Ellie and Natasia evaluate – this outrageously good sketch present is like trendy French and Saunders

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Ellie and Natasia evaluate – this outrageously good sketch present is like trendy French and Saunders
Ellie and Natasia evaluate – this outrageously good sketch present is like trendy French and Saunders



You may recognise Natasia Demetriou from her star flip as imperious vampire Nadja within the hit mockumentary sequence What We Do within the Shadows, or from her brother Jamie’s Channel 4 sitcom Stath Lets Flats, by which she performs the titular property agent’s meek, vacantly grinning sister. You may also recognise Ellie White from Stath (she is stony-faced postwoman Katia), or as an impeccably plummy Princess Beatrice in royal spoof The Windsors.You most likely gained’t recognise Demetriou and White from their sketch double act. Alhough the pair have been performing collectively for a few years, their idiosyncratic model of chaotic but minutely noticed character comedy has by no means had a correct TV platform. Till now: Ellie and Natasia (BBC Three) extends their 2019 pilot of the identical title into six 15-minute episodes.Will it make sketch superstars of the pair? Unlikely. For one factor, the sketch-show-as-cultural phenomenon appeared to die out with Little Britain, in Britain at the least. For an additional, Ellie and Natasia is bizarre sufficient to qualify as one thing you don’t see on TV every single day: precise various comedy.Not “various” within the barely flabby sense; these are sketches with clear premises and punchlines, tight buildings and jokes that make sense. However Ellie and Natasia is patently not designed to enchantment to everybody. If it have been, it wouldn’t work. That’s as a result of the present’s USP is its hyper-specificity: White and Demetriou’s characters are festooned with particulars and dialogue that really feel outrageously spot-on. It’s not precisely in-jokey, however most sketches depend on a way of recognition that may both come screaming out of the display in direction of you, or gained’t.Ellie White and Natasia Demetriou because the Brothers Pomodoro. {Photograph}: Claire Haigh/BBC/Nit TelevisionSometimes this comes within the type of the right cultural reference level: a surreal riff on Saturday Kitchen’s ridiculous applause breaks ends with a teaser for Rag’n’Bone Man; a recurring sketch a few grotty magnificence enterprise run by an overconfident Greek-Cypriot lady and her terrified cousin (who’re each, crucially, dressed prefer it’s nonetheless 2004) mentions a celebration the place the DJ performs “solely CeeLo Inexperienced”. Typically it’s the vernacular itself that’s so gratifyingly correct: each misogynistic syllable that comes out of the mouths of culinary duo the Brothers Pomodoro (they’ll solely make tomato sauce) is depressingly buyable.There’s quite a lot of scalpel-sharp social satire right here, however it’s delivered with uncommon nonchalance. One of many highlights is a sequence of stylishly filmed, quick-fire Q&As – the kind that might be an advert for something – with a choice of unbearable millennial cliches: a lady with a pixie haircut; the mockney indie singer with a well-known dad; the acolyte of the singer Newton Faulkner whose supreme day includes “diabolo on the inexperienced outdoors the Homes of Parliament”. Each reply they provide is flawlessly evocative of a sure stereotype.The pair are equally meticulous in relation to their very own vibe. Ellie and Natasia has a particular verbal flavour that remembers the greats: like French and Saunders, the pair have a foolish shared language that may solely be the product of spending far an excessive amount of time collectively. Each double acts even have the same style for the grotesque that walks a high quality line between pleasingly outrageous and a bit disagreeable. I virtually cried with laughter on the sketch by which a blood-spurting Demetriou insists on opening her associates’ beer bottles along with her tooth. And the parody of pop stars who gown and act like creepily suggestive toddlers manages to be hilariously uncomfortable somewhat than disturbing. (With reference to nice musical sendups, there’s additionally an episode-stealing look by Jamie Demetriou as DJ Huge Boy, performing probably the most bathetic track about “pussy” ever crooned.)It’s not wall-to-wall laughs. There are a few weak, overly lengthy skits (the countless bedsheet thought is simply tedious), and one cake-based premise that feels stale. However these are minor gripes, as a result of Ellie and Natasia achieves one of the elusive objectives in comedy: it rings true. To have characters say issues you may completely think about individuals like these saying, exaggerated by a small and really exact quantity for comedian impact, is a uncommon pleasure. With Ellie and Natasia, White and Demetriou have proved they actually get it – hopefully, sufficient individuals watching at house will, too.



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