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Popcorn rating: Suits you sister

In a nutshell:3.5/5

Right, listen up all you perky young things. How many times do you have to be told by the funky-haired television types before it finally absorbs through your taut, peachy cheeks that 40-something females don’t need to dress like whores to feel young and sexy, hmm? So, like, get over it Barbie face.

What, you don’t believe me? Then you better watch Mary Queen of Frocks, because Mary Portas (the eponymous queeny) knows what women want. Don’t ask me how she knows, alright, she just does. And she tells us she does. Over and over again. With a murderous stare. That’s why she’s risking everything to open her very own outlet, showing all the senior sisters out there how to do it for themselves.

What she’s after opening is a sort of Fountain of Youth for the high street, or as she puts it, a “wonderful, spiritual home for women”. Ooh, get her. In her Shangri-La of chic, Buddha takes the form of a mannequin dressed in a ginger wig with chiffon culottes; scripture is a size-guide. It’s going to be the perfect retail refuge for all those misguided middle-aged frumps, dahling.

But the path to shopping enlightenment is not an easy one for Guru Portas. Like all struggling independent retailers, she’s had to fight to get what she wants. For instance, she had to make one phone call and stamp her feet a little before being given 2,000sq-ft of prime retail space in one of London’s busiest department stores – phew! Entrepreneurs could really learn a thing or two.

And it only gets tougher. She now has to recruit her own team of fashion disciples. From the looks of it, the person specification listed ‘anti-fat’ and ‘lack of opinion’ as essential criteria. In the end, hardly anyone bothers applying, probably because Portas can’t hold a conversation with another human being without looking as though she’s about to bite off their nose.

That’s what makes this show such fun to watch; the sinister and very real feeling that someone is about to get their neck snapped if they dare stand in the way of Portas’ retail regime of saving women from themselves. So, I think it’ll all turn out nice for her. Don’t ask me why. I just do, alright? Portas tells us it will. And if you want your nose to stay on your face, you’ll think it too.

Reviewer: AdamFairclough

Come Fly With Me

Posted: January 11, 2011 by adamfairclough24 in Telly
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In a nutshell: “A corrosive slurry of knuckle-dragging, barrel-scraping, numb-nuts comedy.”

Rating: 1/5

Walliams’ and Lucas’ contentious brand of catchphrase comedy has led to the pair being crowned Britain’s most popular Queens of Crude, free to take the prime-time TV throne and disgrace the nation with incontinent pensioners, breast-feeding men and bad transvestites.

Where the first two series of Little Britain left an unforgettable stretch mark on British  comedy, the third series became an overindulgence of the absurd, leaving the duo shaking off a sickly gloop of prosthetics, wigs and makeup after the show’s enormous bubble burst and failed to translate with American audiences.

To save themselves from becoming lost souls doomed to wander the post-sitcom cemetery for eternity, the pair split in pursuit of new distractions; Walliams swimming the Channel and authoring best-selling children’s books, and Lucas starring in the musical Taboo and blockbuster Alice in Wonderland.

After 18 months in the making, the tag-team returned to our screens with the mockumentary series Come Fly With Me, which sees the boys dust down the fat suits and crank up the crass with an overblown splay of airport-based characters, such as Walliams’ mean Omar, an airline boss too stingy to buy lifejackets for his own airplanes, and Lucas’ evangelic Precious, a lady too lazy to run her own coffee shop.

Oh, there’s Mickey and Buster, the hapless paparazzi guys that keep missing their celebrity targets, Taaj, the Muslim ground-crew member who asks “do you get me?”, and “innit?” at the end of every sentence, and Ian, the immigration control officer who’s suspicious of anyone with a moustache or an accent.

And that’s pretty much it, stretched over six episodes. Lots of blacking-up, lots of minority stereotypes, lots of yawnsome jokes, many of which have been done better elsewhere – married pilots arguing, anyone? But, as ever, Walliams continues to dazzle us with his array of comedy voices, of which there are two; him, and him higher pitched.

It’s as if all of the imagination and mania of Rock Profile and early Little Britain has been sucked into a jet engine, and out of the other end sprays a corrosive slurry of knuckle-dragging, barrel-scraping, numb-nuts comedy; the type, it appears, that the anti-golliwog BBC thought too good to resist. But, race isn’t the issue here, bad jokes are.

Thousands of viewers complained to the Beeb following its debut airing on Christmas Day, despite pulling in over 10 million viewers. Though, this figure probably owes more to the fact that, on Christmas Day, people lose all muscle-moving ability from around seven o’clock onwards because they’re stuffed up to the pituitary with crap food, and any attempt to reach for the remote becomes as exerting as a 100m sprint-off against Usain Bolt.

Perhaps Omar’s refusal to buy life jackets was for the best, because this is one comedy crash landing you really wouldn’t want to survive.

Reviewer: adamfairclough24