Daily greet! *blows kiss*
So here’s the thing. I saw the trailer for This is Jinsy, thought it looked like fun, and with all those familiar faces, it was sure to be good. Saw bits of episode two (the one with the rampaging hair) with the Squeeze and thought “dafuq is this?” I did not let this discourage me from a series link on the +box, and went on to watch episodes three and four.
What I saw was weird … and wonderful. To put icing on the cake, they also provided music – catchy, nay earwormy, folk type music. Okay, I’m still struggling with the incomprehensible “Element Repords” provided by weather monk Tracee Henge (David Hatton), but it was during one of those segments when I finally “got it”. It’s like Vogon poetry! If there is one kind of gibberish I’m tremendously fond of, it’s Vogon poetry.
The whole show is a bit like that. It’s not a sketch show, nor is it a sitcom. It’s a bit like Monty Python, but with more colour and fancier sweaters.
Apparently, British comedy shows can lure me in with music. Horrible Histories is a case in point – I sing along with those songs in my car and I’m sad series five was the last (looking forward to the upcoming Valentine’s Day special, though!). I seem to recall there were at least some bits of music in The Mighty Boosh, but I wasn’t taken with that show. It was not really funny weird, it was more … fecking weird. Others have mentioned The League of Gentlemen, but I haven’t seen any of that so I don’t know. All I know is that the first series is available on Sky On Demand, and I watched all of it in under 24 hours (four episodes in the evening, five the next early afternoon) and sort of … got really into it.
Did I mention you can buy the songs on iTunes and Amazon MP3? There are two albums, one for each series, and both are £7-odd, which I was fine with. Until I put them all in a playlist and realised it only amounted to about 45 minutes, and Rob Brydon’s badger song has to be bought separately. Oh well.
What’s the show about? It’s about the island of Jinsy and its inhabitants. Chief among them is Arbiter Maven (Justin Chubb) and his assistant, Operator Sporall (Chris Bran). The island is loosely based on Guernsey, where the creators (Bran and Chubb) are from. There are many strange customs on Jinsy, such as the triannual wedding lottery, the festival of Nacken, and so on. Postal delivery is handled by pigs. Every resident is assigned to a numbered chalet, and the island is full of Tesselators, which is part TV, part pill dispensary, part surveillance, and part a number of other things. There’s a vibrant folk scene in the Moosic Tavern. Overseeing the Arbiter is a mysterious entity known as The Great He (Jinsy praise him!), and there’s also a religion based around the Permed Owl of Veronica.
Well, I did say it was weird.
Soosan Noop (Alice Lowe, Horrible Histories), while not pining for Maven, looks after the Tesselators. In the Law Caves, Trince (Geoffrey McGivern) – stand on the rug, you’re dripping – takes care of the more administrative side of things. Then there are of course a whole host of guest stars, such as David Tennant as the very camp wedding lottery official (1.1), Catherine Tate as a hygiene magazine editor (1.3), Ben Miller as a free range, ink-drinking accountant and his daughter (2.2), Jane Horrocks as the head of the White Apron Playgroup (1.6), Peter Serafinowicz as a cupboard salesman who gets mistaken for The Great He (1.2), and Katy Brand as a fortune teller (2.3) and many others. There is at least one famous guest star in every episode.
If you’re not sure this is your sort of thing, have a look at some videos and see if they appeal to you.