“ Channel: BBC One / TV Programme / Genre: Comedy / Mockumentary „
Writer: Matt lucas, David Walliams, Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley.
Producers: Mark Freeland, Adam Tandy and Geoff Posner
Director: Paul King
Stars: Matt Lucas and David Walliams
For all those people who remember the 2003 show called Little Britain, watching the antics of the rather strange actors Matt Lucas and David Walliams, enjoying them or not.
Well, since the end of Little Britain in 2006, (although they did try to take on the Americans), the brains of Lucas and Walliams, this time joined by writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, who are best known for shows such as Trigger Happy TV, smack the pony and the old show called Spitting image, have come up with another show which is of a similar genre. Only this time it's based in and around a fictional airport and involves Lucas and Walliams now well known style of playing as many different characters as they can.
SO WHAT IS THE SHOW ABOUT THEN..?
'Come Fly with Me' is the shows title and it is a sort of a fly on the wall documentary following the exploits of the crew members at the fictional airlines, flylo, Great British Air and Our lady Air, (an Irish Airline)
Although the shows airport is fictional the filming is done at Robin Hood airport in Sheffield and Stansted airport, London, with the entire idea sort of mimicking the real life documentaries such as Airport and Airline.
The first episode hit the small screen in December 2010, Christmas day in fact, on the BBC one channel, and up to date it has released one series, with a second series possibly being made in 2011.
The show itself has many different characters, many being played by Lucas and Walliams, although there are other actors who do step in for some episodes.
SOME OF THE CHARACTERS INCLUDE...
* Omar Baba, (Walliams), an Arab who owns Flylo, the low cost airline, who is constantly accused of one thing or another, from unsafe planes to sexual harassment, although he always seems to manage to talk his way out of any situation.
* Moses Beacon, (Walliams), liaison officer for Great British Air, who prides himself on being a perfect host and a charity worker for his charity WishWings.
* Ian Foot, (Walliams), The immigration officer who hates anyone that isn't white skinned and British born.
* Melody Baines, (Walliams), A liverpudlian check-in girl who works along side her best friend Keely St Clair, (Lucas), for Flylo.
Ben Roberts, (Walliams), who works with James Stewart, (Lucas), as airport customs officers, only they have a very strange way of telling which drugs are legal and which aren't.
* Precious Little, (Lucas), manages the coffee kiosk but always tries to find ways of closing the kiosk down so she can have a day off.
* Taaj manzoor, (Lucas), is Flylo's ground crew member who transports both people and baggage around the forecourt.
* Tommy Reid, (Lucas), is a bit of a scruffy Scotsman who works at Happy Burger in the airport. His main ambition is to one day fly a plane, only he keeps failing the application process.
* Simon Trent, (Lucas), and his wife Jackie, (Walliams), are pilots for Great British Air, whose relationship is frayed due to the fact that Peter had a one night stand with one of the stewardesses, causing Judith to train to become a pilot.
* Mickey Minchin (Lucas) and Buster Bell (Walliams), who are the airports very own paparazzi, although they do tend to miss many of the celebrities as they pass them by.
* Peter (Lucas) and Judith Surname (Walliams), are regular passengers on 'Flylo' who always seem to have some form of terrible experience on every trips.
* Fearghal O'Farrell, (Lucas), is an air steward for Irish airline Our Lady Air.
* Terry (Walliams) and John (Lucas), are a father and son team who work as baggage handlers, both being a little to heavy handed and a little bit dishonest at times.
* Penny Carter (Walliams), is the steward in first class for Great British Air, only she has been in first class for so long that she has gained a phobia against those travelling less than first class.
EPISODES in brief...
FlyLo airline has been accused of not having the proper safety procedures in place which Omar Baba, the owner, take real offence to and tries to clear up the matter in front of the waiting cameras.
Moses has to break some terrible news to one of the passengers only he can't bring himself to do so. Bit things get even trickier for him when he has to deal with a first time flyer, who happens to be a 90 odd year old lady with a bit of a bad memory.
Buster and Mickey, the paparazzi, miss out on a news story when they start singing in the gangway.
Meanwhile, two visiting oriental girls are stalking Martin Clunes and are waiting for him to land at the airport, only things don't go as they hoped.
And Precious has to close the Coffee Kiosk when it runs out of the one thing that all coffee kiosk need.
Omar's new idea to create cheaper flights doesn't quite sit right for the passengers.
Ina Foot, the customs officer, detains a passenger when he fails to recognise the country she has flown from.
Meanwhile, the check in staff are implementing the new baggage weight restrictions which is causing a lot of chaos in the airport.
And when Peter and Judith lamd back at the airport from their holiday from hell they go about complaining in the way they know how.
This episode guest stars David Schimmer, (from Friends) as Ben and James have to detain him at customs when they find a rather sexual implicit DVD in his luggage.
Taaj is waiting for a Harry Potter actor who is due to land at the airport so he can give him a script he has written.
Omar is having to face the media once again when his planes are accused of having very little leg room, and he has a rather unorthodox way to prove this accusation incorrect.
Ben and James have to test some suspicious packages that they have found in a suitcase, but their drug testing methods aren't quite what is considered normal.
Meanwhile, Penny, from first class has to deal with some 'unworthy' passengers who have had their tickets bought for them.
It chaos as usual for Melody and Keeley at the check in when they come a cross a larger than life passenger.
Omar goes green in the hope of finally getting some good press, Tommy almost asks Melody on a date and Moses tries to get knighthood.
Elsewhere, the Coffee kiosk water supply has been mysteriously 'cut off' which leaves Precious with only one thing to do.
Meanwhile, a family eagerness to board their flight leaves them with a bit of a predicament.
Fearghal has an idea which may help him win the 'Steward of the Year' award, only his plan involves some peanuts and a passenger, which leads to a rather dangerous situation.
Two passengers are rather annoyed when they are told that they can not bring certain luggage onto the aeroplane.
Baba once again has to face the media, only this time it's on a sexual harassment accusation, so to clear his name he asks Keeley to be a character reference for him, which doesn't go according to plan.
Meanwhile Mosses has a little dilemma to sort out involving a famous passenger and hair loss.
It's a chaotic day at the airport withhe 'FlyLo' staff being on strike leaving Keeley in a bit of bother.
Also, Ian really loses more than the plot when he stops an influential passenger and is accused of being a racist.
Meanwhile, Moses is rushed to hospital when he fails in his bid to blow up a few balloons.
But things are even worse for Penny when she has to work in Economy class for the day, leaving her in fear of her health.
** PLEASE NOTE...
These are just episode descriptions in brief as there is a lot more that happens in each episode, but look out for those things happening in the back ground too.
** MY OPINION...
As I said earlier, Lucas and Walliams also created Little Britain, which to be honest, I found quite hard to get into, even though I have a bit of a 'gutter' sense of humour, if you know what I mean.
So when I read that they had joined forces again to create another comedy I was sure that this would be as 'badly stupid' as I thought Little Britain was.
Fortunately I was totally wrong as this show, for me, was so much different than the Little Britain experience.
This show, being what I think they call a 'mocumentary' uses a few actors, mainly Luca and Walliams, to bring many characters which bring havoc in and around the airport.
Each episode brings in a new storyline, from a pensioner with a fear of flying and a bad memory, to a coffee kiosk lady who is missing something or other in her job. Then there's a couple who seem to enjoy complaining about everything, well, the aife does anyway, or even a wanna-be pilot who has a fear of flying.
Each character has his or her own charm and each one has the ability to bring many smiles throughout there short burst on screen appearance.
The characters are all fun to watch although the way they are portrayed on the screen can be seen as verging on racism, and I can sort of see why some people have accused the pair of being offensive to certain ethnic groups but then again this show is simply a comedy and, if you watch it closely, you will realise that it is just that, a simple comedy.
As for offending people, or more stereotyping certain groups, well, there is a character from most walks of life in this show that the pair dress up as, from a check-in staff with a 'scouse' accent to a Jamaican lady who works at the coffee stand. And a very snobby flight attendant who thinks anyone who flies anything but first class should be thrown out of the plane at forty thousand feet.
So Lucas and Walliams have covered most angles and basically 'offended' everyone.
In my experience, as I tend to spend my day mixing with all different 'types' of people, I have not found one person who has actually been offended by the antics of Lucas and Wallimas. In fact, most of the people I have asked have informed me that this show is a lot better than Little Britain and is possibly one of the better comedy's which have appeared on the television for a while.
Out of the many characters, with each one being as funny as the other, I do have a few favourite, finding it hard to tell you which one is my out and out favourite. Precious make me giggle with her laid back, almost lazy manner and her love for relaxing instead of serving coffee. Then there's Ian Foot, the racist immigration officer who has a very different approach to who comes into the country. And then there's Tommy who thinks working in the airport burger bar will get him closer to his ideal job.
In fact, all the characters are brilliant and all make me laugh.
Sadly, if you want to have a good giggle, enjoying the 'strange' sense of humour of the camp pair when ever you want, you'll have to wait until the end of November 2011 if you want to get the DVD, which costs around £13.00 from amazon if you pre-order.
But, if this show is ever repeated on the BBC, or even 'Dave' then I recommend you watch this, maybe even record it, as it is one of the best 'reality' type shows for entertainment, ( I know it's not real but half these 'real reality' shows are a bit 'duff' anyway)
Go on, give it a go, even if, like me, you didn't like Little Britain, this is something completely bonkers.
Come Fly With Me is the latest offering from "Little Britain" creators Matt lucas and David Walliams and is a last ditch attempt at the pair to try and recapture former glories. Little Britain was subversive, controversial and, more importantly, funny when it first started but three series' in and the show began to falter; resorting to cruder and cruder humour just to ensure that audiences stuck with them! I like gutter humour as much as the next guy but even I began to think that in their last series, the show had begun to resort to more and more base humour and scrape the bottom of the barrel just to get the same amount of laughs.....
And lets not even mention their attempts to break Little Britain over in America.....
So Come Fly With Me has just finished on BBC1 and the big question is was it any good? Unfortunately no. Not really!
The show was distinctly average at best with Lucas and Walliams blacking up to create new characters and, of course, donning the obligatory female dress that fans have come to expect of the camp pair. The show is a supposed mockumentary, a satirical dig at the Airport programmes, featuring characters who work for a number of low-cost Airlines including baggage workers, flight stewards, check-in girls and even the owner of the Airline in question. It's not all bad and there are some funny moments when my mouth found itself turning up into a grin but, after watching al the episodes, my mouth began to forget that this is what it was suposed to be doing. The problem I found is that the Airport-style programmes are almost a pastiche of themselves already, no doubt unintentionally, and so that makes all this feel a little unnessecary!
If you have watched the real nshows or are familiar with certain real-life Airline owners then you might recognise some of the faces that these characters have been based on. But many of them are not true to life and yes, I do know that is the point but there is a danger here that the pair might end up giving real ethnics a bad name with the suggestion that many of them are lazy and/or stupid!
One example is a character called Taaj who is constantly made to look foolish and almost used as a template for anyone else in the show who is distinctly foreign. But then we get a contradiction in the Immmigrations Control Officer who is likewise portrayed as being less than intelligent and also an out-and-out racist. You might think this balances it all out but really it doesn't and instead goes on to insinuate that everyone working at an airport is below average intelligence!
I would not go as fsar as to say that I found the show insulting but feel that there are many out there who will and more because the show just is not that funny than that it deliberately sets out to offend. I think if the show HAD been funnier, it more could have got away with things. Instead we are left with a show that is basically a one-joke pony!
If this had been a one-off, it might have worked. Always leave them wanting more, they say, and that would have worked well here to the pairs advantage. Instead they have tried to milk a dead horse and ended up with curdled cream! As a series, i just feel that Lucas and Walliams have tried too hard to produce too much and should remember that sometimes less IS more!
Well, Matt Lucas and David Williams are at it again, creating controversy with their old style character based comedy, one two many racial stereotypes for their own good this time around with their new TV series. The problem critics and some viewers seem to be having with 'Come Fly With Me' is the style of humor, seemingly very dated, both Williams and Lucas 'blacking up' to play ethnic characters, including a dim bearded Muslim airport worker, an iffy Arab airline owner and a lazy Caribbean coffee kiosk woman, Caribbean girls, in my experience, the hardest working and put upon women of all and so the later rather unfair.
Since Little Britain emigrated to America a few years back and so never seen again the boys have been short or projects and twiddling their thumbs. Lucas was getting over his lover committing suicide after their failed civil partnership that lasted just two years, many of Lucas friends calling the handsome Kevin McGhee his 'trophy wife', the split resulting in the said partner snorting most of his divorce settlement up his nose before he hanged himself. This really knocked the stuffing out of the little bald one and that damage has been reflected in interviews ever since, very vacant looking on Graham Norton's show the other night. But the question was can this show get him back in the game?
What this show has really done is exposed just how remedial Lucas and Waliams comedy writing skills are, their act purely about the characters and dressing up, like tacky public school humor. In this case you are not laughing at their spoken word or situations but the racial stereotypes; they know the only humor vehicle left for white people to have a chuckle at those situations and cultures involving people of ethnicity that rankle. It's a cheap laugh, that there is no doubt, but to be fair it's strangely refreshing to see someone try it and somewhat liberating for television, especially as no organized ethnic minority group has complained about it.
The show is based around the reality show Airport and is, like that was, very camp, what Mat and Walliams do well, Matt gay and so can get away with it more, Walliams playing with his seemingly ambiguous sexuality in his comedy to tease. It's supposed to be Liverpool Airport but I believe its shot at Heathrow. The expectation was high an it was the third most watched program on Christmas Day because of that, equally panned and praised in the following days papers and media websites.
The prominent characters are indeed stereotypes.
Keeley & Melody, the bottle-tanned orange checkout girls of low cost airline Flylo, are chatty and cheeky and both up for the desk supervisor job. Liverpool is the sun-bed capital of Europe so surprisingly accurate stereotypes.
Moses (Walliams) is the Executive Passenger Liaison Officer, grand job title but not a grand job, his job to be nice to ratty passengers and get then through the airport as quick as possible. His nemesis is Hetty Wolf, an old Jewish lady that wants special treatment and freebies every time she flies from the airport.
Ian (Walliams) is the airports dim and ignorant immigration officer who doesn't think Liberia is a real country.
Mickey and Buster are the grubby and sleazy on site airport paparazzi, too busy talking to the reality TV show camera to remember to snap the arriving celebrates. I think you may recall them from the shows trailers when they ask Tess Daley to take their pictures.
Jackie and Simon are a married couple pilot team who are always bickering at the controls because Simon cheated on Jackie, the inspiration for Jackie to leave her dental hygienist job to retrain as a pilot to keep an eye on him, but the shows weakest comic characters.
Precious is the overweight God-fearing Caribbean lady who runs the coffee kiosk , but spending her day coming up with excuses not to do any work, spending her money on lottery tickets and in the airport fruit machines.
Fearghal represents the undisputed fact that most male airline stewards are gay and works for Irish airline 'Our Lady Air'. Fearghals job seems to be to try and charge for everything on the plane, including complimentary items, and get off with every man on the plane.
Penny Clockers (Walliams) is a first-class stewardess for Great British Air with very scathing views on which passengers are worthy of the first class cabin.
Taaj (Lucas) is that slow Muslim chap who drives one of those motorized carts with a light on around the airport, making dim statements to camera every time he is on. He tries to fob off passengers over delays with the news that there is an erupting volcano in Bradford. Matt Lucas claims to have modeled Taaj on the boxer Prince Naseem Hammed.
Tommy (Lucas) is a dim plane spotter who wants a career in aviation, so far managing a job in the on site McDonald's concession, prepared to start at the bottom to achieve his dream of being a pilot.
Omar (Walliams) is the owner of the nation's "eighth favorite low-cost airline" FlyLo, and proud of it, obsessed with cost-cutting and so under constant criticism from the press. His latest deal is to fly to New York for £1 (plus a £300 booking fee).
Asuka and Nanako, presumably students from London, are two Japanese teenagers that have an unhealthy obsession for Martin Clunes, hanging out at the airport to get his picture and autograph, an in-joke, we presume for Mat and David.
Geoff and Sue are a regular married couple with Sue wearing the trousers; Geoff not allowed to get a word in. Sue described her last flight and hotel as the 'cruise from hell'.
The Episodes are not linear or exercising any real narrative, just situations and comic skits. All your low budget airline and airport clichés are dealt with by the boys and if it's happened to you then its here as you nod away in agreement, like being conned with extra charges on access luggage and in-flight costs for food and toilets. We are on episode four of six.
After episode one I was disappointed, expecting more from such celebrated heavyweights of British comedy, a duo that haven't done much for five yeas and so time to get it right. I knew I was sniggering at the stereotypes as the jokes and writing were very poor but once I got passed that in episode two I started to enjoy it more. Some bits did make me chuckle whilst others jokes and situations you are expecting and so disappointed by the puerile simplicity of them, 'knob gags', as Rik Mayal used to call them. Fair play for being brave on the ethnic characters in these sterile comedy politically correct days but you do need them to have good lines or they become the joke and the reason people watch, which is not good in 2011. Because David and Mat are members of not one but two put upon minorities themselves (Jewish and gay) I suppose they feel they can give other put upon minorities some stick and get away with it, the way Larry David does to great effect in Curb Your Enthusiasm. I don't think there is any real malice from the boys towards any ethnic minority and you also have to give a big pat on the back for multicultural Britain for not getting het up about this. We know Mat and David take the pi** out of pretty much everyone in Little Britain and so why leave anyone out here. Fairs Fair! Controversy and cheap shots is what they do.
The best way to describe this is The League of Gentleman characters being dumped down and given a job in a local airport as Lucas and Williams have borrowed heavily from the kings of character comedy. It's a shame they didn't borrow the writers! But I will stick with it as there is nothing else funny on these days that's remotely risky and naughty, especially on Friday night, and so will surrender to their status at the BBC as the fairy queens on top of the Christmas tree...
BBC 0NE - 10PM Fridays..