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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Molly talks telly

WOMEN are not funny. It is a cliché so controversial it would have even the most reluctant of feminists burning their bra in protest. And yet, I find that very few ladies are able to disprove this stereotype.

EM Molly on telly
Molly Lynch

In fact, I think I can count the number of comediennes who make me laugh on just the one hand, but there is a sense sisters are doing it for themselves in the world of comedy today.

Some female comics being touted as the saviours of a sex synonymous with being as hopeless at telling jokes as they are knowing the offside rule. If that was the aim of sketch show Watson and Oliver (BBC Two, Monday, 10pm), I’m afraid to say it fell as flat on its face as Miranda Hart does at least 20 times during one episode of her self-titled sitcom.

I wanted to like it. I really did. And some sketches seemed like they could be funny on the surface.

An apparent send-up of a picnic in the setting of a Jane Austen period drama looked promising (guest star Hugo Speer in riding boots, swoon). But while a currant bun-related innuendo might provoke a chortle first time round, that childish sort of humour wears thin very quickly.

Double entendres lacked the sharp wit which made Victoria Wood the queen of this brand of comedy. Instead, I simply felt like I was in the company of a couple of 10-year-olds.

As Watson picked up a pair of jugs for the sketch to reach its predictable punchline, I reached for the remote.

Even my dad bursting into the living room during Downton Abbey, putting on a posh voice and pronouncing himself “Sir Bumley Chumley” is funnier than that tripe.

In another attempt to cement its position as the pioneer of the new generation of comediennes, the BBC has given woman-of-the-moment Sarah Millican her own show.

I have never understood her appeal.

Her brand of humour seems like the sort you could cope with for half an hour at a Fat Fighters meeting, but hardly the sort of thing which would sell out arenas. She flits from her love of cakes, to her hapless lovelife, back to cakes, all while sounding like Cheryl Cole on helium.

Yet the fact she was given this fairly coveted slot prompted me to ponder whether I am missing something.

On International Women’s Day, I resolved to embrace a bit of girl power and watch The Sarah Millican Television Programme (BBC Two, Thursday, 10pm) in the hope I could be converted. Fat chance.
For starters, the format did not make sense.

It was half chat show, half a stand-up routine read from an autocue. There were a blaze of gold, glitzy lights with dated furniture and patterned lampshades, like the set of Abigail’s Party had been dumped on The X Factor stage.

Millican stood awkwardly on stage in front of a studio audience who looked like they’d just come straight from the end of filming for Loose Women and gave us the usual ‘aren’t men useless?’ type talk. She then perched herself on the end of a sofa in mothers’ meeting pose as she interviewed guests (a bloke from Springwatch and sex-pert I’d never heard of) who sat behind a desk. Any moments of humour were not provided by the host herself. She had to rely on a videolink with her father for gags.

In Millican’s defence, The Sarah Millican Television Programme did raise a smile. I grinned from ear to ear as soon as the credits began to roll.

Have your say

Yes Josh, maybe, but junk is still junk. We are constantly being insulted by the low grade rubbish that passes for entertainment these days.

Posted by Frank Boase on 15 March 2012 at 00:04

very harsh all round!

Posted by Josh on 12 March 2012 at 15:36

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