Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Phoo Action

The first artist who I ever sat down and tried to copy was Jamie Hewlett of Tank Girl/Gorillaz fame. Very early in his career (I suppose 1987 or so) he used to do spot illustrations for Commodore User. Commodore User was a bit rub compared to Zzap!64 but I was fascinated with his dirty-looking, angular illustrations that seldom bore the faintest relation to the article they accompanied. I was only 11 or 12, but there seemed to be something vulgar and insane about them that I wasn't getting from Fantastic 4 or the Avengers. Or The Gambols.

So I enjoyed BBC3's Hewlett adaptation "Phoo Action" last week, and I'm pleased that a series has been commissioned. The hour-long pilot wasn't the best TV show ever made but it had a lot of promise, and it looked fantastic. I'm sure most people who watched it were mystified, but I revelled in Jamie Winstone's perfect Hewlett-girl look and the beautifully silly villains. And despite the fact that the heroine's main power was rooting around in her magic hotpants and retrieving items, you could have watched it with your mum without having to avert your eyes or pretend that you do not understand what is going on at any point.

I wish there was a symbol in the TV guide that indicated post-watershed shows like that. "This episode of The Shield contains no up against the wall lady-man activity slash smoking crack through an empty eye socket". What a relief!


Stephen said...

I looked forward to and watched the show excitedly, but it suffered from typical subpar BBC3 production values. There is something in the show to be worthy of watching again, it's just down to whether the team behind the series puts the effort in to make it look not so cheap and plastic i.e. BBC3 (I have somewhat of a vendetta against them). Ditching the shaky handed camera man would be a start.

I mean, what was with all the camera cutting when Terry was doing his kung fu moves? Let us see kicking! We want to see kicking!

But I would definitely and infinitively prefer this to be made into a series than another run of Catherine Tate or some other bland sketch show.

I haven't read the comic it's based on, but now I want to, and hopefully the poor reviews have made the comic decrease in value.

John A said...

I bet you a penny to a pound that all the cutting was because old Terry had a body double to do the kung fu. I just looked in last week's Guardian Guide and this is the case! But come on, Enter The Dragon would have been so much better if it had had MTV style jump cuts every two seconds during the fights.

It had the usual BBC3 shortcomings but it was so much better than more Little Miss Jocelyn or Sick Bag Detectives or Teens And Their Binge Drinking Trilobites or whatever. So I agree. When I see a pilot I am usually just pleased if they tried something different.

Patches said...

Of course you realize now we have to find and watch this thing. The trailer looked absolutely ridiculous in a good way. We will look through the production value snags and see it as an appreciative nod to retro cheese.

(reminds Peter of the Banana Splits)

Lorri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorri said...

I enjoyed it, but I was bothered by the way Jimmy Freebie's mouth moved. I guess it is just very difficult to make a basketball mouth move. I was disappointed when I learned it was only a pilot as that hadn't been made clear in the ads, but as a pilot it was pretty good and the series can only be an improvement, so on the whole, yay?

(Boo to making typos and then having to delete your comment and repost it)

Jen Dockter said...

I loooove Hewlett. Do you know if this is going to be released in the states?