Sunday, November 20, 2011

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace: The Complete Series

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace:  The Complete Series - 5 out of 5

I'm a big fan of the BBC comedy The IT Crowd.  The show is just downright hysterical and the cast of characters is amazing.  It's hard to say one is better than the other but the character of Moss stands out as one of my favorites.  Well, since I enjoyed him so much, I thought I would take a break from checking on my bank statements, gambling, illegally downloading music, surfing for porn and the few other cliche things the media tells us we do with the internet and decided to research the past works of the man who plays Moss; Richard Ayoade.  So, I went to (in another tab because I was looking at porn on my original tab.  Remember:  That's what the internet is all about.  Ask any first time comedian at an open mic.).  At the Internet Movie Database, I found out that Ayoade used to be on a show called Garth Marenghi's Darkplace in 2004 and he was on it with his co-star on The IT Crowd Matt Berry.  Since Berry is also hysterical on that show, I was sold on watching Darkplace.

Garth Marenghi: author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor.

Darkplace Hospital...just seeing this model makes me laugh.
The series is about a horror writer named (wait for it)...Garth Marenghi.  Well, it seems in the 80's, he was charged with writing a series that dealt with the occult.  The series he created centers around a team of doctors at (once again, wait for it)...(a little longer this time)...Darkplace Hospital.  Here's the problem though:  the series never got released.  So, the show is about a horror writer who is talking about a series he made that never got released and is presented it in a "lost and found" like scenario where he (Marenghi) includes interviews and commentary on each episode as he presents it.  Right off the bat, this formula is not only creative as hell, it is ripe for hilarity but it goes even further by parodying dramas of the 80's with the fashions as well as bad production value.  That is the true highlight of the series and one that had my sides literally splitting (it was gross) and doing spit take after spit take as I went through all six episodes.  The show plays on bad acting--especially with the character portrayed by Ayoade; Dean Learner.  Learner is Marenghi's publisher and has no acting experience and it shows in the series.  Add to the fact that the supporting cast of Matt Berry playing the actor Todd Rivers who stars as the debonaire doctor Dr. Lucien Sanchez, Matthew Holness as Garth Marenghi who stars as the hero Dr. Rick Daglass and Alice Lowe who plays Madeleline Wool who stars as the psychic Liz Asher--when I type it like this, it sounds pretty damn confusing.  It's this dynamic of actors playing actors in a role that makes the show what it is...something awesome!

Ayoade is just brilliant in this show!
The cast does a fantastic job of either hamming it up in their roles or being downright shit actors--and make it both believable and funny.  That shows the true strength of an actor:  If they can play bad actors and make it actually look like they're real bad actors.  Berry's overacting as Todd Rivers is hysterical but the real highlight goes to Ayoade and his brilliant performance as the book publisher with no acting experience.  The way he looks uncomfortable in front of the camera, the way he flubs lines and the way he steals glances at the camera made me literally piss myself laughing (it was gross).

Matt Berry as Todd Rivers playing Dr. Lucien Sanchez.

Notice the camera man in the mirror.  This show is absolutely brilliant.
To add to the humor that each episode already has in its basic formula, its story and the hilarious send up of bad acting, the show also spoofs poor production by filling each episode with bad audio and horrible editing.  It's these elements blended together for each episode that makes the entire series almost too funny.  By the time credits rolled on each one, I felt like I was literally going to vomit from laughing so hard (it was gross).  In fact, Garth Merenghi's Darkplace is such a creative and hilarious show that not only is it a crime that a second season wasn't commissioned, it also made me tell lies in this review and tell you things literally happened when in fact, they didn't literally happen but, rather, metaphorically happened.  That's how good this series was, it made me lie and say that things happened when they really didn't happen at all.  

Oh, and this happened on the show just to give you a taste...

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