The Peter Serafinowicz Show

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As I’m sure many people are aware, the road to your own comedy show is fraught with danger. You have to be either an ‘overnight’ discovery who’s hailed as a comedy goldmine, or be part of an established troupe who have been quietly slogging away for years. While both methods are tried and tested, it is the latter which is more common as it has many more benefits. For example:

  • It allows the performers name and face to be recognised by a potential audience, but not be associated with just one character or programme.
  • It endorses them through their association with other and, most likely, more famous performers.
  • Their abilities have been proved, but without the pressure of a whole show resting on their shoulders.
  • It has given them time to hone their skills and mature their writing.
  • It is a reward for years of supporting roles.

It’s a method that has worked time and time again, and bar a few examples, has proven itself in comedy gold. Without the act of promoting the support act we wouldn’t have had stirling work by Paul Whitehouse, or Steve Coogan, or Armando Iannucci, to name but a few.

Therefore there was every reason to believe that Peter Serafinowicz would be the latest in a long line of background boys made good, showing us why he has been around for so long, and what has kept him in such esteemed company. After all, Serafinowicz has been in some of the best TV shows of the last 5 years; he’s done consistently good work is roles of varying importance and, best of all, he’s created memorable characters and classic moments of TV.

Which makes it all the more of a shame that the first episode of his solo outing was so mediocre. It wasn’t a total failure and there were some amusing moments, but a handful of lines that force a chuckle isn’t really good enough for someone of Serafinowicz’s supposed calibre.

The TV parody format seemed totally out of date. There were sketches on the shopping network (ooh, at least 15 years old now), Michael Caine impressions (that’s about 35 years out of date), Entertainment channels (hitting a decade), Sherlock Holmes and Watson being gay (Hale and Pace era) and a piss-take of Big Brother that was predictable the moment the title appeared. By the time the third installment of the Big Clone sketch appeared I was feeling ill at the prospect of having to sit through another minute of the same idea. By the time the fourth one hit I was in the bathroom having a shit.

Worst of all, the whole thing reeked of a smugness of commentary. Each sketch seemed to believe that it was also saying something a little bit profound about television itself and after a while I found that very irritating. To give it its due, the technical side was great with each era and style of show being recreated very authentically and Serafinowicz himself was charming and able (plus an excellent mimmick – great Alan Alada impression!) despite the terrible material.

The whole show felt like he had known that his time would come, so he had written a script and left it waiting for the right moment, during that time, though, it expired. There was nothing new about any of it, and to see a show purportedly about television breaking it’s own rules made it come across a little lazy. Maybe episode 2 will be better, maybe not. I don’t really care.

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81 Responses to “The Peter Serafinowicz Show”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    You are wrong. It was good.

    Were you expecting it to change your life?

    The Big Brother bit was very well observed, I thought.

  2. wally bazoom Says:

    I don’t think it was trying to be profound at all. Much like Look Around You before it, I thought it was trying to be as odd and silly as possible. Nonetheless, you can’t impose your own agenda on a show and then call it out for not meeting your prior expectations.

    Some of the bits didn’t work as well as others, but the ones that did made it worthwhile. I thought it was worth it for Paul Putner’s Hoskins impression alone.

  3. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I rather enjoyed that Michael Caine masterclass thing, regardless of how out of date it supposedly was. I agree with Swineshead, you’re wrong.

  4. wally bazoom Says:

    Yes, sorry I should also have said.

    I concur with the other men: You are wrong.

  5. piqued Says:

    May I also take the opportunity to agree with both SH and NC. I thought it was great too.

  6. piqued Says:

    See, Wally thinks you’re wrong to, how do you like them apples?

  7. Dave Medlo Says:

    I guess I must have watched a different show to all y’all because all I saw was a slightly boring, pretty average and kinda unfunny half hour. It didn’t offend me with it’s badness, just disappointed my expectations…

    The Michael Caine impression was very good, but the material was weak. “Cigars don’t look like cigars on TV” – I mean come on, that’s a straight lift of the Simpsons “horses don’t look like horse on TV, so we use cows” gag.

    Moments were funny, like Butterfield doing a 2nd commercial to point out he’d forgot to put a phone number on the first, but the only thing I saw that was “trying to be as odd and silly as possible” was the news channel hosted by people with the eyes closed, which lasted about a second.

    The Bob Hoskins impression was great though, I’ll give you that.

    How do I like them apples?
    Applesauce, bitch.

  8. wally bazoom Says:

    Cigars resembling cooked sausages was funny enough for me.

    The entire program was based on silly. I think you must have been watching the real news by mistake, or something.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    Why are y’all kinda trying to be American today, boy?

  10. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I liked his Barry Scott-type ads too. Shame those sausages he used as cigars find themselves strangled by unecessary EEC red-tape, mind.

  11. Swineshead Says:

    BANG

    I notice your cause célèbre these days is bloody sausages, NC.
    Given up on BM’s 342 have we? One 29 pence price hike has sent you packing? You need to buck up your ideas, boy.

  12. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I have my sights set on the injustices of the European Market now SH. Did you know that the British are the only nation in Europe that has to abide by all the rules? Hardly seems fair eh?

  13. Swineshead Says:

    Are they dipped in breadcrumbs and do they spill a delicious garlic sauce when pierced?

    No. They do not.

    So sausages are off my agenda.

  14. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    That, my friend, is because you are a traitor to the crown.

  15. Swineshead Says:

    Royal family = bunch of Germans.
    Germans = inventors of sausages.

    I put it to you that you are promoting the needs of the German people under the guise of British patriotism.

    Disgraceful.

  16. piqued Says:

    Actually, sausages were invented by The Romans

  17. Swineshead Says:

    I hadn’t researched it.

    Alright, the Germans are VERY fond of sausages.

    (good wikipedia skilz piqued)

  18. piqued Says:

    I didn’t google it mate, don’t forget I’m a bit of a puddle jumper when it comes to food

  19. Dave Medlo Says:

    Puddle jumping was invented by the Belgians.
    FACT.

  20. jasonspaced Says:

    It was fucking dreadful. Dave M is right – it was about a decade too late.

    I’m seriously considering cancelling my WWM subscription as three of it’s writers whose taste is normally impeccable are coming out in support of such utter drivel.

    Yes, Swineshead, Napoleon and Mr Piqued – I’m talking to you. What programme were you watching?

    It was shit with a capital SHIT.

    And no, it isn’t great when we argue. I don’t like it at all.

  21. Swineshead Says:

    Jason Spaced:

    You are wrong.

    And, by the way, you don’t see me coming onto YOUR website to tell you how wrong you are about some hip hop from the 80s, do you?

    No. You do not. Because I am not qualified to do so.

    GUD DAYS 2 U.

  22. jasonspaced Says:

    You are more than welcome to come and lay down the law on my site. In fact, I wish you would. Nobody is commenting there these days.

    *wipes tear*

    Plus, I respect you as a fellow human being and your opinion is well valid.
    Except when it comes to the Peter Seffyanovich show. When you are just so badly wrong it actually hurts my face to type it. And I am more than qualified – I do TV Listings for a living, and I watch lots of TV and I can string a sentence together. I once wrote about a programme and got paid to do so. Though it was the cricket.

    Though I was perhaps hasty to say I would cancel my subscription. I’m not subscribed. So there’s nothing to cancel.

  23. Swineshead Says:

    No, you are wrong. It was good.

  24. Swineshead Says:

    Apart from the Butterfield thing, that was a bit rubbish.

  25. jasonspaced Says:

    Hah, you backed down first.

    *grows up*

    Ahem. Umm. I’ll give the second episode a chance because I like Peter. I wasn’t expecting anything amazing, I was just hoping for a laugh or two and they failed to materialise.

  26. Swineshead Says:

    You are wrong. You did laugh. I seen you.

  27. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Piqued is wrong about those sausages, by the way. As wrong as Jason is about this new show … and that’s right royally wrong. Sausages were invented by the British, not the Romans. Piqued may be a food boffin, but he ain’t shit when it comes to history.

    Romans – inventors of concrete
    Britons – inventors of the sausage

  28. garethchipshop Says:

    If there’s one thing you can rely in this world, it’s for difficult foreign names to be purposefully mistyped in Funny Way.

    God bless you, England.

  29. Mikey Says:

    I don’t think anybody invented sausages. It was just a natural progression of meat within a wrap. Now I like a sausage. Quite hard to get a good traditional British sausage but my local butcher does a good range of homemade. The Spanish have some very good sausages as do the Italians and the French. The German bratwurst is well known as well as the frankfurter. Indian restaurants do a sausagey thing , as do middle eastern cuisines.

  30. Dave Medlo Says:

    this serves a very generous portion for 2.

    6 x decent sausages. I recommend Sainsbury’s Pancetta and parmesan if you can find them.
    Pinch of dried chilli flakes
    glass of white wine or sherry
    tablespoon or two of wholegrain mustard
    small pot of creme fraiche
    fresh basil if you’ve got it.
    Pasta shapes – shells for preference.

    ok, so stick the water on for the pasta. Assuming that it takes about 10 mins to cook the pasta shells al dente, then the rest of the cooking should take about the same time.
    Whilst the water is boiling, skin the sausages.
    Put a bit of olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan/frying pan.
    when the oil is hot, crumble the sausages into the pan, sprinkle the chilli flakes (as much as you like, although just a pinch or two should do the trick…it’s just to give it a bit of bite) in, and cook until the sausage meat is browned. Break up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
    Once browned, pour in the wine/sherry and reduce, stirring lots and scraping up all the lush bits of sausage browning that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. They will dissolve in the wine and give it flavour.
    Once the wine has evaporated/been absorbed, reduce the heat and stir in the creme fraiche (you can also use normal cream, but I prefer this) and the mustard. Stir well and heat for a couple of minutes.
    Drain the pasta shells (don’t overcook them whatever you do…keep them aldente) and serve with the sauce with some finely cut fresh basil if you’ve got it.

  31. Badger Madge Says:

    watched the first ten minutes (actually it might have been less) thought it was shite, turned off. yes. i’d rather actually turn OFF the telly in favour of re-reading harry potter 5 (my least fave of the series). and vera vile before it ain’t much better.

  32. Swineshead Says:

    Badger Madge – you are wrong, it is good.

    Dave – cheers for the student cooking tips. Can you tell me how to do beans on toast next?

  33. mikey Says:

    4 Quality Pork sausages
    1 Chilli Pepper or Sweet Pepper
    Tin of Baked Beans

    This is a quick and easy recipe for a in hurry get down to the pub to watch the match but need something to eat quick!

    Add extra virgin olive oil (Spanish recommended) to a large saucepan on a medium heat.
    Add sausages and chopped chili pepper. Fry until cooked. Add baked beans. Serve on a plate.

    You could add other things to the recipe such as an onion or mushrooms.
    If you have any mashed potato so much the better.

  34. Swineshead Says:

    What in the name of Jesus is going on?

  35. piqued Says:

    Mikey, that sounds fucking horrific, Dave pasta ‘shells’? Conchigle, you hooligan (you should never cut fresh Basil either, always tear it as metal reacts with the herb impairing it’s flavour)

  36. Swineshead Says:

    Stop it. Stop this stupid food talk.

  37. mikey Says:

    Chorizo Sausage
    Cherry Tomatoes
    Tin of Cannellini Beans
    Onion
    Clove of Garlic
    Touch of Marjoram

    Fry the Chorizo sausage in extra virgin olive oil (Spanish recommended)- Medim heat.
    Add Onion and Garlic.
    Blitz the Cherry tomatos in a blender.
    Drain Cannellini Beans.
    Add tomatoes and beans to the fried onion and garlic and Chorizo.
    Stir in for about a minute.
    Add touch of Marjoram.
    Serve in a bowl with a French bread.
    Perfect for these approaching winter days.

  38. mikey Says:

    Dave, I like your recipe but it does seem a bit labour intensive. Also why use a sausage? Your instructions are to skin the sausage. Surely that goes against the point of a sausage. Is there any reason why one should use a sausage? Perhaps small meat balls with mozzarella inside would do as well..?

  39. piqued Says:

    Mikey, you nicked that off Nigella 3 weeks ago

  40. mikey Says:

    Actually not. It was Ainsleys quick recipe on ceefax in 2002!

  41. piqued Says:

    Oh, well she nicked it off Ainsley on Nigella Bites (a fucking lot judging by the size of her, I would though) 3 weeks ago

  42. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Pancetta and what sausage? Well there’s an example of those bully-boy Brussels bastards mucking in on our fucking sausages right there. Sausages, you ill-informed bunch of cunts, are made from pork with differing forms of seasoning depending on county variation. Having lived in Lincolnshire for many years, I prefer their fine pork sausages with a bit of sage in ’em. Here’s a proper sausage recipe you pretentious, Guardian-reading, liberal fuck-artists:

    Cook Lincolnshire sausages
    Add mash
    Add gravy
    Eat

  43. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Here’s another one:

    Fry sausages
    Fry bacon
    Fry bread
    Fry mushrooms
    Fry tomato
    Fry egg
    Eat

  44. Swineshead Says:

    You forgot the sauce (Heinz tomato).

  45. piqued Says:

    I like a fry-up too NC, but in order to prevent death before 40 I like to pepper my diet with vegetables and such like you Sun reading fascist

  46. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Fascist I may be Piqued, but at least I know what proper food is. And anyway, one look at your blog shows how hard you’re striving to prevent an early death. You smoke like a trooper, get pissed virtually every day … no amount of broccoli is going to stop the Reaper tapping on your shoulder any day now.

    Swineshead – sauce goes without saying o’course. I prefer HP Brown Sauce m’self, but either red or brown are fry-up necessities. In fact, if you eat a fry-up without sauce, you’re pretty close to being a kiddy-fiddler.

  47. Dave Medlo Says:

    Actually I just cut and pasted my recipe from a friends email, so I can’t be held responsible for the content, flavour or lack of technical pasta terms.

    It’s nice though, so if you want to try be my guest – I won’t lose sleep if you don’t.

  48. mikey Says:

    I accept your invitation to be your guest. I will bring Ms. Mikey too.
    Where and when?
    Shall we bring red or white?

  49. Swineshead Says:

    I’ll be there too. I suppose if it’s sausages on the menu it should really be red, Mikey. I’ll bring a strong sherry for afters. What’s your address Dave?

  50. piqued Says:

    You know what proper food is? You eat the itchings from the diseased slaughterhouse of Bernard Matthews.

    You drink and smoke too NC, well maybe not the latter (as of a few days) so don’t you come the holier than thou with me Mr. Fucking Clean.

    Anyway, who cycled into work today? It was me wasn’t it, yes. (AND I had broccoli for my tea last night, with (caramelised onion) sausages, and sprouts, I love sprouts)

  51. mikey Says:

    Swineshead, actually I do like a bit of sherry. The Spanish Manzanilla is rather excellent. Not wise to have more than 1 glass, but if you do, you only realise it was a mistake the day after. It does go down well though.

    Mind you I think a nice beer might go well with Dave’s sausages.

  52. Swineshead Says:

    I also love sprouts.

    As for ‘Dave’s sausages’… now you put it like that, as though they are an appendage of Dave’s, I’m rather put off the thought of going round his gaff.

  53. mikey Says:

    Would “Sausages a la Dave” make you feel better.
    Sprouts are fine by me too.

    As a starter and perfect accompaniment to the sherry may I suggest mussells and asparagus in a creamy sauce. Once had this as a tapas.
    Delicious.

  54. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Piqued – It wasn’t me getting on a high-horse about healthy lifestyles. I don’t profess to have one, unlike you with your vegetable fixation (readers who can’t be arsed to read Piqued’s blog will be unfamiliar with his sausage and broccoli recipe, which sounds utterly disgusting and a waste of sausages). As for cycling, big deal. Unlike you, I own no motorized transport at all, which means I walk everywhere. Also, a lot of my weekends are spent climbing hills ‘n’ mountains. Your weekends are spent getting drunk with your Hooray Henry mates, you flabby-assed sloth. When you do manage to escape that pollution-riddled pit that is London, you use a motorcycle … hardly fucking exercise is it?

    And, lest we forget, Bernard doesn’t have a diseased slaughterhouse – that’ll be your independent poultry farmers (see: Asia, previous WWMs ad infinitum). That’s why his delicious Chicken Kievs (or ‘Kiev’s’ as you idiotically call ’em) are safe to eat, if not as good value as they used to be.

  55. piqued Says:

    Jesus, you on the blob?

    I’m fairly sure you don’t spend all of your weekends climbing hills and ‘mountains’, you make yourself sound like a cross between Sherpa Tensing and Julie Andrews.

    I wasn’t getting on my horse about a healthy lifestyle either, what because I eat vegetables I’m suddenly Roger Fedderrrererz?

    I don’t have hooray Henry mates, I live in fucking Tooting.

  56. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    “… in order to prevent death before 40 I like to pepper my diet with vegetables and such …”

    Clippity-clop-clippity-clop, here comes Piqued on his high-horse.

    And you do spend your weekends out with your Hooray Henry mates. Like most Hooray Henrys, you don’t realise you are one. Being a Hooray Henry (that’s you), it goes without saying that most of your friends are Hooray Henrys too.

    For evidence of Piqued’s dreadful Hooray Henryism see http://piqued.wordpress.com/ … but whatever you do, don’t take the fucker up on his food advice.

  57. piqued Says:

    I spend a lot of time with SH, he’s no Hooray Henry, Myfwt strips to feed her bastard son and mum’s on the game to fund her crack habit.

    (thanks for the publicity son, beers on me ; ) )

  58. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I said ‘most’ of your friends Henry, ‘most’. That’s your problem, you see? Hooray Henrys are far too busy being posh twits to pay attention properly.

  59. piqued Says:

    I don’t know ANY Hooray Henry’s even at the weakest extreme of the definition you judgemental tool.

  60. Roszszssszzzzzzzzzz Says:

    It was on the news this morning that you can catch AIDS off of broccolis. Sorry piqued.

  61. piqued Says:

    Blast, I knew it was too tasty to be good for you

  62. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    It’s ‘Hooray Henrys’ Piqued, not ‘Hooray Henry’s’.

  63. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve seen Piqued’s mates and they ain’t posh by any stretch of the imagination. Some of them look like they’d suck you off/break your arm for a quid. I get on with them as I often have a quid on me.

  64. piqued Says:

    Sorry NC, thanks for correcting me on that, it wasn’t clear was it.

  65. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Glad to be of service. I know you’re planning on writing a book, so it’s best you know how to do things properly. After all, they’re quite a stickler for grammar in the world of books (or ‘book’s’ as you would no doubt put it).

    *pats Piqued on the head sympathetically*

  66. Who Says:

    Right, is that it now, can I start cooking me tea:-

    Broccoli, sausages (without skin), torn basil, conchiglie, tomato and brahn sauce, mash, creme fraiche, throw it in a bowl, decorate with mini kievs then drown the whole fucking lot in sherry.

    Or have I missed a vital ingredient?

  67. piqued Says:

    (my second book NC, second (2nd))

    Oooh, keep patting my head and I’ll carry on doing this…

    *viciously fellates NC*

  68. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Piqued – Second book,you say? I’m afraid I don’t look in the children’s section, so I’ve no doubt missed it. The thing is, those books are really done by illustrators, aren’t they? I mean, I know writers such as yourself claim to be the author of these things, but really, your three sentence contributions wouldn’t amount to much without all those pretty pictures.

    Who – Sounds lovely. But I wouldn’t tear the basil, I’d cut it up with a knife. Piqued uses his hands to tear up his food because he’s no better than an ape. Plus, coming into contact with those grubby paws, all his food gives him intestinal worms. That’s why he spends half his life scratching his flabby backside. The other half, he’s out with his Hooray Henry mates (or ‘mate’s’ as he would put it).

  69. piqued Says:

    Blimey, you put a lot of effort into that, you’re right though, I am worth it

  70. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I put no effort into that at all m’boy. I find writing insults about you takes not the slightest ounce of effort. The problem is, I often feel I’m picking too easy a target; shooting fish in a barrel, as it were. Or slapping an idiot child perhaps?

    I can see how you’ve made the mistake, mind . Reading your blog, I have visions of you scratching your head, tongue stuck out of the side of your mouth, face screwed up in concentration. And all that effort to produce such literature! If only I had the ability to insert an apostrophe into any word that ends with the letter ‘s’. Bravo!

  71. mikey Says:

    Let’s be educational.NC, can you explain the rules of apostrophes?
    ‘s in most cases means that the ‘ substitutes an i or in the case of my first sentence a u.
    Plurals just have an s. What about s’?

    A definitive explanation of this confusing aspect of our beautiful language please.

  72. Swineshead Says:

    I’m not sure if I’m right on this mikey, but when you said:

    “that the ‘ substitutes”

    Shouldn’t that be:

    ” that the ”’ substitutes”?

    Can you apostrophise apostrophes?

  73. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I merely meant, Mikey old spunk, that Piqued (a fully paid-up member of the cud-chewing bovine classes) likes to hedge his bets and place an apostrophe before the letter ‘s’ in any given word. Hence, ‘Bernard Matthews Chicken Kievs’ becomes ‘Bernard Matthew’s Chicken Kiev’s’. Y’see?

  74. mikey Says:

    ” that the ” ’ “substitutes”?
    I may be wrong on this Swineshead but if you open a quotation you go to close it..?

  75. Swineshead Says:

    I meant to put three apostrophes in a row but it looks like one quotation mark next to an apostrophe.
    I’m bored of this now, let’s go and talk about Martine McCutcheon.

  76. piqued Says:

    NC, did you know Shakespeare spelt his name 14 different ways, I think not being able to spell your own fucking name is slightly worse than my occasional, rare, abuse of the apostrophe, and he was quite good.

    (I reckon you fancy me)

  77. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    ‘Rare’ is stretching it a bit. I would say it’s more like ‘every time you write something’.

    Ape.

  78. Charlie Frame Says:

    Second episode was so much better. I think this could get better as it goes on.

  79. piqued Says:

    NC, hung like one

    Charlie, I though last nights offing was rather weak

  80. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    You ‘thoughed’ it, did you?

  81. Hen Says:

    I thought it was good. It was different to the usual shitty sketch stuff like Mitchell and Webb, don’t even get me started on that shit. I’d rather have Peter Serafinowicz any day, than bullshit like Ricky Gervais.

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