Having a go at Armstrong and Miller feels a bit wrong. They’re clearly very nice people and between them, both as a team and solo, have provided more laughs than sneers from this writer.
However, with that niceness comes an inevitable threat of being a little biege… and the first in the new series of The Armstrong and Miller Show (BBC One) went beyond biege and into a neutral grey.
And I feel awful for saying it.
See, the World War II txtspk pilots made a return and, as ever, were great. There isn’t a pair of comics that could pull it off like this duo do. It’s their middle-class Englishness away from their characters that somehow add to the skits.
Their fun is never at anyone’s expense either, which almost makes a refreshing change from the relentless cynicism of post-Noughties comedy.
Sadly, it’s this lack of edge that makes this show bumble dangerously close to Hale and Pace territory. In fact, so much so that, in their cut-aways to their little dance routines, I’ve started imagining that they’re doing it to The Stonk… and no-one needs reminding of the existence of that.
Sketches like The Blue Peter parody and the examination room ‘Eyes To The Front’ segment left me with an overwhelming feeling of nothingness. So bland was the humour that I felt like I’d gone back in time, to an age when sketch shows had become flabby and announced their punchlines with a flare in the sky.
That said, it wasn’t all bad. The Have You Had An Accident Whilst Reconstructing An Accident For A Claims Commercial bit was pretty fun and inventive to boot.
At the close of the show, sadly, it felt like I’d wasted half an hour. Shame, I like Armstrong and Miller… as people.