We’re dealing with a back-combed asymmetric bouffant the size of a cow, what do you want me to do give it a shampoo and set?” with this cry Stephen Fry sets the tone for the whole second series of This Is Jinsy. Jinsy is a place of weirdness, whimsey and wonder with a dark underlying tyrannical streak, it is a place with feral accountants, singing obituaries and Sandy’s Choice – a talent show judged by a dog.
With a pilot put out by the BBC This Is Jinsy was eventually picked up by Sky Comedy and is now in it’s second series, perhaps a little too off the wall for the BBC since the inevitable demise of the brilliantly offbeat The Mighty Boosh; Sky has definitely hit gold with this thoroughly British comedy series. The potential love child of The League of Gentlemen and Monty Python, This Is Jinsy is the next in a long, orderly queue of bizarre British comedies.
Set on an island, loosely based on Guernsey the home of the two writers Chris Bran and Justin Chubb, This Is Jinsy‘s whimsey takes place in 20 minute long independent stories. While it is not a sketch show there are elements of the genre in the short snippets of the islands TV that we are treated to. In these interruptions to the story we are gifted with such musical numbers as “Vegetable Tricks” and “This Mock Fireplace You Gave Me”, as well as the show Extreme Etiquette for Girls.
This Is Jinsy is full of love and cynicism about British culture, with the village fair featuring such delights as ‘Vegetables that look like their owners’ wonderfully juxtaposed with an assassination plot. There is a dark humour that runs deeply through the show, the island is a dictatorship run by the inept Arbiter who is answerable to the great He, a being that appears to live underneath the island itself. These deeper aspects of the show are so easily balanced and absorbed by the quirky humour that emerge in dark comical treats such as jumper based terrorism and a marriage lottery.
Embrace the bizarre and watch This Is Jinsy. The myriad of celebrity cameos is astonishing (their roles being no less than outlandish); one particular favourite is Rob Brydon as the performer of the instant classic “When I Dress Up As A Female Badger”. One of the most eclectic and extraordinary comedy shows to be released for a long time, This Is Jinsy is a peculiar testament to the British wit.
Series Two is released on DVD Monday 24th February, 2014.
Charlotte Keeys, @jackanoryreview