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Monday, 5 June 2006

Sven, the Coach, the Cash and His Lovers, More4/Channel 4

Did we like it?
Mischief-making at the expense of the greedy, untrustworthy England manager is always to be welcomed – unless England actually win the World Cup, in which case we'll revere him and never forgive More4 for treating him so badly.

What was good about it?
• As in Double Take, Alison Jackson's deliberately scratchy hidden camera footage is stylish and clever and the lookalikes were pretty convincing, although office worker Spike Jefferson only looked Svennish from certain angles.
• The portrayal of the FA executive as a bunch of northern gits ("I'd like to go mining in her pit.")
• The funniest scene – just a few seconds long – was when Victoria Beckham was giving Sven an earful on the phone ("I'm not going to Aston Villa wherever that is, thank you!")
• Other good moments included a pissed Sven being indiscreet with a fake Fake Sheik; getting lost with Tord Grip on the way to Sheffield Wednesday; Sven giggling: "Where in my contract does it say that I can't fuck the women?"; the players taunting Sven with a blow-up Ulrika doll; Sven fussing about the dirty dishes and his newly-ironed shirt before indulging in passion; Sven styling the hair of Becks and Rio; Sven stroking Rooney's broken foot; Theo Walcott struggling to start his car and then running over Rooney's foot.

What was bad about it?
• It wasn't quite funny enough, much of the satire was predictable, and it started to drag.
• The use of loathsome talking heads such as Max Clifford, Amanda Platell, Racist Ron Atkinson and Faria Alam. Even Keith Allen was rendered unfunny.
• The critique of Sven's greed was spot-on but the segment about his sex life got too sleazy, especially in the Nine And A Half Weeks parody in which Ulrika rubs his pallid flesh with wet herrings.

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