The MIGHTY Boosch
What had been a curious but not unwelcome opportunity to catch up on your reading starts to take on more sinister and worrying dimensions. Your brain automatically googles “food poisoning” and that last sausage flashes up instantly. This is a bad time for you boy, and its not about to get any better.
Unfortunately, the same can often be said for the world of film and television. Take the Godfather trilogy. After two masterpieces of epic importance and pop cultural gravitas, part three bombed like New Coke and to this day casts an icy shadow over its predecessors. Likewise, Peep Show began to loose a little of its edge on its third run and I won’t even get started on the third Sting album.
Others however, rightly recognise the simple beauty of the couplet. Spaced did, prudently calling it quits before money or ego stretched the formula. Similarly, Fawlty Towers earned its place in Sitcom royalty on the back of a mere 12 episodes. These shows recognised the old showbiz adage that you should always leave the crowd wanting more, instead of subjecting us to a dragged out and undignified death the wrong side of primetime. It would seem therefore, that as with many other things in life, when it comes to TV (especially good TV) three is often a crowd, and gooseberries can be real shits.
These were the fears with which I nervously awaited the third series of The Mighty Boosh. Having found little to fault and much to love in the first and second series, the cautious and essentially pessimistic side of my hexago-nature warned me not to hold my breath for more of the same. However, as Machiavelli so consistently points out, you don’t get anywhere in life without taking a few risks, and Victory was definitely on the side of Barrett and Fielding last week as The Mighty Boosh stormed back for another crack of the funny bones.
Set in a shop in Shoreditch, the first episode finds Vince and Howard home alone as Naboo and Bollo go on a stag weekend. As the episode progresses we soon find we are on familiar ground as the trademark creepy characters, inventive sets and kitsch elements combine with an increased budget to conjure a kaleidoscope of offbeat and irregular comedy. The songs are still in there, as are the moon cut-aways, while the chemistry of the two main characters maintains the balance and equality that marks and elevates all good double acts.
Although this isn’t simply a rehashing of the earlier efforts; In this series, for the first time as far as I can tell, TMB is starting to turn its considerable strength outward against elements outside its world. “Eels” veers into Nathan Barley territory as the show takes a few pops at the Shoreditch elite and Nu-Rave in equal measure, suggesting perhaps a reflex to the increasing popularity of the programme as it drifts to the mainstream. However, with appearances by Razorlight and The Horrors scheduled for later in the series, the satire is unlikely to hack all the way to the bone. No bad thing in my opinion, as going too far down this path would risk sacrificing some of the fun of the show.
As such, those suspicious belly rumblings must have just been nerves, as TMB looks set to score a hat trick with the third series. For now at least, I can take solace in the fact that greater men than I have dared and won once more.
Also, dont worry if you miss it on thursdays, as its repeated eight times during the week