More March Madness – British style


As is usually the case, when you either create, discover or star in a hit comedy, generally it’s not either first or only thing you’ve created, discovered or starred in. Here are a few early efforts from some of the great contributors of today’s British comedy world that never quite took off for one reason or another hence, a one-season wonder, but are really worth a longer look if you have some DVD power-watching time this weekend.

Hippies

From the minds of Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd), this series lasted only one season back in 1999 and starred Simon Pegg (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). The more I watch of this one, the more it falls into the category of I really wish this would have made a second season.

Grass

Written by Andrew Collins and Simon Day (The Fast Show) and directed by Martin Dennis (Men Behaving BadlyCoupling), this extremely dark, but clever, series also stars Simon Day as Billy Bleach. Grass was actually a spin-off Simon Day on setof the hugely successful series, The Fast Show, which also starred Simon Day as Bleach along with about 100 other characters and written by a number of comedy greats such as Paul Whitehouse and Caroline Aherne.

After witnessing a gangland-style killing, Bleach enters the witness protection program, swapping his London lifestyle of going to pubs and the occassional Thai cooking class for a much slower paced rural England existence. As with most British comedies, the supporting cast is great with Robert Wilfort as PC Harriet, Philip Jackson as DCI Maddox, Tristan Gemmill as DI Veal and Matthew Ashforde as Billy’s brother, Darren. Definitely deserved more than one season.

Just a couple more series to check out if you can while all this basketball stuff is going on. Besides, your bracket is probably already a bust after the first day.