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Remembered Today:

Chickens - Channel 4


MickLeeds

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I think this was mentioned on here before but I couldn't find the thread.

Its the new comedy pilot starring and written by a couple of the lads from the 'Inbetweeners'.

Starts on the 2nd September.

Characters & cast/press release.

http://www.channel4....owcase-chickens

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  • 1 year later...

An article in the Culture section of today's Sunday Times says that Chickens will be shown on Sky 1 next month. It's set in the opening months of the war and "is loosely based around the heartbreaking truth of the Pals battalions - entire villages of men marching off to volunteer together". In one village only three men are left behind: a pacifist, a warmonger rejected by the army because of flat feet, and a narcissist who thinks the war has nothing to do with him. The women despise them as cowardly scum.

"Sky effectively hired an entire village for the shoot, giving the show an epic scale rarely found in contemporary British comedy."

The article concludes by asking if "this sitcom will be treated with disdain by the desk-jockey critics on Twitter?".

I suspect that any such disdain will be nothing compared to comments that will be made on our Forum.

Moonraker

(who doesn't have Sky)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Having seen the trailers, it looked very childish, but Sky do seem to be pushing this hard.

But I will watch it, and then make up my mind

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Yes indeed, I liked Blackadder goes forth, my favourite Blackadder and AlloAllo, had me rolling with laughter, especially when General Von Klinckerhofen ended up with a chicken on his pickelhaube, daft I know but it's my humour.

Terry

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First episode is Thursday 22 August at 9.30 pm on Sky 1:

'Comedy about three chaps who have stayed behind in a sleepy English village during the First World War, earning them the reputation of being cowards among the local women. Written by and starring Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, of Inbetweeners fame, and their collaborator Jonny Sweet'

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Prepared to dislike from the few snippets that I have had the misfortune to see. Look forward to a hilarious romp next year "Three chaps at Auschwitz".

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Prepared to dislike from the few snippets that I have had the misfortune to see. Look forward to a hilarious romp next year "Three chaps at Auschwitz".

Is that a follow up to "The Producers"?

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Is that a follow up to "The Producers"?

The Producers was a Jewish writer mocking anti-semitism. My point is - Is it too soon to make a comedy about WW1? I found Blackadder Goes Forth dire and Allo Allo offensive. The French Jewish resistance fighter I interviewed in 1987 would find little to laugh at about being interrogated by nazis. Back to WW1 - would you enjoy a comedy on the Irish Famine?

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Some topics are to sensitive to laugh at, but people have different perceptions

Terry.

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The Producers was a Jewish writer mocking anti-semitism. My point is - Is it too soon to make a comedy about WW1? I found Blackadder Goes Forth dire and Allo Allo offensive. The French Jewish resistance fighter I interviewed in 1987 would find little to laugh at about being interrogated by nazis. Back to WW1 - would you enjoy a comedy on the Irish Famine?

Funny I thought it was a very funny stage and screen production about an attempt to make a sure fire flop (for tax purposes) by basing a musical around the Nazis (with numbers like Springtime for Hitler)

Allo Allo was a take off of all those early British films about the resistance etc with all the stereotypes (the resitance girls always wear white socks etc -- the stereotyping was the object of he humour (the series went on too long and got silly). My Aunt lived to see some of the early episodes (before cancer got her) and had been making sketches of bridges etc in France in 1944 and must have known some of the types portrayed - she found it funny. I was taught French at school by a one time SOE operative who was picked up and tortured in La Frenais Prison (you could still see the scars where they has stuck splints in his face and lit them) but when a French lad joined our sixth form he pointed out that we had all been taught to speak French with a heavy Alsace accent (and an unusual dialect at that) which was probably why our teacher had been spotted so easily back in 1944. We were taught by I guess an original of the Gendarme from Allo Allo - a case of tradgi-comedy?

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I find probably very very few things that we should not be irreverent of and humour can be both sensitive and imbued with a respectful pathos -That said we not only do not have sky but no telly neither so I won't be watchin anyway

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I find probably very very few things that we should not be irreverent of and humour can be both sensitive and imbued with a respectful pathos -That said we not only do not have sky but no telly neither so I won't be watchin anyway

And this applies to books and films as well as the idiot box [AKA fools lantern, goggle tube, TV]. Otherwise we would never have heard of "Catch 22", "Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall" etc.[and for KGBs benefit Spike has in other works been very funny on the Irish troubles, civil war etc.] For a humorous saga about WW1 can I recommend the Bandy Papers the story in many volumes of the naive but patriotic Canadian Bartholomew Bandy's career from a young 2nd Lt in the infantry to a Major General (and on to be a post war Canadian cabinet minister during the prohibition era) via a period as an RFC fighter ace. The first 3 volumes are the best but the whole series is worth a read.

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And this applies to books and films as well as the idiot box [AKA fools lantern, goggle tube, TV]. Otherwise we would never have heard of "Catch 22", "Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall" etc.[and for KGBs benefit Spike has in other works been very funny on the Irish troubles, civil war etc.] For a humorous saga about WW1 can I recommend the Bandy Papers the story in many volumes of the naive but patriotic Canadian Bartholomew Bandy's career from a young 2nd Lt in the infantry to a Major General (and on to be a post war Canadian cabinet minister during the prohibition era) via a period as an RFC fighter ace. The first 3 volumes are the best but the whole series is worth a read.

Colonel Blimp is funny as are some films that use war as a backdrop. Would Harry Patch find "Chickens" funny? Worst of all it looks like poor comedy which defeats the purpose.

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The perception of all comedy is personal. Mr Bean was very successful yet I found nothing to laugh about in the struggles of a mentally-deficient man to live a normal life. Chickens will be the same. Some will see it as a travesty of history, some as pure comedy and all shades in between I suspect. Comedy and humour has been used, from time immemorial, to help people cope with the blacker side of life, whether that's life in the trenches, the factory or down the pit. That humour is often surreal but does that make it, somehow, unworthy? Should we condemn Bruce Bairnsfather for his highly unrealistic depictions of trench life in his Old Bill cartoons? Should we give him and the likes of Spike Milligan a pass because they experienced the things they parody or satirise first hand?

At least a comedy is not written to be taken seriously, even if it is based on historical events. Depictions of real events in drama can be just as unrealistic and far more misleading because they don't have the subconscious flags that warn the viewer that the event portrayed isn't real. Chickens should be judged on the effectiveness of its comedy, not on whether it passes some arbitrary level of accuracy. Like KGB, from the trailers I've seen I doubt that I'll become a fan - not because it's set in and around WW1, not because it's inaccurate but because it isn't all that funny.

Keith

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. Would Harry Patch find "Chickens" funny?

And why should this be the standard we should apply?

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And why should this be the standard we should apply?

Fair point. As someone who was in Northern Ireland pre-ceasefire I will rephrase "When will they have a TV comedy about PIRA/CLMC?" Is WW1 to raw to be comedy? WW2? We covered this about and all I can say is it is subjective.

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Dad's Army is still one of the funniest things ever on British TV, and started when WW2 was a relatively near memory; I seem to recall there were moans at the time about lack of respect, but the point was that the programme was affectionate and gentle, and really aimed more at taking the rise out of the usual British obssessions of class, gender and age (and the weather, of course). I found Allo Allo and Blackadder Goes Forth pretty much the same.

Chickens I am unsure about but as I don't have Sky it won't worry me, will it?

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I'm sure it will be available on DVD in the near future, for everyone to 'enjoy'. Possibly, even in time for the 'present fest.' near the end of the year! Worry not pals without the dish attached to your outside wall..

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"Dad's army" no problem. Oddly enough "It ain't 'alf hot Mum" though dated was funny at the time (bear in mind only 2 channels!). Another question - why is 90% of UK TV stuck in "Downton Abbey" and "Foyles war"? Did nothing happen here after 1949?

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Lots been happening in the Nordik countries. We seem to have given up on war and westerns moving towards crime thrillers.The Wire, Soprano's and Broadchurch all worth a watch IMHO.

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Did nothing happen here after 1949?

Nothing good.

I'm sure it will be available on DVD in the near future, for everyone to 'enjoy'. Possibly, even in time for the 'present fest.' near the end of the year! Worry not pals without the dish attached to your outside wall..

Stop it. I want the DVD boxed set (with extras) of the Count's TV series.

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Fair point. As someone who was in Northern Ireland pre-ceasefire I will rephrase "When will they have a TV comedy about PIRA/CLMC?" Is WW1 to raw to be comedy? WW2? We covered this about and all I can say is it is subjective.

Patrick Kealty, amongst others, during and after the troubles has consistently taken the piss out of both sides, I recall in those halcyon days when we had a tv seeing his routine in Belfast, shocked silence for a few seconds then belly laughs

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