It’s no secret that we here on this site love Netflix. It’s a great way to catch up on indie movies, documentaries, or crappy movies that you normally wouldn’t make the time for. While it doesn’t have the widest library of movies, Netflix definitely excels with its TV series collections. I spend just as much time watching random series as I do watching cinematic classics like Megashark vs. Crocosaurus. I’m going to do a number of these series reviews and list them season by season.
The Mitchell and Webb Look is a british sketch show comprised of taped clips and studio audience settings. Mitchell and Webb are David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who are also behind the hit british series “Peep Show.” (not on netflix) They are two comedians who are very self aware and intentionally smug as they take on the lead roles in every single sketch.
I gave this series a chance because I am a sucker for recent british comedy (i.e. not “keeping up appearances”). I thought I didn’t have much to lose timewise because it’s a pretty simple sketch show. It wasn’t as if I’d get attached to any characters. Well the first sketch has Mitchell and Webb as two Nazi soldiers at night wondering if they are supposed to be the bad guys based on the fact that there is a skull on their hats. I’m not saying it’s Will Ferrell physical comedy YOU all know and love, but it’s “concept comedy.” Yes that sounded elitist. One of the sketches that followed up was possibly the most ridiculous, brow scratching sketch ever. Enter Numberwang.
The first season has plenty of great sketches and plenty of misses as well. But on the whole I recommend it and give it an A-.
Season 2 does away with the repetitive skits such as the snooker commentators that you’d only get if you were from England and were probably over the age of 54. Mitchell and Webb manage to get rid of failed sketches from the first season, but also mainly get rid of episodes of Numberwang as well. A highlight of this season is the running sketch of the season is “The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.” In this sketch Mitchell and Webb are two delusional, homeless guys who believe they are the hobo equivalent of Sherlock and Watson. Basically they just end up robbing junior high schools and fleeing. Don’t ask me to explain it, it’s just funny. This season is 6 episodes long, just as the first was. It’s not as good as the first but still gets a B.
Season 3 comes back with a vengeance. Should I use such an intense word as vengeance when it comes to smug high-brow british comedy? I can’t say it warrants that but it got a whole bunch of laughs from yours truly. Instead of Numberwang (do I have an unhealthy relationship with numberwang?) they do a post apocalyptic gameshow where the host continues to warn the viewers not to go outside due to afterexposure to the event. It’s funny but it’s more smirk funny. The best bits of the season are when Mitchell and Webb are shown behind the scenes and talk about how to run the show. They even reference how they are going to plan sketches in each show (Start with a hit, then miss, miss, hit, miss, hit, miss, miss, hit.) They realize that each show has about 50% filler, but I must say that that means they have 50% more quality sketches than any episode of SNL.
I’ve definitely been in a very British mood and beyond “Keeping up Appearances” and “Are you being served?” you can’t get much more british than Mitchell and Webb Look. Season 3 gets a strong B+.
If you like your comedy on the dry side then I definitely recommend That Mitchell and Webb Look for you. And one more thing…That’s Numberwang!