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What Make The Yank Critics Of HBO’s Penis-Happy New Sketch Show LITTLE BRITAIN USA??

Published at: Sept. 28, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!!
The Britishers behind the sketch show “Little Britain” (seen here on BBC America) have created a new HBO sketch series utilizing more American characters. USA Today give it four stars (out of four) and says:
… You can't expect every skit in a show like this to work, and of course, some don't. What's startling is that the vast majority do, and those few that flop are over so quickly, you're already laughing at something else by time you notice. Indeed, the only real downside of the program is that they've made only six episodes.…
Entertainment Weekly gives it an “B” and says:
… Funny, but better material ships next week, so hang on.
TV Guide says:
… a howlingly funny freak-show tour of America. It’s all very rude and often tremendously grotesque, but it’s a belly laugh a minute. …
The New York Times says:
… The team behind a hilariously raunchy British series turn their sites on America. The results are ... raunchy and hilarious. …
The Los Angeles Times says:
… Where once its wildly diverse sketches were politically incorrect glimpses into different facets of British life -- such as Vicky Pollard, the hilariously incoherent working-class teen, and Emily Howard, just an old-fashioned transvestite gal in denial -- now they are firmly rooted in genital humor, an endless fascination with homosexuality and fat jokes, often in the same sketch. … British satire at its broadest, nodding far more energetically to Benny Hill than to, say, P.G. Wodehouse. … But too often whatever pointed observation about American or British society Lucas and Walliams have in mind, whatever message about our hypocritical social mores and behaviors they're trying to send, gets lost in the adolescent guffawing about fat people and primary sex characteristics. …
The Chicago Tribune says:
… Even though the sketches on the HBO show are new ones—they're not simply recycling bits from the British original—the skits that work best are the ones that home in on British archetypes, so the show may be of limited appeal here. The bigger problem is, many of the skits just don't work. As the British version did, "Little Britain USA" often relies on predictable potty humor or takes on blindingly obvious targets (Americans like guns! Americans are fat!) with ineffective results. …
The Washington Post says:
… The sensibility on exhibit suggests collusion, or a collision, between "Monty Python" and the late, great Benny Hill -- witty and smart on occasion but also as broad as the lowest-browed burlesque. … An attempt is obviously made to savage Americans and Britons with equal malicious glee. The sketches, however, are not of equal hilarity. Some are too tasteless even for a celebration of bad taste. …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… some of it works, much of it doesn't. Even the wonderfully funny appearance by Rosie O'Donnell spoofing herself at a fat fighters club (a holdover skit from the Brit original) can't offset some of the more forced attempts. "Little Britain USA" may need a little more time for the boys to find their game. As it stands in the first couple of episodes, they seem more intent on shocking than on being wildly, but hilariously inappropriate. It's a fine balance - one they got right more often than not in England - but one that seems out of balance in the early going here. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… The easily offended should steer clear, but viewers with an appreciation for outrageous humor are likely to have a good laugh …
The Boston Globe says:
… if you don't like comedy that pushes the boundaries of good taste, you have no business here. But the material is presented with enough comic skill, cultural resonance, and clever mockery to rise above. …
Variety says:
The American version of "Little Britain" shares several traits with Showtime's Tracey Ullman sketch comedy "State of the Union," yet virtually every comparison proves unflattering to the new HBO series. Whereas Ullman's comedy is clever, "Britain USA" is mostly just crude, reveling in mock condescension toward American stereotypes. Ullman plays multiple gender-swapping characters, but with more panache than the chameleon-like David Walliams and Matt Lucas. And Ullman's hit-miss ratio is simply higher, making the slog through "Britain's" gooey swamp to find laughs feel more arduous. … alas, "Little Britain's" laughs are as puny as its ambitions.
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… HBO has slotted the series to follow "Entourage," though there isn't much connective tissue shared by the shows. "Little Britain" should, nonetheless, attract a small but devoted following, including particularly those who once relished watching Tracey Ullman's "TraceyTakes On ... "
10:30 p.m. Sunday. HBO.

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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 28, 2008, 3 a.m. CST

    First

    by DamnMichaelBay

    And I fucking hate little britain.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 3:02 a.m. CST

    First is a douche bag

    by Quartermass-87

    yes sir you are a douche. I hope your family is proud.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 3:02 a.m. CST

    West Coast liberals seem to hate it

    by catlettuce4

    but they like the no talent Tracey Ullman, queen of funny voices.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 3:23 a.m. CST

    The original Little Britain is funny but damn repetitive.

    by DerLanghaarige

    If the American version is the same, than you just have to watch the first episode. Next week you will see the same gags, only slightly changed.But it's funny anyway.<br> Is the guy from Buffy still in it?

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 4:55 a.m. CST

    i'll stick with the original

    by palewook

    ppl that dont know about the original will probably think this show is funny shit though.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 5 a.m. CST

    Huh

    by Deagle2

    A penis-oriented HBO show? Who would have thought...

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 5:06 a.m. CST

    DerLanghaarige...

    by Fixthe Fernback

    EXACTLY! I'm really amazed that Little Britan was more popular than shows like League of Gentlemen. LB just repeated gags (some bad imitations of LoG stuff e.g Weight Watchers was a poor man's Jobseekers ) and upped the gross-out factor (Pissing grannies, how funny :/). BTW: Riley, The Office was not ruined, the US Office is awesome! Watch Season 2 up where it comes into its own.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Spelling?

    by Celtican

    The New York Times says: "The team behind a hilariously raunchy British series turn their SITES on America." C'mon NYT

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST

    But there is one thing from the LB guys that I just love:

    by DerLanghaarige

    The Pet Shop Boys clip that they made a few years ago: http://tinyurl.com/3faspo

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 5:57 a.m. CST

    To Riley Martin:

    by myspoonistoobig

    While I haven't seen either iteration of Little Britain, I wouldn't lump it in with The Office and Kath and Kim, which are remakes with American actors. In this case, it seems more like the show has just been picked up by HBO and Walliams/Lucas, still starring, get to do bigger things on HBO's coin.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 6:06 a.m. CST

    PENIS HAPPY

    by Pancho Straight

    That was one of my favotite MST3K episodes.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    ColWTH

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    Um, moving swiftly on...

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Ine Re; TEHDUDE - League of Gents

    by ataraxia999

    To Tehdude, I think you have things backwards. Little Britain ripped off Leagu of Gentlemen in ways. LOG started learly 4 years before Little Britain, and it's also lightyears funnier. LB is good sometimes, but much more miss than hit IMO. And LOG was quite quite popular, with their live tour selling out. Their Christmas Special was brilliant and scary, though their movie was spotty.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    I want that one!

    by MattInTheHat

    You know the Yank version is going to be a right kerfuffle.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    by MattInTheHat

    Just like their economy... bwahahahaha!

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    The two jocks in the gym showers skit is fucking hilarious

    by performingmonkey

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7q4VFoAvUSI I can't believe they managed to push things further than the British series! That show got stale but maybe now it's on HBO they can make it good again.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    It's fucking censored though!!!

    by performingmonkey

    When these scenes are shown in the UK the cocks won't be blacked out. Unless they only are in this one sketch.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    If the creators wrote and directed it, how did the Yanks rip it

    by James_O'Nasty

    Although they ARE going to fuck up Kath and Kim. Horribly, by the look of the Youtube promos.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Little Britain is shite.

    by rosasaks

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 4:36 p.m. CST

    rosasaks

    by jackalcack

    I'm with you buddy, it's just a shite rip off of League of Gentlemen and Walliams is an annoying, attention seeking cunt.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    sigh... arrested development fans disappointed

    by MurderMostFowl

    It's not "Wee Britain". :(

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 8:57 p.m. CST

    The old British couple in the restaurant

    by MaxCalifornia.

    THAT was the sketch of the night. I don't know why really, just the way he said "Come on help me out, you boring old cow" at the end. New characters kind of a mixed bag. Woman talking to her dog, locker room steroid jocks - good, bitter astronaut, cop with boner - dunno yet.

  • Sept. 28, 2008, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Censoring

    by kesoze4

    Just saw it on HBO and it's pretty damn funny. There was absolutely no blacking out of anything, full (small) cocks were shown.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Fucking no HBO

    by Series7

    To the torrents I go. New Family Guy was really weak though.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 6:08 a.m. CST

    ataraxia999

    by Fixthe Fernback

    Read my earlier post again, that's what I was saying (Majorie's Weight Watchers riffed off of Pauline and her Jobseekers.) I agree that League is far superior to LB in many ways; consistently funny and inventive, with great character acting; while LB was inconsistent and derivative. But the fact is, while League did have its fans, it just wasn't as big as Little Brtian e.g. moving from BBC2 to BBC1 and it was one of the greatest selling comedy DVDs ever if I recall correctly.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    How perfectly delightfull that the people it mocks are unable to

    by Smashing

    Slag off the UK all one likes, we can laugh at ourselves and our scummier types, leave it to the good ol' USD of A holes to completley miss the joke.<P>What a world, aiaiaia.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Unable to laugh at themselves....

    by Smashing

    Fucking lack of sentence being cut off technology.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Too bad...

    by MachThree

    That they've gotten into gross-out / toilet humor so much. The funniest bits of the Brit version of the show were always the sketches that (mostly) avoided that stuff (Lou & Andy, Carol, Fat Fighters, Sebastian, Vicky Pollard, Kenny Craig, etc.) vs the much worse sketches that focused on it all the time (the peeing old lady, the racist woman who threw up all the time, Bubbles, etc.)

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Wigs and Funny Glasses

    by pont

    The Tribune is the only one who gets it right. Terrible show, and made worse by the fact that Lucas and Walliams are so smug, and so unfunny.

  • Sept. 29, 2008, 10 p.m. CST

    Smashing, it's not that we can't laugh at ourselves

    by Holodigm

    it's just nothing new. yes, we like guns, yes we're fat, yes we use steroids. everything this show said has been said MANY times. Married With Children spent 10 years mining every fat joke in existence. that being said, the gun sketch was hilarious, and the naked guys wouldn't have been funny if the dicks weren't as small as they were.