Diane Morgan is arguably the most underrated comedy writers and actors on the British scene, and someone I have really loved for years. The Philomena Cunk documentaries are hilarious, and her work with Charlie Brooker is brilliant. When the comedy short, Mandy, was originally released, I thought it was a fantastic concept. So why was the series so underwhelming?
To begin with, the quarter-of-an-hour episodes are somehow both too long, and not long enough. There doesn’t seem to be enough plot or comedy to fill fifteen minutes, but maybe that’s because the stories don’t have enough time to develop. The jokes are a bit shallow, and sometimes even commit the worst crime of all- being unfunny. I still can’t work out why one episode ended with a shootout between armed police, a Russian Spy, and Shaun Ryder from Happy Mondays.
A waste of a really good concept, and a waste of some really good actors and comedians.
What’s more, the show seems soulless. The comedy short invoked the Pulp song ‘Common People’, showing us a character obsessed with 1970s cigarette brands and with procuring a leather sofa, because she’s got nothing else to do. Once she becomes obsessed with getting healthy and finding love, actually valid goals, she doesn’t have the punk rock spirit that made Mandy an endearing character in the first place.
Besides, it’s just a waste. A waste of a really good concept, and a waste of some really good actors and comedians. Almost everything in the series has the seeds of a really good idea, they just haven’t been properly developed. The series could have been as good as the comedy short, and if every idea wasn’t half-baked, it would have been.
Except for Shaun Ryder from Happy Mondays. Why the hell did he turn up?
Last modified: 19th August 2020