It’s been a pretty good couple of weeks for TBI humour. Have you ever had an ailment, and then found everyone seems to be talking about their experiences with it? And it’s not because there’s been a sudden epidemic. It’s just because you’re more attuned. Maybe it’s just been a bit like that. Still, I don’t remember TBIs being a staple of mainstream comedy before my hemorrhage. Maybe it’s the new thing. Or, maybe my memory’s not what it once was…. [With perfect comedy timing, I was reminded of Cartman’s fall from a cow, and belief he was a Vietnamese streetwalker, in the South Park episode Cow Days, shortly after finishing this post.]
The fourth season of Archer just finished with Sea Tunt: Part II. Archer has its occasional disappointments: I know that certain of our readers were a little underwhelmed by season 3; I was stunned and appalled (appalled!) when I read in an article about the real-life models for the Archer characters that Sterling Archer’s appearance is based on a professional photographer and former model, rather than the Bond-iest of the Bonds. (No, it’s not who you think. And am I the only person surprised to discover that, contrary to O.H.M.S.S., James Bond married not Emma Peel, but Pam Shriver?)
But they keep their standards pretty high. Even the spin-off book was laugh-out-loud funny. And educational. When Beth and I were lounging at the spa resort in Thailand three months before Strokefest 2012, I was able (while we discussed the merits of being waited on hand-and-foot by a huge staff as almost the only guests) to pepper my conversation with titbits on proper cummerbund usage thanks to How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written.
But I may be getting off topic. In my favourite moment from the season finale, pursuant to a quick cut, Archer’s mother appears to declare that she is “…Jesus Christ!”, when she’s simply blaspheming. Our hero responds:
While Archer departs, the Thick of It’s educationally sub-normal American cousin has returned to the scene. The first season of Veep was perfectly watchable, and occasionally rather funny. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss does good work as the vice-president and, bloody hell, is that Anna Chlumsky from My Girl? She’s good, too. It’s just a shame there’s no character to match Malcolm Tucker. But then, how could there be?
In the season premiere of Veep, Selena wants to get the President’s advisor “on board with the whole co-POTal thing.” [We don’t have time; look it up. Good luck with that.] Mike McLintock, the vice president’s director of communications, explains why this won’t work:
[And why are Supertramp such a popular cultural touchstone? From Veep, to my old French textbooks, to Contrario. Are they not a bit shit?]
Finally in this week’s round-up of the arts…. As part of my self-designed course, Learn Yersel’ Scottish (predecessor to the best-selling Drink Yoursel’ Scottisher) we went to see Ken Loach’s new movie, The Angel’s Share. And a rip-roaring success it was, too. With my experience with Loach previously being limited to Kes and Naked, when The Angel’s Share kicked off with our protagonist, a young new Glaswegian father, being sentenced to community service, it seemed like we were going to be subject to another slice of gritty British realism. But as it turns out, it was all amusing, heart-warming stuff, covering two of my current favourite topics: with a bit of effort, a person can have a second chance; and, Scotland is quite nice. And Loach, being Loach, mocks shortbread tin Scotland, rather than falling into the trap of depicting it.
We saw the movie in downtown Manhattan, so I should take this opportunity to thank Searchlight Studios for thoughtfully providing us with subtitles in order to understand those savage Scots. And, weirdly, the only American character, too.
Come back on Monday, when we should have some thoughts on Mayday Mayday, an Outstanding Theatre Award winner at the Edinburgh Fringe, and currently showing at the new Saint Ann’s Warehouse.