Spitting Image: U.S. Election Special
American Nightmare: Trump’s Breadline Kids
The adverts used to supply the wittiest, most entertaining moments of an evening’s viewing.
Leonard Rossiter spilled Cinzano down Joan Collins’s dress, a man with a comb-over found happiness in a cigar . . . it was telly stardust.
But the advert that masqueraded as the finale for the return of Spitting Image (ITV) was the crudest piece of lavatorial humour ever devised to sell us anything.
It’s hard to describe in a family newspaper, but suffice to say it featured the American President using an unconventional part of his anatomy to wield the pen as he signed up online to the streaming video service, Britbox.
This whole episode was an extended plug for the series on BritBox (£5.99 a month). It was an odd one to choose, since the U.S. election is out of our control
If we subscribed, too, we could watch the second part of a U.S. election special, and several other episodes released last month. Though after sitting through half an hour of flaccid jokes and unconvincing impressions, why would you want more?
Spitting Image was once lethal satire, a blood-tipped corkscrew skewering politicians and celebs. It could be brutal, clever and barking funny — not always, but often enough to be memorable.
After a lay-off of nearly 25 years, it returned via Britbox, the repeats-on-demand channel set up by ITV and the BBC. Britbox clearly has ambitions to emulate Netflix and Amazon Prime, by commissioning new series, and bringing back Spitting Image was a sure way to earn headlines.
But it’s pitifully obvious this version is British humour meant for a U.S. audience, which just doesn’t work.
Some of the puppets need captions — did you spot Nancy Pelosi? Would you really know who she was, even if she had a name badge?
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