Friday, June 19, 2015

Television Review: Pompidou Season One (Netflix Original)


If you have the same habits of watching Netflix Original series as I do, then you're probably wondering whether or not "Pompidou" has a theme song which will get stuck in your head.    The answer is yes, a thousand times yes.    But that's just part of the reason why I like this show.   It seems only fitting that this would be a Netflix Original though, when Netflix is how I watched "The IT Crowd", which then brought me to "Snuff Box", then "Come Fly With Me" and then "Little Britain", which obviously was what began my interest in Matt Lucas as an actor and comedian.     You know Matt Lucas, right?  He's that guy that was in that thing.   What I actually love most about Matt Lucas is that people can know him from such different appearances.   He was a guest star on "Community", was opposite Rebel Wilson in "Bridesmaids" and I most recently saw him as a cab driver in "Paddington".

As per the Netflix description this series is about a well of man named Pompidou and his butlet who suddenly go broke.    Netflix didn't really need to sell me on this show since it has Matt Lucas in it, but as if that wasn't enough it was also noted that the show was "dialogue free" (Netflix's words, not mine), which did in fact help this to sort of jump to the front of the line of Netflix Original series I wanted to watch instead of being in the middle/end somewhere with whatever Simon Pegg is in (Sorry, Simon Pegg, there just aren't enough hours and I don't watch the amount of television I once used to)    Now the notion that it is "dialogue free" is debatable because there are sort of mumbled words where you can interpret what is being said without actually hearing the words.    Pomipdou also likes to give a rather audible "Naughty!" every so often, as he has a dog who tends to be misbehaving- at least in his eyes.

So really this just a very visual comedy where you have to not only watch it but pay attention.   Sadly, I feel as if it will fall on a lot of blind eyes as people these days seem more preoccupied with their iPhones than with what they're supposedly watching.    But do you ever notice how some television shows and movies have sort of down time?  I first noticed this years and years ago when I went to see a movie in the theater.   I make it a habit to always go to the bathroom before seeing a movie so I don't have to leave the theater and miss any of it.    But this was a movie I had seen before and was simply seeing it again in theaters for some reason.    Just for a point of reference, it was either "X2" or one of the Lord of the Rings movies, but I don't recall exactly.

I remember thinking "This would be a good place to go to the bathroom" because I knew it was that down time in the movie where a lot wasn't going to happen and I didn't feel like I was going to miss much of what I'd already seen.   I really do feel as if those in charge of such things like to leave breaks in movies especially so if you want to tune out for a minute or twenty, look up the movie on iMBD or see what's trending on Twitter then you won't really miss anything.   "Pompidou" on the other hand commands that you pay attention to it because you can't simply "listen along" and look up for what you might think to be the more interesting bits.    For that, I truly do commend this show as I feel like we need to go back to the times of silent movies in order to make film great again because that's the only way to get people to once again pay attention in this distracted society of ours.

Remember when I said this show had a catchy theme song?   There is also an episode where Pompidou gets up as a Freddie Mercury and sings the songs of Queen only replacing all of the words with his own name.   We did this once in the car, several days after seeing the episode, when the "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" double song came on and it was most fun.   So not only does this song get stuck in your head, you'll begin to use it to replace words in other songs.  

There isn't a paricularly large cast- just two men and a dog with the occasional person here and there when they go outside; just like real life.   The way the language is conveyed reminds me of Mr. Bean and in a lot of other ways this show just reminds me of something such as that but also even the work of Peter Sellers.    My three year old watches it with us because it's obviously not got bad words but is also a comedy so no gore or sex and he actually really likes it and thinks it's funny, though of course his favorite character is the dog.

As of right now there are only six episodes of "Pompidou" on Netflix but I do hope for more.    Until that time comes, I will simply be watching these over and over because I really don't tire of them.    Hopefully someone out there can put down their iPhone or iPad long enough to realize what a special and funny show this is and get some more episodes going, but in the society in which we live today I'm not really all that hopeful.

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