A fake British accent can be sooooooo annoying. Like when it’s coming from Tyra Banks. Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong used to sing in fake British accent, too, and people hated it, but I dug it. Some things just sound better in British. Punk music is one, and stuffy, silly comedy is another.
Dave Beeler and Tom Konkle are an American comedy duo who perform the majority of their material in a Queen’s English that could fool Henry Higgins. Their work in undeniably Pythonesque, and both have, in fact worked with the Pythons themselves. Tom has even written material for John Cleese. How’s that for comic credibility?
The team’s website boasts an impressive array of of video content, including the web series Invention with Brian Forbes, a simple talk show parody in which a long-suffering presenter hosts the same dubiously qualified guest every episode. Earlier this year Invention scored distribution on TiVO via KoldCast.tv, but Dave and Tom are currently in production for a far more ambitious web series.
Safety Geeks: S.V.I appears to be Dave and Tom’s bid for the big leagues. The series’ teaser is billed as “mix of surreal Adult Swim humor with a Monty Python take on CSI, Missing, Without a Trace, NCIS etc.. and all those serious investigative shows.”
S.V.I is a loose parody of procedural dramas, and stars Dave and Tom as Reginald Syngen-Smithe and Budwin W. Yaker, a pair of Professional Occupational Safety Hazard (P.O.S.H) agents (basically, glorified saftey inspectors). The duo’s accompanied by stripper/psychologist/profiler Dr. Randi Minky (Brittney Powell), who looks like she’s straight out of Silk Stalkings.
It’s a comedy rule as old as time (or at least the Three Stooges) that if you bring in a specialist to solve a problem, things are going to go from bad to worse, and accordingly, the amount of impaled workers and severed limbs only multiply once the P.O.S.H team is on the scene. Through excessive use of green screens, the agents find themselves in a variety of accident prone, blue-collar workplaces, trying to piece together what went wrong.
The tone is old-school British sketch comedy in every way, combining the silliness of Monty Python with the innocently naughty Boobs ‘n’ Underwear humor of Benny Hill. But those looking for more pointed parody of forensic dramas may feel shorted by the trailer. It seems that the much of the procedural-parody idea was conceived after the pilot was shot (the show was originally called Is It Safe?), so there are not as many references to cliched conventions of the crime scene genre as there could be.
Procedural dramas have been far too popular for far too long to escape eviscerating parody. There are serious LOLs to be found in such a self-serious genre, and since Dave and Tom have proven skill at taking down the self-serious, I’m hoping that before wrapping production they’ll rent a few seasons of CSI and take notes.