Monday, November 15, 2010


Switching from black comedy to Monty Python transvestism and genuinely-spooky, creepy-as-fuck horror comedy, Psychoville’s more twisted than a bag of stale pretzels. It's like The League of Gentlemen and Little Britain meets John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Only this this time, six flew over the cuckoo’s nest.

First aired in June 2009, Psychoville was created by The League of Gentlemen members Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton – who pretty much play everyone. And the story revolves around six nutty lead characters and a mysterious Black Gloved Man.

Episode one opens with the Black Gloved Man mailing out "I know what you did" letters to ex-mental patients David Sowerbutts (a man-child obsessed with serial killers), Mr. Jelly (a one-handed clown often confused with his nemesis Mr. Jolly), Joy Aston (a lunatic midwife with a plastic-headed puppet for a son), Oscar Lomax (a blind toy - or rather, "commodities" - collector) and Robert Greenspan (a dwarf actor currently starring as Blusher in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - "How can Disney copyright Happy?").

At first, it's all a bit peculiar (and still is, really). But soon enough, the plot starts to reveal itself as you learn more about the individual characters and how they all fit together (and fall apart). The humour's classic British comedy, albeit, buried under hook-handed, Pennywise-ish clowns, dwarf porn and excrement smeared on the walls. Mostly, it's the characters that make Pyschoville so goddamn addictive.

Hilarious Oscar Lomax (Pemberton) reminds me of blind vinyl doctor Lester Corncake, from The Mighty Boosh. Weirdo David Sowerbutts (Pemberton) is joined by his even-more-disturbing mother Maureen (Shearsmith) - a classic Monty Python, League of Gentlemen, Little Britain kind of "woman." Demented clown Mr. Jelly (Shearsmith) is every kid's worst nightmare. And Dawn French is proper batty as midwife Joy Aston.
Highly recommended!

This October 31, BBC 2 aired an hour-long Psychoville Halloween special (which is floating around YouTube in four parts - Google it). And a second season's due out in February 2011. Can't wait...

Official website

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