March 2018
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The Trip:

I think I saw ‘A Cock and Bull Story’ at the cinema twice. Although I enjoyed the visualisation of the novel, my favourite parts were the scenes that showed the making of the film – Steve Coogan coming across as a priggish uptight lothario sparring with Rob Brydon’s lovable bumbling oaf. So, I was looking forward to ‘The Trip’, a six part series for BBC2 directed by Michael Winterbottom that span out of those scenes. Sam Wollaston, reviewing it in The Guardian, said it was ‘wanky and self-indulgent’, but I tend to pay more attention to Laura Barton, and she wrote a far more generous preview of the show the week before.

I loved it. I love how you can’t tell where fiction ends and reality begins. I love how it plays with what we assume about the characters. Coogan fancies himself, thinks British TV is below him, is forever chasing after women, and is seen sadly phoning his ex-missus who seems to be doing just fine without him. Brydon, on the other hand, just gets along, he doesn’t seem to worry about things, he’s nice to people, and he has left a family behind to go on the trip. You can’t tell where the script ends and the improvisation starts. There’s a wonderful scene in the first episode where the two of them sit at the dinner table, arguing about impressions. They just look like they’re two old mates arguing about nonsense, and Mrs M said there’s a moment where Brydon is droning on, and Coogan’s eyes just show his love for his old friend. It’s either completely natural, or its bloody good acting.

Either way, I think this series is a cut above every other British comedy that I’ve seen for years, which is the reason why I’m going on about it after one episode. It’s probably a bit marmite, maybe a bit wanky and self-indulgent, but its fantastic. There’s probably a clip down below.

2 comments to The Trip:

  • Haven’t seen it yet. We’re banking things like this up on the DRD, for those long winter evenings when there’s nothing else on the TV.

  • Rol

    I liked it. I didn’t LOVE it, but it made me chuckle and it felt natural. It’ll be interesting to see how it progresses. The characters are set, as expected, now I’d like to see them surprise us and take them a little out of their comfort zone. If it ends up after 6 episodes exactly where it began, I’ll be disappointed.

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