Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Review: PHOO ACTION

It is, of course, impossible for me to give an entire objective review of this pilot, I'm just too invested. I'm a pop kid who grew up loving Jamie Hewlett's work: loved it since ESCAPE was running excerpts from ATOM TAN, read DEADLINE from the start to the end, from the glory years to its slow death. So I wanted it to work, and unless my critical faculties are completely shot by the blinkers of fannishness, it did.

The cast was great (with chemistry to spare between the three leads); the script was fine, consistently funny, while padding out the lunacy with just enough heart to make it bearable to the squares; it looked as good as you'd expect of a production originated from the pen of Designer Of The Year 2006 (in fact, my one quibble would be that two of the Feebles could have done with looking a little less like a Hewlett drawing, and a little more capable of emoting). The ending left me inwardly cursing that there won't be another episode next week, never mind that there's none more filmed, or so far even commissioned. Which has to be a good sign.

If this episode was, by some unholy series of events, destined to stand alone, then I'd go so far as to promote it from "decent pilot" to "instant cult classic". This was a TV show made by people who understand the medium's ability to create wondrous little self-contained worlds, and they (effortlessly) created and populated one you'd like to visit again and again. One that stands alongside THE AVENGERS, Adam West's BATMAN, Bruce Lee's GREEN HORNET, THE PRISONER, THE GOODIES and THE MIGHTY BOOSH. Make it so, BBC drama bods.

9 comments:

Dan McDaid said...

I avoided this because, shit man, it's BBC Three. But you've talked this right up for me now, so I might have to give it a go. Is it getting a rerun at all?

Mark said...

It's a digital channel, so they'll probably have a re-run on the go soon enough. It might even be up on the Beeb's iPlayer thingy.

Anonymous said...

Twas dire

David Lemon said...

Hi Mark

with you on the feeling that there should be more UK TV that breaks free of kitchen sink realism (which usually means less 'Kes' and more bad end of soap-dom)and loved the big Hewlett mutant.

However, the script felt like a bit of a shapeless scramble with too many gags coming out of nowhere. The Boosh take you into their world through two beautifully realised characters, while for me Whitey and Phoo never felt like more than the sum of their pop culture parts.

Just my overlong opinion, mind...

Mark said...

Each to their own. I thought any problems with the script would be terminated by being boiled down to a series-length 30-45 minute episode, and by the fact that only a pilot has to carry the weight of any unwieldy exposition.

I thought that the characters were genuinely invested with life by some great performances. Winstone was a mardy-arsed Hewlett female made real, and Shin had a real sweetness to him. And Carl Weathers has such hammy charisma, he'd be great in any crap *cough*PREDATOR*cough*. Like an American Brian Blessed. Or Tom Baker. Or something.

The Boosh were honed to greatness through years of live performance, and a radio series before they were ever let loose on TV, mind. I'm sure this show would only get better with the discipline of a full series production, too.

stephanie said...

HAVE HEARD IT HAS BEEN COMMISIONED FOR A 6-8 PART SERIES-FROM ONE WHO IS DEFINITELY IN THE KNOW

Anonymous said...

what a pile of s**t, how anyone could have watched it and found it as engaging as the original comic strip is beyond me, most reviews have agreed with this point of view and its a joke that its been commissioned as a series already

Mark said...

Easy to be behind an opinion like that when yer anonymous. Or in other words, f*ck off weasel.

Anonymous said...

The show was good an all but something was missing. I don't understand why they put dad for Whitey when she's orphan in comics. And Terry is straight, why? I personally think that the show would be better if it was a cartoon.