Little Britain USA (2008)

TV Series   |  TV-MA   |    |  Comedy

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Little Britain USA (2008) Poster

The characters of the original 'Little Britain' and some new characters feature in this comedic exploration of the modern American society from, and starring, British comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams.


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10 January 2009 | liquidcelluloid-1
What is it about the sketch comedy series that brings out all the hacks?
Network: HBO; Genre: Sketch Comedy; Content Rating: TV-MA (for strong language, strong scatological humor, graphic sexual dialog and full frontal nudity); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 -4);

Seasons Reviewed: 1 season

What is it about the sketch comedy series that brings out all the hacks? That brings out all of those whose sense of humor doesn't rise above lazy elementary school jokes surrounding bodily fluids, nudity, gay jokes and fat jokes? With HBO's import, "Little Britain USA", we often get all three at once. Whether it's half the crap on Comedy Central or Showtime's "The Underground" or now "Little Britain", we shouldn't have to be eye raped by a ghastly, juvenile sense of humor every time we tune into a sketch comedy series.

"Britain" comes on the heels of Tracey Ullman's brain-dead "State of the Union", exhausting a concept that didn't work for her (yet makes her show look much better by comparison). Once again a narrator (Tom Baker) take us all around America explaining the American way of life to us as an outside observer, this time comparing American and British culture head-to-head. The cast mostly consists of Matt Lucas and David Williams, in costumes and fat suits to play characters in all of the sketches. Like "Union", the sketches are a minute or 2 long, which means they aren't fleshed out to anything yet feel unmercifully long even at that length. "Britain" is a more blatantly caustic series, openly hostile toward American culture and lobbing a few grenades at Britain for appearances sake. Britain has transvestites and miserable marriages and they aren't always proper. Americans are all fat, illiterate, crack smoking, gun-toting imbeciles. Americans have never shied away from making fun of themselves – as most of our primetime animated programs show – just not with a sledgehammer style.

The show speaks for itself. I'll let these descriptions spare you the sight of actually having to witness it. The first sketch climaxes in a wheelchair bound character peeing in a pool. That's it. A later one features a grown man nursing on his mother's breasts at a dinner table, which naturally also evolves into a spraying of bodily fluids. Oh yes, and naked fat women and naked homo-repressed body builders are inherently funny here. And even if you've had a frontal lobotomy, have so little respect for yourself and your intelligence that you find this garbage funny, the show is unbelievably repetitive, recycling bits and characters that were never funny through the entire series. A woman whose dog tells her to do things, an astronaut who brags about going to the moon, a rude hospital receptionist and, most annoying, a child who speaks to her mother in language she picked up from hardcore pornography – these one-note, single-joke bits are deemed such rock solid comedy gold by Lucas and Williams that they are repeated ad nauseum in every single episode.

Single camera director Michael Patrick Jann and studio director David Schwimmer (yes, there's a laugh track and, yes, that David Schwimmer) keep everything pitched out to the cheap seats. It is sophomore humor at its most base and vile. So if you can't get enough gay jokes, fat jokes, fart jokes, spraying bodily fluids, racial stereotypes, men wearing dresses and desperate "shock" humor for the sake of it where the mere utterance of an obscenity is considered sidesplitting comedy (and if you need these gags repeated over and over before you get them) this is your show. A random buffet of clumsy paper-thin would-be satire that is an embarrassment to both Britain and the United States. It isn't insulting because it's crude, it's insulting because it's so infantile. "Little Britain USA" – the worst TV show of 2008. Let's hope I never have to hear from Lucas and Williams again.

0 / 4

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