Friday, May 10, 2013

We need to talk about It's Kevin

It's Kevin was a long time in coming - its creator Kevin Eldon has deserved a starring role for years - but was it worth the wait? My answer would be a qualified yes. It frequently raised a smile and a chuckle, though not a succession of belly laughs, and sometimes seemed to be a little too forced and try-hard.

As anyone who's seen Eldon's stand-up set would have expected, the show was a mixture of silly surrealism, witty ditties and clever-clever deconstructive meta-comedy (enough to keep fans of Eldon's pal Stewart Lee happy), with the odd touch of knowingly lame satire familiar from his routines about "Tony Blairs" on This Morning With Richard Not Judy and the occasional very faint hint of dark weirdness/weird darkness, a reminder that he featured in Chris Morris' Jam. What was surprising were the doctor sketches - surrealist, yes, but ultimately following a stone-cold classic comedy formula and, in their wordplay, more indebted to The Two Ronnies than anything leftfield.

Having been in the business so long in a supporting/bit-part role, Eldon was able to count upon the involvement of a huge cast of comic performers, a real who's who of British comedy - everyone from the obvious collaborators (Paul Putner, Julia Davis, Amelia Bullmore) through other contemporaries (Bill Bailey, Peter Serafinowicz, Adam Buxton, Matt Berry) to some more "establishment" comics like Simon Day, Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield.

Best moment? It has to be the Amish Sex Pistols interview - a genius idea brilliantly executed.

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