Why is it that Mitchell and Webb are so heartbreakingly unfunny in anything other than Peep Show? I can’t even squeeze out a teeny tiny chuckle or crack even a mini half smile if I watch anything else they do on TV. As much as I want to like their other stuff, I just can’t bring myself to. What makes it worse is that I’m what you might call a massive Peep Show fan. I simply cannot get enough of it. I really do love it. I mean, what’s not to love? Nerdy, awkward, bumbling, saucer-eyed Mark with his strange endearing uptight ways and Jez with his try hard, cringy desperation and shallow naïve arrogance. They are a match made in TV heaven. They have the best on screen chemistry since Wayne and Garth. Or maybe Cagney and Lacey. Or maybe The Likely lads. Yeah that’s more like it – Mark and Jeremy are the modern day Likely Lads. Peep Show is definitely the best thing on TV. (Admittedly the last series got a little ridiculous with the dead dog but let’s not dwell on that.)
So why do they get it so wrong elsewhere? Their movie debut, The Magicians, was appalling. Do you know anyone who paid money to see that at the cinema? I got as far as watching half of the trailer on YouTube before I started slowing shaking my head with disappointment and my fist with anger. It looked about as entertaining as a triple bill of Claire Sweeney’s 60 Minute Makeover. Then there’s That Mitchell and Webb Look, which is the televisual equivalent of having an Alsatian do a poo on your face. Unless I am missing something it’s just sort of sneery, annoying public school boy try-too-hard comedy that makes them seem like a pair of knob-ends. Considering Peep Show will soon be coming to an end, it makes me teary-eyed just thinking what their future might hold. The way things are going I am picturing collaborations with Hale and Pace on Iceland commercials within a year or two.