Is the sketch show dead? Obviously not in the eyes of commissioners, because here’s another one. But does the format still have legs? That’s a tougher question. As is always the way, this new Anna Crilly and Katy Wix offering (coming after a ‘Comedy Lab’ pilot in 2011) is hopelessly patchy. The ‘Great British Bake Off’ spoof doesn’t really go anywhere and soap parody ‘The Lane’ doesn’t even start anywhere. But elsewhere, there’s some promise.
The pair are strong on detail, skewering the grammar-mangling of ‘The Apprentice’ (‘you should have cleared that with myself’) and crafting a pungently German take on ‘Countdown’, complete with oompah band interludes. So as a standalone show, this has its moments. All the same, we anticipate the numbing effect of seeing these sketches repeated, with minor variations, for the rest of the series and wonder if talented comedians couldn’t find a better format to deliver their ideas.