The League of Gentlemen - C/D? (now with added Psychoville)

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Inspired by watching most of the third series again in a semi-comatose state yesterday.


Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 12:34 (eighteen years ago) link

That third series is great, I think. I quite liked the previous two series, but they really put it together magnificently in that one.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 8 November 2004 12:46 (eighteen years ago) link

I thought the third series was the patchiest. I preferred the format of the first two. Maybe I just hate change.

Anyway, classic.

Wooden (Wooden), Monday, 8 November 2004 12:53 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic for the quotability. How we cracked each other up back in my 2nd year house.

B.A.R.M.S. (Barima), Monday, 8 November 2004 14:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, the final series was classic - the way they got rid of all the most popular and quotable bits, concentrated mostly on the characters fewer people had noticed before and really filled them out a bit. The episode with Papa Lazarou is genuinely surprising, if not quite as creepy as the first time he appears.

Am I right in thinking there's a film on the way? If it doesn't feature Papa Lazarou and Hilary Briss in some kind of evil alliance I will be very disappointed.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 14:21 (eighteen years ago) link

The other thing I liked was how they didn't overdo the characters, like so many other sketch shows - Legs Akimbo appear once in every series and when they do its fantastic each time.

Not enough Pop in the third series, mind.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 14:22 (eighteen years ago) link

It really is one of the best British comedies of all time and newer shows like Little Britain owe so much to it. Everyone OTM about season 3 - a remarkable plotline, devilish attention to detail plus the pitch black humour.
And yes, it managed to be a lot more than just a bunch of caricatures and catchphrases. They've done a cracking job of not milking characters like Papa Laz too much and it's always a pleasant surprise when they turn up.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 8 November 2004 15:25 (eighteen years ago) link

Great things about the 3rd series

The Indie Girl
The Magician Guy

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Monday, 8 November 2004 15:59 (eighteen years ago) link

The indie girl = one of the most perfectly-observed characters I've ever seen in a comedy show.

Although I also liked the hapless ginger crime-fighting Knight Rider guy.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:08 (eighteen years ago) link

Are you talking about the Camden fag-hag?

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:15 (eighteen years ago) link

What was the name of the taxi driver?

Michael White (Hereward), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:34 (eighteen years ago) link

I saw one episode of this and couldn't abide it. It had to do with a guy who wanted to be a comic. Was that a particularly terrible episode or was it representative?

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:36 (eighteen years ago) link

six months pass...
This film sounds interesting...

Overall certainly a Classic, though I haven't seen the third series at all. The second is certainly weaker than the first, but still on the whole good, and the christmas special was really rather scary!

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:31 (eighteen years ago) link

The third series is completely unlike the first two - less of a sketch show, new characters and further down the creepy and emotive path of the Christmas special.

The premise of the film sounds a bit rub, I think, but I have faith.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Sunday, 15 May 2005 11:50 (eighteen years ago) link


Hari A$hur$t (Toaster), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:01 (eighteen years ago) link

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:07 (eighteen years ago) link

classic for Pauline alone.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Needs more answers.

The Irrelevant Man (Negativa) (Barima), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:51 (eighteen years ago) link

ok i never liked Pops and the episode with the guy with the new arm in series 3 was offal.

The Pauline episode, however, is classic.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Pop = classic. I really wanted him to get his own episode in the third series. The joke shop guy was one of the few chinks in the armour of that third series, although redeemed by the bailiff scenes. I wasn't too keen on the cat and dog cinemas or the stage school parents either, but everything else in that series is solid gold. Especially the doctor, who must be in the film.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Sunday, 15 May 2005 16:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Watching that trailer, I'm interested in how they'll fit it all into the continuity bearing in mind half the characters in the trailer appear to be either dead or trapped inside an elephant.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Sunday, 15 May 2005 16:17 (eighteen years ago) link

That doctor (sit down as usual. now go out would you!) is one of the funniest characters in Series 3 and they have to have him again. It's a wonder he hasn't been taken to the classic status of Papa Lazarou, maybe too subtle?

I am awaiting the film in anticipation and hope it'll be even better than the Christmas special (probably the best thing they've ever done). Hope it doesn't go down the "dumbed-down" path of recent Hollywood Britcoms like the passable Hitchhiker's Guide and the straight up terrible Churchill: The Hollywood Years. Nothing like a movie contract to fuck up a perfectly decent British sitcom.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2005 09:30 (eighteen years ago) link

The magician guy is my fave from series 3, see also the London indie girl.

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Monday, 16 May 2005 10:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Was that the Camden girl? Really very well observed. They've been doing her live for ages.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2005 10:49 (eighteen years ago) link

my favourite new thing from series three were the pushy stage-school parents.

jed_ (jed), Monday, 16 May 2005 11:17 (eighteen years ago) link

watch the first five minutes of the film here, if you like:

$V£N! (blueski), Friday, 20 May 2005 11:37 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Fucking atrocious film. Talk about shark-jumping.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Friday, 3 June 2005 22:21 (eighteen years ago) link

not even worth it for Pauline?

jed_ (jed), Friday, 3 June 2005 22:53 (eighteen years ago) link


Ajaimless (Aimless), Saturday, 4 June 2005 00:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Pauline is on the sidelines for about four scenes, barely says or does anything and is a bit of a shell really. I think it would've been better to have left her out altogether, same with half the characters really. Papa Lazarou especially, who seems to be in there just so they can go "look, fairweather friends, here's Papa Lazarou. Are you happy now?"

No one really acts in character either. This is part of the point, and Herr Lipp is fleshed out well, but considering how well developed the characters were by series three and how cinematic and emotive that was, to see Geoff revert to stock buffoon is kind of sad.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Saturday, 4 June 2005 08:58 (eighteen years ago) link

four years pass...

Watched the first two episodes of Psychoville (the new Shearsmith/Pemberton series) and thought it was excellent. Picks up where the third series of the LoG left off in terms of tone (dark, cinematic, interconnected stories, puerile sex puns) but with entirely new characters and spread across the country.

Thought Dawn French's character was brilliant if a bit uncomfortable. Some bits are familiar in a good way (murderous mother and son, and Mr Jelly is basically Geoff in a clown suit) but I'm intrigued as to where it's all going. Probably better than a fourth LoG series would have been.

Matt DC, Friday, 19 June 2009 08:41 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought it was excellent too. Couldn't find fault with it in fact. Didn't know the second episode had been broadcast (BBC4?), I'll have to track it down.

chap, Friday, 19 June 2009 10:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Second episode was on red button, so it'll be on next week.

Matt DC, Friday, 19 June 2009 10:40 (thirteen years ago) link

I only heard about this today - must see it! Is it on iPlayer?

The best thing the League ever did was the Christmas Special - vampires, the woman in black, eyes wide shut, and a whole host of crazy references all rolled into one. I loved it!

dog latin, Friday, 19 June 2009 11:10 (thirteen years ago) link

'tis on iplayer.
Dawn French was excellent.

ned trifle is not working for you (Notinmyname), Friday, 19 June 2009 11:28 (thirteen years ago) link

They've gone for a quite extensive "webexperience"
(obviously caution required if at work)

Originally opened in 1964 (Ned Trifle II), Monday, 22 June 2009 10:06 (thirteen years ago) link

I watched this on iPlayer yesterday, and also thought it was great. The murder mystery scene was fantastic. Would say that Dawn French's character was more than a bit uncomfortable!

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Monday, 22 June 2009 10:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Just seen episode 1 and it's very good. I laughed so hard at the Beany babies bit!

Not the real Village People, Monday, 22 June 2009 18:26 (thirteen years ago) link

can't believe I haven't seen Season 3 of 'The League' yet. It sounds like it carries through on everything I loved about Season 2.

Pens... Friends!

Milton Parker, Monday, 22 June 2009 19:10 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm hoping Mark Gatiss puts in at least a cameo performance.

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Monday, 22 June 2009 19:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Mark Gatiss is my least favourite performer out of the League actually. Pemberton is the best.

chap, Monday, 22 June 2009 19:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Gatiss' Les McQueen, formerly of Creme Brulee, is possibly my favourite League character.

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Monday, 22 June 2009 19:51 (thirteen years ago) link

Geoff Tipps is pretty hard to beat imo

wilter, Monday, 22 June 2009 22:50 (thirteen years ago) link

The whole ebay thing in the 2nd episode was hilarious

wilter, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 22:15 (thirteen years ago) link

Wow, it really is good. Could well shape up to be better than LoG.

chap, Thursday, 25 June 2009 21:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Second episode left me a bit underwhelmed. It was developing things a bit though...

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Friday, 26 June 2009 10:27 (thirteen years ago) link

didn't think either episode was that great but the beany babies thing excellent and the guy who plays the accomplice/reader to the blind guy is fantastic. he seems so out of place, in a good way.

jed_, Friday, 26 June 2009 10:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Posh Kenneth! And quite funny in FM too (which was quite hard).

Originally opened in 1964 (Ned Trifle II), Friday, 26 June 2009 11:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Just watched ep 2 now: I think this is the best thing on British TV in years. So beautifully, horribly well-observed.

David looks exactly like a similarly sinister and terrifying chap who went to my school. Brr.

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Sunday, 28 June 2009 10:34 (thirteen years ago) link

Pemberton is on fire in this show imo. his characters are easily the funniest & most fucked up.

wilter, Sunday, 5 July 2009 23:39 (thirteen years ago) link

Apparently the first half was a greatest hits thing in black tie? So yes, just the second half.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 08:46 (four years ago) link

nine months pass...

Inside #9 starts again on monday

koogs, Friday, 31 January 2020 21:11 (three years ago) link

I like the characters but that just felt like fan service to me.

Doubling down on out of date information (aldo), Monday, 10 February 2020 23:16 (three years ago) link

Yeah but pretty lovable fan service. My partner has never seen Psychoville and still enjoyed it.

chap, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 09:53 (three years ago) link

I've got to admit I did a little cheer when he showed up at the door.

chap, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 09:55 (three years ago) link

thought the referee one was great but that psychoville one was dire. see also the league of gentlemen specials, they're much better off putting plenty of distance between themselves and that cartoon grotesquery (which I did like back in the day)

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:35 (three years ago) link

Ah no, I love a bit of cartoon grotesquery every now and then!

Agree the LoG specials were rubbish.

chap, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:40 (three years ago) link

been reading reviews of last night and there clearly seems to be a clamour for new psychoville material so I should probably just say that it's not for me

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:14 (three years ago) link

Referee one was tremendous.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:20 (three years ago) link

payoff was tremendous

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:23 (three years ago) link

Yes! Haven't really paid attention to these guys for ages and very much enjoyed that referee story, even if you can see the writing process a bit too clearly at times. The punchline was excellent.

Never seen Psychoville so didn't recognise that last night but it was less good because same old obsessions they've already worn out. Didn't hate it tho.

Todd Phillips, party auteur (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:30 (three years ago) link

The best five or so Inside No. 9s are up there with the best British telly of the last ten years but the self-consciously creepy ones are usually the worst.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 19:03 (three years ago) link

it's the one everyone mentions but i'd put 12 days of christine up against any half hour of british telly ever. i cried

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:55 (three years ago) link

I loved Psychoville but it didn't really translate to a one-off here.
Loved the ref one.

kinder, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:29 (three years ago) link

there's a podcast for each episode of the new series, inside inside no. 9

koogs, Monday, 17 February 2020 10:47 (three years ago) link

five months pass...

Rewatched League with its new 'jokes of the time' warning (which seems strange attached to the reunion specials) and the first two series really feel like radio forced into the telly.

It's funnier than I was worried I might find it, but an awful lot of the humour is in the 'laugh at the grotesques' category, like some modern freaks how. Gatiss' monologues are a treat though.

I've also realised the opening titles are formatted directly like Chopping Mall, which I'm not sure I've heard the connection before. Will bring it up with them when the twitter strike is over.

Mud... jam... failure (aldo), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:13 (two years ago) link

nine months pass...

That new Inside #9 was something.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Monday, 10 May 2021 21:36 (two years ago) link

Did you like? I'm a sucker for this kind of clever-clever meta stuff but could easily imagine it seeming insufferable to others.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 15:03 (two years ago) link

I enjoyed it a lot, but then I'm (as are Pemberton and Shearsmith) a fan of pantomime and music hall which are very closely related. I'm also a sucker for 'your expectations were confounded and thence the humour arose' so the Genoa/Chicago/Alaska joke was my highlight.

I wouldn't be surprised if many found it exceptionally annoying though, especially the ultra-meta stuff from Gemma Whelan.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 15:54 (two years ago) link

i'd've put the meta episode later in the series. seemed odd to start there.

koogs, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 16:06 (two years ago) link

it was a "clever" excuse to have tons of dad-jokes (and I liked it)

kinder, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 16:29 (two years ago) link

I thought it was funny and annoying.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 17:50 (two years ago) link

watched last night and enjoyed.

The meta stuff was an excuse to get the 'creatively bankrupt with this series' comment in before anyone else did.

I enjoyed the Reggie Perrin throwback with the leather chair.

my opinionation (Hamildan), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 07:31 (two years ago) link

I'm completely ignorant of whatever genre of theatre they were riffing on so a lot went over my head, but I applaud the audacity and ambition and it still made me laugh a good few times. I'd like to think there are a handful of nerds around the country who got all the references and were totally wigging out over this episode.

i'd've put the meta episode later in the series. seemed odd to start there.

Didn't last season open with a fairly but not quite as oblique Shakespeare parody?

chap, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:30 (two years ago) link

oh, that was first of series 4, but yes. - they mentioned this early on. (but, yes, peculiar italian thing that i only know by references in other things, Punch and Judy being the most obvious)

i just thought it was particularly perverse having the first episode after a long delay not show the faces of the main cast.

koogs, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:55 (two years ago) link

I'd like to think there are a handful of nerds around the country who got all the references and were totally wigging out over this episode.

indeed, the Cook'd and Bomb'd forum, which was namechecked towards the start of the episode.

mahb, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 09:20 (two years ago) link

(but, yes, peculiar italian thing that i only know by references in other things, Punch and Judy being the most obvious)

My knowledge of commedia dell'arte comes mostly from commentary tracks on Italian western blu rays, but its influence looms so large over modern comedy that I felt I "got" most of the references even w/o being particularly familiar with the artform itself.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 09:31 (two years ago) link

i just thought it was particularly perverse having the first episode after a long delay not show the faces of the main cast.

red rag to a bull with that lot.

my opinionation (Hamildan), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 11:26 (two years ago) link

Most recent mainstream drop of commedia dell'arte probably comes from Upstart Crow where, for reasons that are never properly explained, Spencer Jones plays Will Kempe as an allegory of Ricky Gervais and insists that he's huge in Italy where they're much more educated about comedy* (specifically commedia dell'arte) and you just don't get why he's a comedy genius because you're thick). He talks a fair bit about the tropes and characters and how they interact.

* Without giving Ben Elton too much credit, this may be a reference to Kempe's Jigs being very much like commedia dell'arte - although probably a more likely forerunner of pantomime just because it's British - although it's entirely probable this was just concurrent development of an idea since there isn't a huge link placing Kempe in Italy until after he retired from the stage.

Well *I* know who he is (aldo), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 11:41 (two years ago) link

the inside inside number 9 (listening now) covers pretty much everything we've mentioned here.

apparently they had all of series 6 written, couldn't film it because of covid. so started writing series 7 during lockdown, then got asked to make them covid friendly, and this was one from series 7 filmed a lot earlier than planned.

koogs, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 12:22 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

first two of the new series have been quite good imo. must get into the podcast habit again

koogs, Monday, 2 May 2022 10:22 (one year ago) link

Underwhelmed by the first one, the second was alright. I'm getting a bit tired of both of them as performers.

chap, Monday, 2 May 2022 11:51 (one year ago) link

Ha, was thinking they had really gone downhill. I still appreciate that they're making them but they're treading the same sort of ground.

kinder, Monday, 2 May 2022 14:10 (one year ago) link

Second one was very, very obvious. Suspicions were aroused when they said beforehand "inspired by a film but we're not going to name it so it doesn't spoil anything", but it was dropping references from the first couple of minutes.

Didn't like the one on the lake much either tbh.

I feel like Reece Shearsmith plays the same character in everything I see him outside of I9 these days

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 3 May 2022 10:00 (one year ago) link

He even does inside Inside really.

chap, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 08:48 (one year ago) link

I tend to watch the first and last five minutes and skip the rest now. At some point after eight-six series you'd think they would've figured out how to create actual people as opposed to the same old saucy postcard caricatures.

Watched the David Morrissey football one again recently, that's still the series highpoint for me.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 09:25 (one year ago) link

The David Morrissey one was good and advanced all the way through, but the plot was far too convoluted.

Exactly how far had he gone? Did he fake the whole betting syndicate? Was the affair with the player just to unsettle him?

Very weak episode tonight.

Long enough attention span for a Stephen Bissette blu-ray extra (aldo), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 21:50 (one year ago) link

I really enjoyed The Wicker Man one. There are a couple of duds in each series but for me the overall quality hasn't really dropped very much.

kraudive, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 22:02 (one year ago) link

I tend to watch the first and last five minutes and skip the rest now. At some point after eight-six series you'd think they would've figured out how to create actual people as opposed to the same old saucy postcard caricatures.

― Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 10:25 (one week ago) bookmarkflaglink

And this is one of the most baffling things I've ever read on this website.

kraudive, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 22:04 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

inside number 9, the quiz show, was quite different from usual. just a pity it was lee mack as host.

i think they've skipped one though

koogs, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 18:50 (two weeks ago) link

No, the numbers are wrong because they've decided to count the Christmas one as part of the series.

The biggest problem with the 'surprise' episode (and this whole series really) is that it hasn't been funny at any point.

Hello I'm shitty gatsworth (aldo), Tuesday, 23 May 2023 19:39 (two weeks ago) link

I'm basing that on the movie poster 'next week' thing at the end of one episode not matching the next episode and the continuity announcer saying the next one wasn't as advertised. but then i missed the first two due to recorder fail (the recorder being me, not knowing it had started)

koogs, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:21 (two weeks ago) link

yeah, listings mag had 'hold on tight' with robin asquith. poster was a pastiche of 'on the buses' and was 5/6. this week's is 5/5 and next week's is a repeat of mr king.

koogs, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:26 (two weeks ago) link

oh, you're right that ep 1 was the Christmas episode, so i only missed one

koogs, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:32 (two weeks ago) link

enjoyed the quiz show episode. not expecting any of them to be funny tbh, don't see it as a comedy series.

the world is your octopus (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:36 (two weeks ago) link

quiz show totally threw me. i started watching wondering if it was what it was, but Lee Mack and the contestants played it so straight (except for the older woman) and there was nothing funny, I initially switched it off.

kinder, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:11 (two weeks ago) link

i think the whole 'buses' posters/promo pics was part of the quiz show wind up i.e. so the announcer sounded genuine re it not being shown, so here's a new quiz show instead.

mark e, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 07:29 (two weeks ago) link

oh, that's a good idea, one that went right over my head.

(and it's borne out by the internal bbc database which doesn't list it, just 6 episodes and one clip

although oddly this image is called "Hold On Tight"

but shows lee mack)

koogs, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 08:19 (two weeks ago) link

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