After all the comments this blog got asking where our review of Fresh Blood was, we assumed we’d be so overwhelmed with feedback after the part 1 that this blog would crash. Um, no. Turns out no one gives a shit about original niche content on the web after all. Who knew?
Anyway, here’s part 2…
Donnatelegrams is a sort of anti-singing telegram service in which Donna and her accompanist turn up to special occasions to deliver the bad news. In one sketch it’s a bit like the scene from Extras where David Bowie sings “Little fat man who sold his soul” to Andy, except it’s a wedding and Donna’s telling the groom his bride isn’t coming. Surprisingly, these sketches have continuity: the second sees her branching out into disco as her fame grows, the third has her grabbed by bikies as part of a torture scheme. It’s too one-note (ha!) to really satisfy – the musical numbers would have to be a lot better for that – but at least Donna herself is an actual comedy character here.
Whatever happened to our favourite fairy tale characters? Fabled has the answer, and if we say “Hansel and Gretel” you can possibly guess the rest… This sketch really doesn’t need to be five minutes long, and when you’re doing a sketch about Jack and the Beanstalk, do you really need to spend the first minute getting us up to speed on “Jack and the Beanstalk”? If we didn’t know it before, we’re not going to laugh now.
It’s just stand-alone sketches in Fancy Boy, where Luke McGregor drops himself in offbeat situations – the first sketch has him pretending to be a “chalk” addict for a television interviewer in the hope of scoring $20,000 (cue him eating chalk on camera and having to confess his “addiction” to his disgusted co-workers). Unfortunately, these sketches tend to be a little too drawn out and rambling; for example, in the third he has trouble reasoning with the contract killer he’s hired with slightly hilarious consequences. This is one of those sketches which might work as a scene in a sitcom between a well-established character and a skilled guest star, but as a sketch in isolation it’s at least two minutes too long.
Dislike sport, sports programmes and the blokey-bloke men who bang about sport all day? Had a gutful of our relentlessly white media with it’s refusal to shift outside of a narrow range of stereotypes? Enjoy someone bunging on a “Hughsie” voice? Then you’ll love the relentless mockery from Mediacrity. The punchline to that second sketch needs some work, though.
We know $10,000 isn’t a great deal of money to spend on making three sketches and paying the cast and crew, but you’d think The Comestibles could have put together something with higher production values than waving household objects with eyes stuck on them in front of drawn backgrounds. They certainly didn’t spend much on the script!
The team from I’m With Stupid consists of a group of Sydney-based actors who’ve chosen to make a parody of a Christian band’s music video. This is an otherwise well-made sketch which is let down by it being unclear what the central conceit actually is. Are the band selling out and going sexy or not? Even after watching the separate “making of” sketch (built largely around the twin comedy classics of “Christians are clueless about sex” and “religious people trying to be cool are lame”), we don’t really know. More importantly, we kinda don’t care because this group seems far more interested in putting on a glossy show than making people laugh – that Gay Hunter sketch might have meant well, but there’s only so many times someone can say “Rayshell” before the joke is dead.
You know how this is supposed to be a new talent initiative, where people you’ve never heard of get a chance to have their work seen by thousands of people? Well, what the hell are Axis of Awesome doing here? They’re already an internet hit, who’ve released DVDs, performed overseas and appeared, amongst other things, on the BBC’s biennial Comic Relief broadcast. Can it really be that hard for them to find the money to get some more videos made?
Having said that, it’s nice to see the kinda established Touched By An Angle Grinder get a shot here. They’ve done some good stuff online and made shows for Melbourne’s Channel 31 where they’ve displayed the ability to cram a bunch of jokes into a short space (see the “learning to walk” sketch, a recursive look at physical rehabilitation, prank shows and puppetry), so it’s nice to see them given the opportunity to introduce a wider audience to the weird world of Pops.
The third part of our review of Fresh Blood is coming soon.