The Comic Strip Presents: Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown
This show begins with the murder of 'The Gourmet Chef' (a parody of TV chef Keith Floyd, and no the amount of wine he drinks is not an exaggeration). Dave Spanker (a parody of Spender) is doing a lot of standing around being nostalgic for the North but isn't getting anywhere with solving the murder and the police commander realises he will have to assign somebody else to the case. Fortunately for us he assigns Jason Bentley (who wears crushed velvet and drinks while driving), Bonehead and Doyle, and Shouting George from The Weeney. And that is how we discovered what would happen if parodies of four TV detectives of the seventies were brought together to solve a crime.
And it's glorious. To be frank you could probably finish reading this blog post here because this show is so good and so funny I literally have nothing but unconditional praise. Your life would genuinely be better spent watching this show than reading my wittering. So if you close the page now and go and find the show to watch it I will be perfectly happy. In fact I have never actually told my endlessly patient readership to stop reading this and go and watch the show before!
There are high points in the wonderfulness.
George (played by Jim Broadbent) actually manages to sound exactly like John Thaw going 'Shut it'. The effect of this is absolutely uncanny. I love the way he has to call the governor guv, is a ten guvs a day man and insists on this against the governor's wishes.
There is a scene in a smokey pub where everyone starts singing. This is very clearly based on the pub scene in the Armchair Cinema episode which was the pilot for The Sweeney. I see when I blogged about that show here that scene struck me as being anachronistic.
I love the way Jason Bentley literally always has a drink in his hand.
I love the way Bonehead and Foyle literally look out for piles of boxes to drive into (exactly like the car chases in The Professionals).
I love Bonehead and Foyle's confusion when they find the dereliction of seventies Docklands has gone.
I love the way the entire cast sings a song: 'Shut up, freeze and cover me' to celebrate that the seventies detectives are on the case. The mere fact that there is a musical aspect to this show should push it into the realms of the ridiculous but you barely notice it in juxtaposition to the rest of the ridiculousness. Oh all right, I know you all want to sing it... (You may have to click the play button twice to make it play)
My favourite line (by George): 'Its not mid seventies bullshit, it's that - banging tables and shouting loudly!'
I love the way Bonehead and Foyle spend the latter part of the show in leather jackets with no shirt showing their hairy chests before their trousers vanish as well - the perfect parody of revealing seventies clothing. My only criticism of the show is that it brings back my regret that I always wanted a hairy chest and that would obviously have opened up the career path of seventies detective for me. Bonehead and Foyle's look is obviously inspired by this scene from The Professionals:
There is no possible criticism of this show except that it should have been a series. There is another Comic Strip Presents called The Bullshitters which has Bonehead and Foyle still with no clothes and splashing through puddles.
Watch it, you slag.