmission from an alien civilisation as suggested earlier. Take notes on the various species on show and determine their weaknesses for when we inevitably invade, and take their land and womenfolk (who are just as annoying as the menfolk, and must be swiftly put down anyway).

-Change the channel.

In conclusion I cannot find anything with which I can truly recommend watching Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy in any fashion. If nothing else I suppose it is visually interesting. Actually let me rephrase that.
It is visually interesting.
Nothing else.

I would advise that instead of watching Luxury Comedy you instead watch the Singing Detective on BBC4, and although I know nothing about it I find the premise of a singing detective to be far more original and interesting than all of Noel Fielding's imaginary friends put together.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Solution to the Cat Problem

Cats! Bloody everywhere aren't they? From pissing on our back doors to stealing our jobs, womenfolk and milk, cats are more trouble today than back when they reigned over ancient Egypt with paws of stone and hate.
 What is to be done about the annoyingly agile creatures though, as recent internet PR campaigns have painted them as lovable if grammatically crippled staples of comedy. And if we are fair they bring more to the table than wasps, as cat actors (also known as cactus) continue to contribute to our economy by peddling cat goods to their own kind and propping up YouTube.
 Cats are an irremovable part of human society now, if a regrettable one (a bit like Michael McIntyre) so extermination is not an option. What I propose, fellow enlightened peoples, is an upgrade.
 Imagine a companion animal, if you will, which is as happy to play is it is to stay out of the way and eliminate vermin. A pet you can throw out of the window without moral qualms, and poses spontaneously within context whenever a camera is upon it, ready for the insertion of infuriatingly derivative catch phrases. A friend who won't scratch the furniture but will slice burglars to confetti and then call for the police and a cleaner before you've had time to shit yourself.

 All this will be possible with robot cats.

 Robot cats are the only logical way of dealing with the ongoing cat problem. In one movement the problem of haughty felines and the potential collapse of the kitty economy is dealt with. By turning an animal who is a comfort to few and a nuisance to many into a programmable assistant (like a little furry butler) everybody wins. Apart from possibly those fleshy cat things.
 Careful now- there are bullet points on the way!

  •  A robot cat would not spray or poop on anybody's property, neither your next door neighbour’s front door or your PS3. Unless you told it to of course, and on command it would spew a torrent of pungent fluid all over the shoes of your enemies. Or yourself, if you're kinky like that.
  • Robot cats come with optional attachments that allow them to serve as everything from Music Players to toasters. If you get two of them you can even attach them to your feet and use them as a form of transport.
  • Robot Cats have in built Wifi and Satnav systems, and speak fluent Spanish.
  • Whilst standard cats amuse themselves by scratching both your furniture and guests, robot cats can interpret the interior design and Feng Shui of your home and suggest optimal furniture layouts and colour schemes. Lifting the rear left leg reveals a coffee tap, and the right a tea tap. Unscrew the end of the tail for a milk hose.
  • When you eventually tire of your robot cat, you can feel free to put it in the bin without national outcry.
  • Robot cats are completely self sufficient, just like domestic cats pretend to be, before they return to being self important spongers. They have fibre optic fur which guides light into a tiny solar power station, allowing them to run as long as they are exposed to light every so often. This configuration of fur also allows you to design any pattern you want for your cat, such as polka dots, go faster stripes, or the words 'Get to the Choppa!'
  • Robot cats shit chocolate.
So there you have it. Of course there will inevitably be those who don't want their cats to be replaced by robotic replicas, but these people will be perfectly satisfied/oblivious when robotic duplicates of their own cats are sent in to replace them. The replacements will perfectly mimic their organic counterparts, who will of course be sent of to work, camps to live out the rest of their lives At night the replacement cats shall sneak out and clean up litter from the streets, making the world a better place for all involved.
Apart from perhaps cats.

[Note: No cats were harmed in the writing of this article]

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Unstoppable Cher Lloyd

Despite being unfairly flunked from the X Factor of 2010 in favour of some nobodies who love ballads, Cher Lloyd has struck back with a vengeance in 2011. Releasing her debut single, Swagger Jagger, which can only be described as shocking in terms of musical content, she instantly infuriated millions and jumped to number 1 in the charts.
 Through a combination of boundless confidence and completely loopy facial expressions Cher Lloyd seems to have won over the opinions of her 'haters' and with an army of 'brats' she shows no signs of slowing, and will probably have conquered the world and turn out to be it's prophesised downfall this December. And through a song by song analysis of her album I'm going to illustrate to you just why she is such an unstoppable juggernaut, and how we can emulate her level of awesome.

1. Grow Up
Cher starts out with a clear statement :she doesn't wanna grow up, she just wants to get down. She never mentions whether or not this is restricted to Fridays, but I imagine she could get down any day, regardless of whether or not Saturday or Sunday come afterwaaaaards. She's part of the generation that will make everything explode without bombs and she is not afraid to say it. This girl is going to do as she damn well pleases or else she'll blow you up. Terrorism, or just sheer badass? You decide.

2. Want U Back
In this song Cher playfully sings about how she broke up with some guy hoping he'd be crying, but then changed her mind and there was some other girl who looked like a clown or something. Of course she doesn't actually want him back, she's just being awkward because that is Cher Lloyd's duty. At the end of the track she turns into a helicopter, and presumably destroys them both with missiles.

3. With Ur Love
Continuing a brief trend of deliberate misspellings, as of course Ms Lloyd is a brilliant grammatical scholar in reality, With Ur Love tells some sort of story about love, and he she thinks it's great. Making references to swag, she appears to be dating a bank robber, presumably so she can kill him and use his funds to finance her cult of brats.

4. Swagger Jagger
Returning to the world of correct spelling now, as of course it was only a ruse to lure you into a false sense of security so she can steal your soul and sell it on eBay. Swagger Jagger is the song that cemented Cher Lloyd as the artist that people seem to hate but can't stop talking and tweeting about, or apparently buying her records. The song is presumably named because the other words rhyming with Swagger are dagger (which sounds a bit street violence for her tastes) and haggard (which would make her sound like an evil old witch rather than the youngest supervillain since Artemis Fowl). She recommends you get some swag of your own, but it's difficult when she's hogging it all.

5. Beautiful People
In this song she pretends she's really sad because some beautiful people have outdone her in some way. But really she's actually fine because whatever they got, it wasn't Cher Lloyd, Overlady of the Universe.

6. Playa Boi
Oh snap, just when you thought she was spelling things right again she changes pace and you get punched in the throat. Here she explains how she refuses to give her love to 'Playa Bois', and presumably only somebody who isn't a complete jizz stain can have her. Striking a blow for feminism there Cher!

7. Superhero
In track seven Cher laments the discover that a lover of hers who she thought was a superhero (who would complement her powerful villainy) was actually also a villain, completely ruining the sexual chemistry of the whole affair. She then swiftly dispatched him with a kung fu kick to the temple, as rivals cannot be tolerated when you're taking on the whole damn world.

8. Over the Moon
This is a simple track that has a double meaning. Firstly it's about bragging about having more success than her ballad obsessed musical rivals of the past. Secondly it's about the time she actually jumped over the moon, although she was kind of cheating because at the time she was as tall as the Eiffel Tower.

9. Dub on the Track
To spell it out, she simply explains what kind of girl she is: the kind who puts dub on the track. Some other guys who seem to really like her chime in on the sentiment, but I can't identify them. Then she puts some dub on the track. Brap.

10. End up Here
Finally Cher explains how she didn't want to End up Here, but is too damned amazing to help it. She can't even stop herself.

Analysis has shown that it is impossible to actual emulate Cher Lloyd's success, as she seems to have some form of Adonis DNA. One weakness of hers is her endurance: the album is only 33 minutes long. However if nothing else we can at least try and look like her, by scrunching up your face into random configurations every time something vaguely emotive occurs.

Try that now.

Let me know when you're awesome.