After publishing a rant about 'idiots' - frantically hip, ignorant scenesters - Dan Ashcroft finds these same people embracing him as his idol and his nerves constantly tested by his biggest fan, moronic scene personality Nathan Barley.
This parody series is an unearthed 80s horror/drama, complete with poor production values, awful dialogue and hilarious violence. The series is set in a Hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell.
A collection of bleakly dark comedy sketches pushing the boundaries of taste, decency and television in general, shot using new and different techniques and fading slowly in and out of each other against a slow musical soundtrack. Regular themes include death, insanity and, most often of all, the medical profession.Written by
English-French avant pop band Stereolab lifted lines from each episode for their song "Nothing to Do with Me", which can be heard from their 2001 album ''Sound-Dust''. See more »
During the Thick Agency sketch in episode 1, the CCTV footage of Julia Davis approaching the help desk shows both the boom mic and camera operators standing behind her. The camera is visible again moments later in the sketch, reflected in the help desk's window. See more »
I provide a service despatching stupid people for the things they're best at. Like winning arguments. Stupid people are great at winning arguments because they're too stupid to realize they've lost.
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"jaaaaam" was a 'remixed' version of the series, made to be viewed later at night. Effects like vapour trails, making speech further out of sync, and filming scenes played out on a TV screen made the episodes even woozier than usual. The sound mix was also slightly changed, with some sound effects removed and others added. See more »
Dark, disturbing, often "unfunny"...yet consistently excellent.
I have a unique relationship with Jam, as I'm sure many other viewers do too.
Never before Jam have I watched a comedy show which remains completely compelling even though I found that a good 70% of the sketches weren't conventionally "funny".
That's not to say the series isn't amusing: it is, frequently. A few sketches did have me laughing out loud. But more often than not it produces hushed, disquieted laughs that you almost feel ashamed for producing.
This is to the show's credit, since it deliberately possesses a uniquely weird and disturbing atmosphere. Sketches frequently take familiar situations or concepts and bury them under an insane haze that seems equal parts bad drug trip and delirious nightmare. The visuals and sound frequently distort, rendering even "simple" sketch setups creepy or unusual.
There is almost always an intelligent thought or meaning behind the bleak tone and disorientating effects. One of my favourite sketches features a well-to-do man narrating a story regarding a man's absurd suicide attempt and provides a surprisingly poignant satire of lacklustre mental health care and bystander apathy in society.
The cast is great - Mark Heap is one of my favourite actors/comics, and gives another splendid performance in his varied roles here. Morris' writing and performance is top notch, as is David Cann's and...well, pretty much everyone, really.
The intro clips also bear mention: each episode is opened with Morris performing a very dark and disjointed poetic monologue linking the (usually horrific) fates of several characters. The intros are universally fantastic and really show off the talent of Morris at his best.
The show does have disadvantages: chiefly, the sketch content sometimes goes over borders many viewers will be uncomfortable with. Indeed, sketches featuring disabled people and child abuse/death are quite common, and are universally shocking.
However, if you think you can stomach taboo humour and have a mind open to such an unusual programme, I highly recommend it. It's likely that in between the guilty laughs and shocked silences, you'll find you take away an appreciation for the atmosphere and some of the questions the pitch black humour poses.
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