The Fast Show: Just a Bloomin’ Load of Catchphrases

Rating 8.1
Streamers Sky, UKTV Gold
Seasons 1
Episodes 1 x 90 mins

In recent years, we have grown accustomed to our comedy coming in the form of dark and dry wit, or failing that, a 15 second video on TikTok, so we couldn’t help but get excited when we found out that 90s classic, The Fast Show has rebooted with a 25 year anniversary two-hour special.

The wonderfully silly sketch show is back, along with all its British brilliance – it’s been a long time since we had a proper belly-laugh type show on the box, and bloomin’ heck do we need it. It’s set up as a documentary/revival, where the show’s much-loved contributors, alongside their iconic characters, reflect on the joys of creating the show and the huge success it received in its heyday. We get to catch up with the Duke of Wybourne, who has naturally been caught out by the #MeToo movement, Rowley Birkin QC, the flushed ‘gammon’ type of alcoholic, and Swiss Toni for whom the chance of a one-off reboot was just like making love to a beautiful woman.

Unlike many sketch shows of the same era, The Fast Show has made it into 2020 without being #cancelled, a testament to the creators expertly toeing (or dancing on) the line. With this mix of seriously silly humour, nostalgic interviews and throwback clips, the show is perfectly poised to comfort and console through the medium of stitch inducing laughs. 

The comfort of a classic hasn’t gone unnoticed by The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan, who called the one-off a “wonderful trip down memory lane.” He praised the shows ability to sit on “the cusp of humour and pathos,” which we see dazzle in its emotional tributes to cast members that have since passed, such as Caroline Aherne, and the series’ producer, Geoffrey Perkins. Hogan believes this skill “added emotional heft to a retrospective which was far better than it needed to be…It combined the new with the nostalgic, tragic with comic, to terrific effect.” In The Times, Ben Dowell also praised the show, saying: “With its reprise of many much-loved characters…it’s a happy reminder of a golden, groundbreaking era of comedy.” 

To borrow another catchphrase, The Fast Show is ‘brilliant’!

First shown August 2020.

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