28 December 2004 | kafka-21
Dear me, this is pretty mediocre stuff. Without meaning to be too much of a snob, it didn't bode well that the main quote on the cover of the DVD (which I was given for Christmas) was from The Sun. And watching this is fairly painful stuff: this is comedy by people who don't understand comedy--but who believe that they do.
It's self-consciously 'edgy' where the League of Gentlemen is the genuine article; it's repetitive, as others have noted--but more importantly, it's uninspired, and where other shows (say, The Fast Show) get tiresome after a while but at least have a real initial spark to them, this is just... empty. And that emptiness is made the more apparent by the awful laugh track, which smacks of having been dubbed on.
Even as character studies, Little Britain's sketches fall flat-- there is no compelling depth to them, no underlying psychology to extends beyond mere caricature. I've been rather bewildered by those on this site who have been praising its lack of 'political correctness': the sad thing is that this isn't 'daring'; it's merely rather reactionary stuff, and it's all been done better, more interestingly, and *funnier* elsewhere.
Ultimately, the sad thing is that Little Britain is precisely that: it's insular British 'comedy' of a very base, unintelligent English kind--always making the obvious joke, relying on innuendo and on catchphrases, and winking at the audience to make sure everyone understands it's trying to be funny. It steals liberally from *good* British humour -- everything from The League of Gentlemen to Bottom. It doesn't know what to do with the good ideas that it does have, except to keep bashing them hamfistedly at the audience. And it's just not very funny. I just hope that people won't think that this is 'good' British humour, merely because it tries to be irreverent.