As we leave The Big Easy in the Southwest jet’s rear view mirror, this year’s BBC Syndication Showcase was no different than any in recent memory. Nothing but good telly to choose from to bring to public television in the States for 2014. Here are a few of the comedy highlights that many of you can look forward to in the coming year….
Starring Darren Boyd (Whites, Dirk Gently), Rebekah Staton and Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Mans), Spy tells the story of Tim Elliot, a divorced and single father disliked by his precocious son Marcus and ex-wife Judith. He decides to quit his job as a sales assistant in a computing store learning of a data processing position in Westminster. Unknown to him, he is taking an exam for MI5, and passes to be a spy. When the bosses, including the Examiner (Robert Lindsay) learn of the misunderstanding, they still offer him the position anyway, and Tim accepts.
2. Twenty Twelve
Sporting an all-star cast, headed by Hugh Bonneville, Amelia Bullmore and Jessica Hynes, Twenty Twelve chronicles the work of the management of the fictional Olympic Deliverance Commission (ODC) as they plan the logistics of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Shot in the mockumentary style of both The Office and People Like Us, Twenty Twelve ‘organizers’ must overcome logistical difficulties, production errors, infrastructure problems and troublesome contributors.
3. Moone Boy
This Irish comedy features Chris O’Dowd as Seán, the imaginary friend of 12-year-old Martin Moone, the youngest child of a family living in a small town in the rural Ireland. Martin, aided by his imaginary friend, has a unique perspective on life. His imagination comes into play both in his childish drawings, which come alive through animation, and in the ridiculous schemes he comes up with, against Seán’s better judgement. With Seán’s help, Martin negotiates life as the youngest in a chaotic, scatter-brained family.
We’ll hit the dramas and docs tomorrow. Combined with the offerings coming directly from PBS and the BBC, it’s going to be a great telly year on public television.