Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy
‘We were just trying to make something
much more psychedelic, much more colourful, much more flippant, in a
Thus spaketh Noel Fielding, best known as
the younger, hipper and more slender half of the comedic duo responsible
for The Mighty Boosh, itself no slouch in the colourful
psychedelia department and, for the record, one of the most original and
kookily enjoyable comedy series of all time.
Having temporarily parted ways with
longtime collaborator Julian Barratt, Fielding has this time around
teamed up with Boosh animator Nigel Coan to create a 7-part
sitcom that is so freaky, psychedelic and downright absurd it makes his
former brainchild look positively staid in comparison.
Whereas Barratt knew when to rein in
Fielding’s outré excesses and provided a perfect contrast with his
(comparatively speaking) straight-man routine, this time around Fielding
has no counterpoint, and the madcap, freeform, partly-animated series
that results is a tie-dyed rainbow sludge of vomited nonsense that
splatters its way onto the screen and brings to mind nothing so much as
the inner workings of a schizophrenic’s unconscious during a
particularly potent acid binge.
The episodes hinge on a loose framework
that principally involves a heavily made-up Fielding mincing around in
various costumes as a host of Boosh collaborators like Rich
Fulcher and brother Michael Fielding interject their own meaningless and
seemingly stream-of-consciousness blatherings. The end result is
largely incoherent, but worse than that it just isn’t much fun.
It’s too zany, too self-consciously garish, more psychotropic than
psychedelic. Characters come and go without raising much more than a
titter, they aren’t memorable or quotable like Old Gregg or Fielding’s
neurotic Man in the Moon, in fact they aren’t really much of anything.
During one of the rehearsal outtakes
Fielding seemingly improvs the following riff, pulling faces throughout
and made up to look like a ladybird:
‘I’ve got (indecipherable) propellers.
They’re what move me along. They’ve all got gritty and greasy in the
meal. I’m a Japanese voyeur. I live on watch parts.’
Then he breaks into laughter and asks off
camera ‘What am I doing? Is any of this helping?’ If you can
multiply this amusing if nonsensical absurdist outburst by about thirty
minutes, you’ve got some idea of what the show entails. As for me,
I think I’ll stick to watching old episodes of The Mighty Boosh.
Behind the Scenes Featurette (25 mins)
Three Audio Commentaries