What to say if you liked it
The welcome return of the hilariously surreal adventures of the most original comedy duo on TV.
What to say if you didn’t like it
If all else fails in comedy, the easy coward’s way out is to make the stories as silly as possible in the hope of impressing that most gullible of TV audiences – students.
What was good about it?
• Rapidly re-establishing Vince (Noel Fielding) and Howard (Julian Barratt) through their contrasting views on fashion. While Vince is struggling to sort through his jungle of clothes to take on the wilderness trip Howard’s organised, his best friend is garbed in “a multipurpose tweed utility suit” and is packing no other garments.
• Bollo, Naboo the shaman’s familiar, crushing Vince’s clothes to condense them into a suitcase.
• The wilfully tacky and endearing special effects such as the talking moon, essentially a man’s face covered in shaving foam; and the silly optical illusion in the chase sequence when Vince and Howard run on the spot while the scenery races by behind them.
• Bollo being confronted by the severed and mounted head of his childhood friend Cheeko in Kodiak Jack’s hut. He recounts with sorrow how Cheeko always wanted to go to “the edge of the forest” where hunters roamed and importuned Bollo to join him, “until one day I chopped his head off. Cup of tea, anyone?”
• Julian Barratt acts well as the protagonist Howard, while the rest of the cast play-off him.
• Howard talking to Wildman of the woods Kodiak Jack. Howard: “We talked on the phone this morning.” Jack: “Oh what, the talkie stick. Your voice was trapped in there this morning?”
• Kodiak Jack trying to seduce the reluctant Vince. Vince: “What are you eating?” Jack: “Owl beaks. It gets you in the mood!”
• Howard being brainwashed by the Yeti tribe. “Howard? He’s gone now. Say hello to Parsley.” He then begins chirping an eerie verse redolent of the Pagan chorus from the Wickerman.
What was bad about it?
• Sometimes the silliness seems forced and unnatural and seems a disguise to paper over some weak areas in the script such as when Naboo and Bollo went shopping at Shamansbury’s.
• The swearing and general vulgarity will mean it’s unlikely to be repeated early evening on BBC2. Which is a shame as it would have deservedly picked up a younger audience sure be enthralled by the daft humour.
• Other than Julian Barratt, the acting is not great. And while this rarely interrupts the momentum of the comedy, any scene not featuring Barratt seems a little flat.