The visual gag and the actors body in the British vs America comedy. Matt Berry is a good writer? What does Cowboy Beebop has to do with Fallout? Reaching the viewer through violence and disgut, ideas about The Boys and Fallout.


Matheus Siqueira: Welcome to the Shitty Diary, Wannabe Cinephile, Episode Two. So, yesterday, I figured out that there were a couple of audio problems. Hope this time it’s better. And today, we’re going to talk about two apparently non-linked series that I’ve been watching, but that actually are. Okay, I’m really forcing the question here, but I actually have a very interesting link between them, which is a very unknown British TV series from 2012, I think it began, called “The Toast of London,” and the series that I talked about yesterday, which I’m currently watching, that is Episode Two of the “Fallout” series that is on, I think, Amazon Prime.

Yep. So let’s start from the first one, “The Toast of London.” So “The Toast of London” is a series from 2012 with Matt Berry. If that name doesn’t ring a bell for you, you’ve probably seen him in a lot of stuff because he’s been doing a lot of more American productions lately. And he’s a comedian. He has this very bravado way of interpreting, very physical, very strong presence. I think the last thing I remember that he did that was big was the series “What We Do in the Shadows.” This series, not the movie, this series, yeah, where he’s the experimental guy with Nadia. I forgot his name. He’s the sexy experimental scientist vampire that’s together with Nadia. Anyways, and I think the first time I saw him was in the IT crowd. He’s the boss in the IT crowd, which is amazing. And then, you know, scrolling through Reddit, I found a clip of him doing kind of this voiceover session, which is amazing, the short clip, which is where the director is trying to give him instructions, but every time he gives him instructions, he has to take the button off of the microphone from inside the side booth. So you only hear the non-instruction parts. Well, whenever he wants to say exactly what he needs to change in his performance and his voiceover performance, he removes the button. He removes the finger from the button. So no one hears him. And it’s a very funny series, a very funny clip.

So I decided to watch where it was from. And it’s from a series called “The Toast of London,” which is written by Matt Berry and someone else. I don’t know, I don’t remember right now, but as the title says, “The Toast of London” is Matt Berry. So his name in the series is Steve Toast. And he’s this kind of failing washed-out actor, which is struggling to live. And as someone who likes film a lot, cinema a lot, I always love series related to whatever is in the industry, and actor series is something that I always, always like. So you have the deep person, the 10%, which is amazing. You have even series that that Person is an actor, but it’s not the main point like Pamela Adlon series, “Better Things,” another amazing series. Then you have a lot of also this kind of series where the theme interages, is like the back scenes of the industry. And this in case is a very comedic series about this. So, and it’s comedic, but towards the campy side of things. So this is what I would like to, you know, think about. I’m still, I’m still trying to figure out this series. I’m still trying to understand this series because I only watched the first four episodes. And it’s starting to grow on me. Initially, I thought it was maybe too campy, too. No, I think there’s a problem. Not a problem, but I think there’s a characteristic with series or things made and written by actors who have a very strong, uh, visual comedic language.

So I think Matt Berry, he comes from this lineage of British humor, and I’m not an expert in this, so correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know a lot of British television, the history or cinema also, but you have this kind of very strong line that you can create, you know, between Monty Python and I know Rowan Atkinson’s with Mr. Bean, Blackadder. And, which is this kind of the visual gag of comedy, which I find very interesting because if you top to think about it. This is something that at the beginning of Hollywood was very strong. So with Chaplin, with Buster Keaton, you know, Buster Keaton, the king of the visual gag. But that in America kind of declined with time, no? They kind of moved on. And I’m not saying this is something good or bad, but they kind of moved away. That’s a better term. Instead of moving on, I will say they moved away from the visual gag towards a more cerebro type of comedy. What I mean by that is kind of a comedy that is not so body, where the body language isn’t so strong, but that requires kind of more, uh, reasoning from part of the audience.

While you can see that with Monty Python, with Mr. Bean, with, well, Mr. Bean, with Rowan Atkinson because he did this both in Mr. Bean and Blackadder, and also the other things he did, and with this, which is kind of, uh, following in this, in this tradition, it seems like the, the British, they maintained a stronger, a stronger, um, a stronger, um, Language, you know, a stronger visual language where the body expresses part of the comedy, where in America, the body leaves the comedy and it becomes more the language. So I think this is, this is a very interesting point, no? Why did the British maintain this body visual language? And for me, I particularly, I’ve been thinking in the last. This is more, this is actually quite interesting, you know, because it’s not denying the existence of the comedic body, you know, that like the body of the actor, it’s part of, it’s, it’s a very more integral part of the comedy in the UK.

Why is that? I really don’t know. Does this showcase something of the British society, maybe, that isn’t so strong in America, this America, America’s kind of moving away towards what they consider something more, uh, high comedy, while the British accept that even in a space where comedy is, uh, is important, but that this body still has a very strong visual language, maybe because of the theater.

Also, I think, you know, that the British tradition of the theater, because in theater, you have to think that the, the, the, the, the body itself is something very present. It’s something very strong and, um, yeah, maybe, maybe that’s some of the reasons. Maybe there’s some more underlying psychological issues. Or, not issues, but reason in the British society, which I unfortunately am not an expert also to understand.

But I find it, hmm, I find it very, very interesting comparison. Why does this happen in the UK? Why is it possible, for example, it’s still a relatively new series, no 2012. But why is a series from 2012 so reliant on On the visual gag, which for some, and for me also, for

me, when I started watching, I said, Oh, this is not the type of comedy that I like, that I’m used to this kind of idea of having different levels of how conceptual or high or how, how high level a comedy show can be.

Um, maybe this is another point also, maybe the stand-up, you know, I think America also has this more traditional stand-up in the last 20th century where it makes, Visual gag is also kind of badly seen, you know, so I’m thinking now maybe the stand-up maybe because in America they were the first to actually transition from a talkie movie.

So like, sorry, from a silent movie where the visual gag was the most important and they had this very hard transition to this. Talking movies where sound and people actually wanted to, needed to talk. And for commercial reasons, they actually had to sell this a lot faster than the other countries that took longer to make this transition.

What does this affect? So they actually had to change their style of comedy because of a commercial necessity when transitioning from silent to sound cinema. Hmm, an interesting point. The stand-up in the 20, throughout the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century being very, very strong in America and being apart from where all the comedians come from.

Maybe it’s in contrast with this, with the more, uh, theatrical reliance of British culture where the body is more, it’s more important where the acting is not just, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not just something that comes from the sound as in standup, you know, or from the pauses or from how you create your logic, but it’s also something that comes from the body and maybe more, more factors that I’m not aware of, but made this kind of interesting separation between what.

Can be considered American comedy and this more reliance of British comedy in the, in the visual gag. And of course this is not everything, you know, you can go to a lot of other examples of British comedies that don’t rely on this more kind of bodily comedic shows.

It seems to me that it’s still very an interesting comparison to make between the two. No? And so moving on. I probably will have more to say about the Toast of London with Steve Toast played by Matt Berry as I watch this series. But the connection here to Fallout, okay, this is not the best connection in the world that I could find.

I’m sorry. But the Matt Berry is also in the Fallout series and I just watched yesterday that. Episode two and episode two. I think I liked it less than episode one. So no, I think the world-building was really well done. And I’m going to make a comment here because I was talking to my girlfriend yesterday who also watched episode one and also listened to the first episode of the podcast. And she disagreed with me with this and I found an entry because maybe I’m biased.

So she opened my eyes. That maybe I’m biased because for her, she didn’t agree that the Brotherhood of Steel and the last, the Gau, the Gou, Gou Cowboy is well built. So it left a lot open and I think, yeah, maybe analyzing now and with the foresight that I played the games, I know the story of the Brotherhood of Steel, although.

Not so well because it’s way, I don’t remember it well, but having this kind of background already from, from the games affected my judgment on how well the second part, the second and the third part of the opening episode are, no? So I think that, yes. Maybe it’s not so well built. As I thought yesterday, but the second episode, it kind of already throws away most of the world-building, just explaining a little bit, not so much this kind of mystery of the mystery of the doctor and his dog.

Now, what is that chip that he inserted in his neck? Doesn’t explain what does this dog have that is so impressive? Also doesn’t explain, do they have to explain this? No, I imagine they are going to explain this throughout this series. No, I mean. One of the, one of the anime that I like the most, and I’m not a big fan of animes, but Cowboy Bebop, the original series, the anime series, not the live-action Netflix that kind of threw away with this.

I loved it because it didn’t give any world-building, any background. It gave this throughout this series. So it kind of inverted this idea that you have to actually create. A back, a backdrop so that people can understand. No, it kind of just inverted it. It started throwing you, throwing you inside all of the action with this mysterious characters.

And throughout the whole series, you slowly get to know who they are. And it was kind of an interesting experiment that I actually loved. That is so amazing. Anyway. So why did I bring Cowboy Bebop into Fallout? Because. Yeah, it, it, it, it, it accepts the more traditional way of storytelling.

And once you accept the more traditional way of storytelling, maybe there’s some things that you have to explain a little bit, a little bit better. What does the Brotherhood of Steel actually want? I think that’s the main question that was open. Hopefully they answered at some point in the series. Um, why are they searching for a toaster?

You know, so in the, in the episode two, the guy asked, you know, why What the fuck does a toaster mean is gonna change or something? So why are they looking for this pre-war tech? I think is the main question that the Brotherhood of Steel part would have to answer at some point. Let’s see. Let’s see.

And they developed a little bit more, you know, the character of the, of the, of Tidus. So we actually see he’s not a toaster. Such a good guy, no? He’s willing to do some. He’s willing to go that extra mile to get what he wants. Anyways, I particularly liked a little bit less the second episode. Let’s see how this series continues evolving.

Let’s see how it goes. And anything, oh yeah, yeah, and for last, also, one commentary that my girlfriend had was the relations between the characters. Fallout and the boys, no, both are at the prime prime platform. So I think there is an interesting comparison in both, both kind of have this ironic take on American society.

I’ve had another interesting comparison. Um, I watched the boys and I, the huge fan. Not really. I don’t really like superheroes, but yeah, they did this kind of this different superheroes movie where it’s a criticism of the superheroes and how this reliance of America and superheroes, no? The superheroes figuratively and also literally, no?

Like, kind of the president. Why do Americans have so much reliance on superheroes? Why do people think that just one person, be it a superhero, no? With superpowers, or be it a regular person who is elected to president can actually do a lot of change. I don’t know. This is kind of, I think the question that the boys ask and the boys criticize also that everyone is failable.

Everyone has an agenda and in the bottom, everyone is just. Despicable people. No, that’s kind of the criticisms great criticism that it makes

, but how it does it, it’s, I think, yes. You have the irony. Yes. They both talk about American society. Um, the boys maybe has a different criticism about American society.

I would say that, yeah, the boys has this idea of criticizing this over reliance on someone thinking that they can make great changes. Which is kind of, you know, the American narrative that has been pushed throughout the 20th century, you know, the superheroes, people that are important, all the awards given to people who change the world, anyways, yeah.

While Fallout has this cool I would say this criticism of America throughout the vault dwellers and the vault tech of corporations trying to explore the desire to not know the real world. You know, the desire of is of isolation. That is one. I’m not saying that’s the only point, no, but I think that’s kind of like the main point.

Can you or can you not live in a blissful isolation? That’s I think one of the interesting questions that is proposed by this series. But also one difference also is, okay, both, uh, both go a lot towards the violence. To make this point, uh, but I think the boys work with something that I’m trying to find the word in English, which is that both in Spanish and Portuguese is asco.

Disgust. Yes. The boys work with disgust. So it’s very, it’s very disgustful. I mean, you have the sex scene with the fish man, and they proposal, and they force you to watch a very It’s not awful, but it’s a very disgusting scene, no? I mean, how the fish man is being fucked through his gills and just speaking about it.

It’s very Disgusting. Yes. I mean it kind of brings this Provocation towards the viewer sensibilities through disgust which is not present in Fallout. It’s a little bit more subtle No, it has violence They both have irony, and I think it kind of tries to appeal to the viewer’s sensibility throughout the, throughout this contraposition, you know, of the music being this music from this happy era towards this very extreme violence that is happening, which is something that already the video game is.

Brought at least the video game Fallout 4. So yeah, that’s one of them Just some philosophical thoughts about the differences compared to another couple of series. Anyways, that’s about it for today Hope you liked this episode. If you liked it, you can follow Subscribe at your favorite platform right now We are in Apple podcast on Spotify on pocket casts with a which I particularly like Like and use.

And you can also send me a [email protected]. Yep. And I’m trying to get the transcripts done. If you want to follow and read the transcripts, it’s probably in the description of this episode. See you. See you soon. See you in Space Cowboy. That’s the end of the cowboy. Be Bob, which I should have.

I should I. Which I will have to talk, talk about some point. Okay. See ya.

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