Archive for May, 2011

Video Review: Fry & Laurie – 3 Stars!

So this is a sketch from “A Bit of Fry and Laurie”, a BBC show I’ve never seen but have heard of. I’ll probably be watching more of it based on this sketch.

(To the best of my ability to conceptualize and explain) This is why I like it:

The premise is really good and original. Many sketch premises are, but having a good premise is not quite enough. Many sketches take the premise, don’t do much with it, and then don’t reach the potential offered by the premise. What Fry and Laurie do with the premise makes this a three-star sketch!

The officer (Fry) accepts the situation. Mr. Nippl-e (Laurie) is eccentric, but apparently honest. The officer reacts as if this very weird situation is merely unusual, and accepts Nippl-e’s offer as sincere, after Nippl-e defends his position.

The sketch heightens well. The heightenings are surprises couched in the logic of the world they’ve created. They are exaggerations of the previous eccentric offers.

The straight man is eccentric. The straight man officer accepts the situation (as I mentioned earlier), and essentially becomes as eccentric as the eccentric character. I like that the straight man “wins” the conflict by beating the eccentric character at his own game, but not in an underhanded way (not by trying to “win”), but rather by just heightening the eccentricity while remaining apparently sincere. The officer just happens to “win”.

Also I like that, though characters were annoyed, their annoyance didn’t get too loud. I think getting loud is too common in sketch comedy conflicts (not necessarily bad any time it happens, but it happens a lot so when it doesn’t it is nice). Perhaps it’s a British thing.
Three stars – Highly recommended!