Monday, March 12, 2012

Dark Romance #4 ~ The Legend of Old Gregg

You'll find SPOILERS below, so if you haven't seen this thing, but intend to, you may want to give this blog post a miss (though I do link some wee snippets of the episode below, if you're interested in checking it out).

The Legend of Old Gregg is an episode from the second series (season) of the British comedy show The Mighty Boosh. I first became aware of the Boosh on a Jet Blue flight from, I think, Texas to California - thank God for those little tellies on the seat backs! It was featured on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and I'm oh, so glad I tuned into that. The one episode I saw stirred me up enough to buy the Boosh box set on Amazon, for a really sweet price, and I haven't regretted the impulse buy for a moment.

The two Boosh, if you will, are Howard Moon and Vince Noir. Moon, a painfully uncool wanna-be hepcat, plays comic straight man to Noir's super cool, "King of the Mods" wide-eyed simpleton. (I'm over-simplifying, of course - Noir's a canny character but can come off as a bit goofy, now and again.) The show follows their escapades into some often sublimely surreal environments, and The Legend of Old Gregg is one of my favorites.

In it, Moon and Noir flee London after a spectacularly unsuccessful music gig (largely because their disgruntled audience threatens to visit violence upon them). They travel to the village of Black Lake and arrive at a pub (which is as good a place as any to recapture your "edge," I suppose). While there, they're advised to go fishing on the lake in order to sort of clear their heads and reconnect to their creative muses. They do so but when Noir proves to be a more successful fisherman than Moon, Moon sends him away in a fit of pique. Back at the pub, Noir shocks the locals by detailing where he's been and, too late, learns of the dangers of the lake on a full moon night.

Moon discovers the danger for himself when he gets his first bite of the night - Old Gregg. How, in the name of all that's holy, to describe Old Gregg? He/she/it is a humanoid monster with seaweed hair, a sort-of mustache, and a "downstairs mix-up" frequently referred to as its "man-gina." He alternates between stereotypical gender roles, first aggressively male, then submissively female - mostly, he comes off like a scale-covered dude who also wears a tutu and, later, a wedding gown, so pinning a sex on Old Gregg is a bit tricky. Oh, and he paints watercolors (naturally) and likes a glass of Baileys (for which I can't say I blame him - yum!) Anyway, Old Gregg develops a crush on Moon and whisks him away to his underwater cave/cocktail bar/quasi-disco. Moon's hardly up for a seduction but, when Old Gregg's attraction seems it will take a turn for the fatal, plays along in the hopes of escaping. This he eventually does, with a little help from Noir and their friends - however, unbeknownst to them, though the tide is high, Old Gregg's holding on.

The dark romance of it all: When Moon does his about-face and invites Old Gregg's advances, he explains his reversal by saying that, sometimes, when people begin to have romantic feelings for others, they hide them by playing games. "Love games?" Old Gregg asks, which launches them into a funny, freaky, and funky duet. Really, it's the music in this episode that enamors me, as well as pathetically lonely Old Gregg's single-minded (and, admittedly, homicidal) determination to win Moon's love.

You can find the entire episode in snippets on YouTube, though, if you dig bizarre British humor as much as I do, I strongly recommend you buy the DVD, at least series two, if not the box set. (Hey, you can even watch just this episode on Amazon's Instant Video for only $1.99!) Too, you can check out more clips on Adult Swim's Web site, if you wanna try before you buy. These fellers got the sea funk - don't you wanna get it too? I think you do.

8 comments:

  1. Perhaps I need to add this to my list.

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  2. I'd say the freebies are definitely worth checking out! :-)

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  3. Nanageddon is a good one too.

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    1. Ohmigosh, YES - Nanageddon's da bomb!!!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqKW_3JYVpA

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  4. Nice to know some of our 'home grown' comedy from the UK is appreciated over there in the US :)

    Something you might wish to take a peek at on Youtube is 'Phone Shop', and 'Green Wing' - I won't say any more and spoil it for you.

    Hope you enjoy :)

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  5. I *adore* British TV and film. UH-DORE! Among other shows, I've been avidly watching Being Human and The Fades on BBC America, and our local public broadcasting station brings us Downton Abbey, for which I am ever so grateful. As it happens, I "discovered" Green Wing on Hulu a while back! (I'm a fan of Julian Rhind-Tutt's work) But "Phone Shop" wasn't on my radar, so thanks for that! :-D

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  6. As it happens, the guy who plays the vampire in 'Being Human' is playing one of the dwarves in Peter Jackson's version of 'The Hobbit' :)

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    1. Wow, *he* will play a *dwarf*??? The magic of cinema! :-)

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