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Reviews Comments: Christmas Special/First Episode Review The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff episode/issue review by Bisected 8

I decided to watch this by chance when it first aired and was pleasantly surprised.

While I was cynical of the exaggeratedly silly naming conventions given to the characters and the surrealist humour (which tends to be very hit and miss for me), I found that the comedy was being remarkably well done (probably thanks to the cast of veteran comedians, unlike other more recent comedy efforts which have used newcomers or halves of comedy duos who just can't cut it alone). Most of the humour comes from the parodies of Dickens' novels, combined with surrealism (think along the lines of an adaptation of a Victorian melodrama parodied in the style of Airplane).

Then came a more serious problem...the scourge of all comedies; child actors! The main character's children were...surprisingly not annoying. In fact they even got some decent jokes in. The actors playing the orphans weren't that bad either, although since most of the dialogue was given to Johnny Vegas' character it's hard to tell.

I also enjoyed the overall style of the film, with the sets and the costumes serving as as much of a parody of adaptations of Charles Dickens' novels as the script.

Overall: 8/10, I'm eagerly waiting for the rest of the episodes (which there doesn't seem to be an air date for yet).


  • nogenius
  • 4th Feb 12
If you get bored waiting, you might want to listen to Bleak Expectations, it's basically the same thing, but without pictures and with Anthony Stuart Head (and David Mitchell's in some of them). You've gotta love a series whose main character is Pip Bin, inventor of the bin.

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