Television Revision: The Mighty Boosh – Season 2

Television Revision: The Mighty Boosh – Season 2. Starring Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, and Michael Fielding. Rated M. By Andrew Williams.

Television Revision is a weekly feature in which our tuned in TV critic trawls through the best the box has to offer, giving you a primer on some of history’s finest shows (and warning you away from the specific episodes – or even seasons! – that might have ruined their reputation). 

Now this is a story all about how… Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) are living in a flat in Dalston, England. With the occasional help of their shaman friend Naboo (Michael Fielding) and his familiar, Bollo the gorilla (Dave Brown), they try to make it big in the music business.

Happy days? Season Two of The Mighty Boosh finds the creative team much clearer about the show they want to make. Gone is the zoo setting of Season One, gone are all but two of the ancillary characters, and gone are the awkward if occasionally funny opening and closing remarks. Instead, each episode establishes the flimsiest of set-ups before sending Vince and Howard off to their next adventure. All the things that made the show unique are still here: puppetry, music, terrible dance routines, and great gags interspersed with what my high school classmates would have called ‘random’ humour. Unfortunately, that surety of vision does not mean the show is any more consistent. Some episodes (especially the season finale) of The Mighty Boosh pass by in what feels like minutes; others had me constantly checking how much longer I had to endure.

I don’t know the inner workings of The Mighty Boosh’s writing process, but after two seasons I suspect I’m more in line with Julian Barratt’s sense of humour than Noel Fielding’s. My least favourite parts of the show all concern characters played by Fielding (Old Gregg, The Moon, etc.) that rely on styles of humour (weird voices, non-sequiturs) I don’t really enjoy. Whether his presence as those characters means he created them or not is just guesswork, but I doubt anyone creates the character of Old Gregg if they don’t have the voice first. I’m much more a fan of Julian Barratt’s work as the pretentious, hapless Howard Moon, but others I’ve spoken to feel entirely the opposite way. It’s something you just have to discover for yourself.

The final frontier: Season Two has plenty of laughs, but plenty of tedium to match. If you enjoyed Season One, though, you’ll enjoy this.

Top Three Episodes: 1) Call of the Yeti. Any episode with plenty of gorilla housemate Bollo is just fine by me. 3) Nanageddon. Richard Ayoade guest stars in an episode from the always-funny ‘violent granny’ genre (See: Hot Fuzz). 6) The Nightmare of Milky Joe. My all-time favourite Boosh episode gets a boost from Fielding and Barratt’s finest creation: coconut turncoat Milky Joe.

Worst Episode: 5) The Legend of Old Gregg. It will be a controversial choice, but this fan favourite episode had me praying for the credits to roll.

Season MVP: This season’s award goes to Dave Brown. Despite very little screentime, never fails to make me laugh.

The Mighty Boosh – Season 2 is now available on DVD. It can also be streamed instantly on Quickflix PLAY.

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