Haydn Galloway downloads some of the strangest shows on TV
Comedy has taken a bizarre twist in recent years. Canned laughter is no longer tickling our ribs and, with series such as League of Gentlemen having gathered a cult following, comedy shows worldwide have taken a dark turn. So instead of switching on yet another episode of Friends for light-hearted laughs this summer, why not give dark comedy a try? We’ve picked the key shows to see.
Ideal This acclaimed British comedy-drama has been running for seven successful seasons and shows no signs of stopping. It follows small-time crook Moz (played by Johnny Vegas) and his increasingly bizarre clientele, such as a mute man with a cartoon mask stuck on his head. Season seven sees Moz in economic despair and struggling to keep away from dealing. Each season continues to push the envelope of British comedy, with laughs juxtaposed against horror, misery and the truly bizarre. Dhs62, available at www.amazon.com
Psychoville Searching for something truly dark and twisted? From the creators of League of Gentlemen, this BBC show is not for the faint hearted. It boasts an array of freaky characters, including a one-handed clown, a midwife who believes her doll is her real baby and a mother and son who have an obsession with serial killers. With Dawn French and Steve Pemberton starring, it’s worth a watch… if you dare. Dhs58, available at www.amazon.com
The Big C What’s so funny about a woman living with cancer? Everything, apparently. The Big C is a witty look at Cathy Jamieson as she attempts to deal with the prospects of a terminal illness. The first series won a Golden Globe and was nominated for three Emmys, while the recently commissioned second season has been widely anticipated. Dhs58, available at www.amazon.com. The pilot airs on September 6 at 11.30pm on OSN Comedy
The United States of Tara The rather odd US series is now in its third season and has been a rip-roaring success. The title character is Tara Gregson, a seemingly normal suburban housewife and mother of two. Yet Tara has Dissociative Identity Disorder: whenever she is stressed, she transitions into an array of alter egos. One minute she is Alice, a ’50s housewife; then Buck, a Vietnam veteran who flirts with Tara’s friends. Each season is hilarious but gets increasingly darker as the audience realises the roots of Tara’s disorder. Dhs94, available at www.amazon.com
Wilfred Originally a hit Aussie comedy, Wilfred recently moved Stateside with Elijah Wood in the lead role. It follows Ryan, a depressed man who is asked to look after his neighbour’s pet dog. Seems normal so far, but Ryan sees the pet as a thirtysomething burly Aussie man in a dog suit. The original series was a cult success and it looks as if its US counterpart is heading in the same direction. Dhs7 per episode, available for instant download at www.amazon.com