The Midnight Beast, TV review: Wacky sub-plots, original music numbers and dud gags
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Thursday 23 January 2014
E4's The Midnight Beast began a second series last night. The comedy-pop band of the same name first won fans for their YouTube video parodies of artists such as Ke$ha, before making the leap into this self-titled sitcom in 2012.
It features the band members playing versions of themselves, wacky sub-plots and original music numbers, so unfavourable comparisons to Flight of the Conchords and The Mighty Boosh are inevitable. They are also unfair, because while The Midnight Beast isn't as original as those shows, it's not aimed at the same audience either. Judging by this second series commission, the TMB's teen followers are well satisfied with their TV incarnation.
This episode made a self-deprecating reference to the gang's youth appeal. Having been employed to organise a 16th-birthday party, Stefan, Dru and Ashley tried – and failed – to come up with an appealing teen-friendly theme: "A Twilight party? What do you think I am? Fifteen years old, three years ago?"
There were also many more dud gags besides, but a scene in which Stefan visited a frontman support group almost compensated. Any sitcom that includes roles for both Simon Farnaby from Yonderland and Stella Street's Phil Cornwell, can't be all bad.
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