Channel 4 have commissioned two new comedy series hot off the back of their successful Funny Fortnight. Bad Sugar and I’m Spazticus are both due to air next year, C4 also suggested that they will commissioning more shows from Funny Fortnight over the coming months.
These two shows couldn’t come at a more suitable time. Bad Sugar- a Dallas spoof following the lives of The Caudwells, a fabulously dysfunctional mining family, written by Peep Showers Sam Bain & Jessie Armstrong, is announced just after the series premier of the revamped Dallas, back on Channel 5, after a 21 year absence. With such a wealth of comedy gold to feed on, this series will hopefully draw on material from the pompous original (which was hilarious to begin with, who doesn’t laugh at big hair and shoulder pads?).
Bad Sugar also showcases the cream of female comedy acting talent; Olivia Coleman (Peep Show, Hot Fuzz), Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Dead Boss), and Julia Davis (Nighty Night) head up an ensemble cast, which finally puts to rest the argument that ‘Woman can’t do comedy’.
The second commission- I’m Spazticus, is a controversial prank show using disabled performers in the vein of Trigger Happy TV, taking its name from the Ian Dury song ‘Spasticus Autisticus’. Cynics amongst you might suggest that this commission is only due Channel 4 broadcasting the Paralympics earlier this month. But after watching the pilot shows, you can be assured that this is a genuinely funny show which challenges pre-conceptions with humour without being preachy.
I’m Spazticus caused controversy earlier this year when members of the public called the police after a blind performer groped a nude model for the hidden cameras. This kind of publicity could be the launch pad this show needs.
Nerys Evans, head of comedy at Channel 4 says: ‘I'm Spazticus showcases some of the best disabled talent around and I'm pleased that we are going to see a second series of hilarious pranks."
Personally, I’d like to see 6 more episodes of Toast of London.