Episode 1 of Victorian crime parody Year Of The Rabbit left this Spoilt Victorian Child a tad underwhelmed, I must admit. It was all, ‘Titty-cockity-fucky-shitbags’ in lieu of genuinely good gags and wordplay.
When swearing is done right, as with Fry & Laurie back in the day, or Alan Partridge saying, ‘butter my arse’, it’s glorious. This just seemed lazy, in contrast.
But there were some amusing moments, as when the tropes of crime drama were mocked, or the coquettish strip club scene (‘Look at my ankles…mmmm’).
However, episode 2 has been brilliant- a real step-up. Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley have improved the writing immensely. Support from Paul Kaye and Keeley Hawes is wonderfully dark, and with characters like Murky John The Tosher, there’s more than a soupcon of The Mighty Boosh.
Susan Wokoma as Mabel is really developing into a badass, Matt Berry doesn’t grate as much this time around as the titular Inspector Rabbit, and Freddie Fox is hilariously gauche and oddly attractive in his Victorian garb as Strauss (fox is right, grrrrr…)
This is my favourite exchange from tonight’s show:
Strauss: ‘My legs are like jelly, I can’t breathe. Am I in love?’
Rabbit: ‘No, you’ve just passed the hat factory. You’re off your tits on airborne mercury’.
Year of the Rabbit is on Mondays, Channel 4 at 10pm.