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.

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.