Sunday, 1 February 2009

I'm Happy, I'm Happy, Punch

As sitcoms go, the BBC haven't been that successful in recent years. My Family is just the same plot every episode, The Life of Riley shouldn't even be mentioned and all the good sitcoms are usually put on BBC2 on a Thursday where no viewer ever ventures. But, sometimes they get their finger out and pull off something good. The Old Guys (BBC1, Saturdays) had it's first airing last night, and it was able to hold my interest for the full half hour. It wasn't full of belly laughs, but there were some interesting lines and situations. It was also written by Bain and Armstrong, the people behind the glorious Peep Show. And you could tell.

Last nights episode (simply titled Sally's Party) seemed to be a family-aimed episode of Peep Show. One of the numerous plots in last night's episode included Tom and Roy having a contest to see who can go without peeing the longest. Nearing the end of the episode, there happens to be a stray can of beer that the host of the party finds. Cue a scene where Tom and Roy try and force the beer onto one another. Fun, but almost a word-for-word copy of the scene in Peep Show where Mark and Jez try to make one another eat the leg of a barbecued dog. It's more an embarrassing situation than a full out grossfest.

Another similarity between the two include shared lines of dialogue. "Be neutral like Switzerland, not avasive like slutty Holland" occured last night (which I swear has been said by Mark at one point) and I'm pretty sure "Anyone can use words to mean things" as a comeback in an arguement has been uttered by Jez.

Comparisons aside, watching it was great. Tom and Roy played great characters, but were in full Trigger/Richard Bucket mode. I'll come to the assumption that this is a good thing, as it gave the show an air of familiarity.

All in all, The Old Guys was pretty enjoyable. The conclusion of events being wrapped up in the final scene was very reminiscant of Chalk and Lab Rats, two very overlooked sitcoms. I'm glad the BBC have put this on at a reasonable time as well. It'll be interesting to see if it continues doing watered down versions of Peep Show plots- but I'll certainly be keeping at least one eye open.

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