Did we like it?
It wasn’t bad. All sketch shows are hit and miss, just as all sitcoms have good and bad jokes in them. It could have done with a mite more polish but overall it was an enjoyably silly half an hour.
What was good about it?
• Probably the best sketch idea was the Cash Cow series, which was a parody of those rip-off phone-in-and-win-cash digital channels that newspapers like to wring their hands about because they exploit the stupid. With her hoiked-up breasts and winning smile, Karen played the part well, although we felt the sketches lost their agreeable subtlety as she became more infuriated by the idiotic callers. The first caller trying to guess the famous phrase “The …”. was Daryl who had been tagged for “setting fire to my nan’s dog”, whose guess was “The… pirates.” Other guesses included “R Kelly” and “The R Kelly”, before at 5am she finally revealed the answer was “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. She then set up the next famous phrase which was “A …”
• We also liked the innovative MySpace parody, delightfully and correctly signposted as MeMeMespace. This was realised well despite the obvious difficulties of putting a website on a sketch show.
• Some of Karen’s bawdier lines that were there to shock did their job. Coming out of the shower after cheerleader practice she commented: “I love a good shower. Best piss of the day.”
• The lonely, sex-starved, inappropriate teacher was good as well, lusting after her male teenage pupils, demanding that the hunkiest ones strip to the waist, and victimising the prettier females.
What was bad about it?
• We found this opening show rather muddled. From the awkward, stilted opening where Karen seemed to read clumsily from an autocue in the gym of her old school, to a cheerleading sequence at the end, we couldn’t quite understand why she was back at school in the first place. Although it did afford Karen the chance to squeeze into an Ann Summers nurse’s uniform.
• There were far too many groaningly predictable punchlines, from Karen having an internal examination and then telling the doctor it was the closest she’d been to sex in ages, to the American football player walking into the changing rooms looking all hunky, only to emerge as a skinny bloke (all that padding, you see), to the character who claimed not to miss her ex, but wore a T-shirt with his face on it.
• The weird sketch where Karen left her baby in a cafe and walked out drinking a can of beer.
• The bad-taste undertaker who kept making jokes about the death of a woman’s husband. We like bad taste. This just wasn’t funny. (Actually there’s mixed feelings at thecustard.tv about this. Some of us loved it)
• Overall it was a decent show, but sometimes it was rather derivative and
when it did try to be original it just ended up being puzzling instead.