Shiny Shelf


By Alex Fitch on 01 August 2012 Comments Off

Fun, but over familiar; if you’re bored of the Olympics and have seen The Dark Knight Rises, ‘Ted’ is a reasonable way to spend a couple of hours in an air conditioned room.

By Mags L Halliday on 04 April 2012 Comments Off

This new TV version of an old radio programme shows that simplicity can really work.

By Jonn Elledge on 10 June 2011 Comments Off

It’s not a great sign when the cast list for a film makes more interesting viewing than the film itself.

By Eddie Robson on 09 March 2011 Comments Off

Asterisk introduces Obelisk to his girlfriend.

By Iain Hepburn on 24 February 2011 1 COMMENT

A triumvirate of Scots comedy shows have broken through to critical acclaim in the last couple of years, gaining support from the likes of Grace Dent despite their availability on the other side of Hadrian’s Wall being limited to iPlayer.

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By Eddie Robson on 16 February 2011 1 COMMENT

Obelisk ponders Asterisk’s inevitable obsoletion.

By Alex Fitch on 16 February 2011 1 COMMENT

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reprise another version of their amiable bromance that’s been featured in all their collaborations and is an entertaining Sci-Fi romp aimed at fans of the genre.

By Eddie Robson on 08 February 2011 2 COMMENTS

Another instalment in the lives of our dynamic duo.

By Lance Parkin on 31 December 2010 Comments Off

This is a movie that practically begs you to compare it to things that are a lot better.

By Shiny Shelf on 25 December 2010 Comments Off

One late Christmas Ever Ebenezeer Scrooge was visited by three spirits who showed him the past, the present and the Yet To Come. This is like that, but with three reviewers & Shiny’s usual pop culture nonsense. Merry Christmas.

By Jonn Elledge on 08 November 2010 Comments Off

It isn’t just that ‘Burke and Hare’ is bad, although clearly it is.

By Jim Smith on 23 August 2010 2 COMMENTS

The speed and severity of the decline in the popularity of the films of Charles Chaplin is one of the more interesting wrinkles in the history of popular perception of films

By Stephen Lavington on 11 August 2010 Comments Off

Hey kids, you liked ‘Shaun of the Dead’ right? A bunch of British comic actors play goofy slackers adrift in the middle of a zombie outbreak and resident in the suburbs and the local pub in a narrative awash with cultural references and geeky self-awareness – great stuff! The makers of ‘FAQ…’ certainly thought so [...]

By Steffan Alun on 26 April 2010 1 COMMENT

Thanks to the magic of iPlayer, the rest of the UK can catch up on BBC Scotland’s latest sketch show, ‘Burnistoun’. I’ve now seen the first two episodes.
The sketches are mostly surreal takes on mundane, everyday experiences. Setting the show apart from most sketch shows is its amiable tone, as well as the length of [...]

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By Stephen Lavington on 13 May 2009 Comments Off

The danger with satire is that it can swiftly become out of date…

By Stephen Lavington on 27 April 2008 Comments Off

‘Black Sheep’ firmly maintains the Kiwi tradition for making the grungiest, funniest and most physically substantial horror movies in the world today…

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By Jim Smith on 14 December 2007 Comments Off

‘The Mighty Boosh’ has shifted location, from Vince and Howard’s flat to Naboo’s shop, the wonderfully monikered Nabootique, this season. Of more consequence is a shift in tone.

By Abigail Twitch on 03 October 2007 Comments Off

This is the show that deserves to make Peter Serafinowicz into a household name. And rather helpfully for those households, there’s finally a definitive pronunciation of ‘Serafinowicz’.

By Eddie Robson on 12 June 2007 Comments Off

All credit to Karen Taylor for spotting an opportunity and trying to grab it…

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By Stephen Lavington on 11 December 2006 Comments Off

There are some lifestyle choices which can’t be justified by any objective standard, and a full-on enthusiasm for Chevy Chase is one of those…

By Eddie Robson on 10 December 2006 Comments Off

Given that ‘Only Fools and Horses’ has had about three episodes designed to stand as its definitive finale, it’s hard to imagine a time when the BBC wasn’t bothered about giving closure to its sitcoms…

By Eddie Robson on 01 December 2006 Comments Off

Here at Shiny Shelf we’ve come up with the wheeze of doing a sort of reviews advent calendar, building up to the festive period by writing about a Christmassy movie or TV episode for each day of advent…

By Eddie Robson on 16 October 2006 Comments Off

The second series of ‘Extras’ has concerned itself with sticking the boot into BBC1 lowest-common-denominator comedy, with questionable results…

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By Stephen Lavington on 28 September 2006 Comments Off

There’s a semi-serious strand running through ‘Clerks 2′, a maudlin tone of lost opportunity that matches with the slacker ethos of the first movie…

By Jim Smith on 17 September 2006 Comments Off

‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’ is a TV version of the radio sketch comedy series from the team behind Channel 4’s skin-crawlingly excellent ‘Peep Show’.

By Stephen Lavington on 13 July 2006 Comments Off

‘Modern Toss’ is an occasional comic book, of the sort that seems at first glance to be designed for the Nathan Barleys of East London, all excessive swearing and low-fi design.

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By Eddie Robson on 13 July 2006 Comments Off

Although the concept of ‘Annually Retentive’ may well inspire suspicion – it wouldn’t be the first TV comedy to attempt to coast on a clever idea without actually being funny – it is very funny, as well as having cleverness beyond its initial concept…

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By Eddie Robson on 02 May 2006 Comments Off

The lower overheads of producing DVDs are creating a world of joy for cineastes and TV-astes, as it becomes more viable for obscure material to get a commercial release…

By Jim Smith on 03 March 2006 Comments Off

If ‘Snuff Box’, the brilliant new semi-narrative sketch show from Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher, had a high concept it would be something along the lines of ‘What if The Persuaders were a pair of depraved hangmen?’

By Eddie Robson on 04 February 2006 Comments Off

It’s a peculiar state of affairs when the most noteworthy thing about a new Channel 4 comedy is considered to be that it takes place largely on one set and is performed in front of a studio audience…

By Stephen Lavington on 16 January 2006 Comments Off

There are some things about ‘Hyperdrive’ that are rather objectionable…

By Jim Smith on 05 January 2006 Comments Off

The beginning of a new series of ‘Just A Minute’ is always a cause for small celebrations.

By Jim Smith on 17 October 2005 Comments Off

Mary Louise Parker has always had a vast untapped potential to be lead of her own TV show.

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By Jim Smith on 12 October 2005 Comments Off

Have we now gone so far down the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ route that we’ll cheer something that’s manifestly dreadful because it might hurt someone we don’t like?

By Eddie Robson on 24 August 2005 Comments Off

As ‘Extras’ comes to the end of its BBC2 run, Ricky Gervais looks like a smarter operator than ever…

By Eddie Robson on 20 May 2005 Comments Off

What Armando Iannucci and Jesse Armstrong have done here is very simply asked themselves what ‘Yes, Minister’ would have been like had it been made today, and then made it…

By Mark Clapham on 03 May 2005 Comments Off

While never likely to please the more militant fans of earlier versions, the film ‘Hitchhikers’ stays faithful to the spirit of its author, and registers as a (qualified) success…

By Lance Parkin on 03 May 2005 Comments Off

The problem with ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ movie isn’t that it’s not faithful, it’s worse – it’s that it’s not funny.

By Eddie Robson on 28 February 2005 Comments Off

Johnny Depp’s favourite comic actor returns in what is easily the best vehicle for his talents since ‘The Fast Show’…

By Eddie Robson on 15 February 2005 Comments Off

A little belated, this review, as the CD came out last November – but as it didn’t exactly emerge in a blaze of publicity, allow us to build a little hype…

By Eddie Robson on 14 February 2005 Comments Off

Watching ‘Nathan Barley’ involves a sort of self-reflexive masochism that eventually drives you insane…

By Stephen Lavington on 08 February 2005 Comments Off

The London Film Festival has hit a hat trick of zingers with its mystery movie over the last few years. 2002 saw the Oscar-nominated Douglas Sirk tribute ‘Far From Heaven’, and 2003 showcased the immensely enjoyable ‘School of Rock’.

By Eddie Robson on 03 November 2004 Comments Off

‘The Smoking Room’ has been deemed a failure already as it arrives on BBC2 from BBC3, with the trailers tossing around quotes from glowing reviews in a desperate attempt to win higher ratings than its BBC3 run…

By Jim Smith on 24 October 2004 Comments Off

I’m partially reviewing this because some of the series biggest laughs, and most spectacular gross-out moments, are still lurking near the top of my subconscious nearly a week after a single viewing.

By Eddie Robson on 01 October 2004 Comments Off

What felt a bit hit-and-miss at first is now producing far more hits than misses…

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By Mark Clapham on 25 June 2004 Comments Off

‘The Mighty Boosh’ is cheap, and some of the ideas fall flat, but the great comic moments in the show are so good, and so inventive, that they’re well worth the wait…

By Eddie Robson on 18 March 2004 Comments Off

A glance at the BBC’s list of the nation’s favourite sitcoms demonstrates that Channel 4 has struggled to produce a genuinely enduring comedy…

By Eddie Robson on 23 February 2004 Comments Off

Six years ago this line-up would have been labelled ‘It’s Ross Noble Night on BBC2′ and a special BBC2 logo in the shape of Ross Noble would have been commissioned to mark the occasion…

By Iain Hepburn on 20 February 2004 Comments Off

It’s an enduring testimony to the legacy of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ that even today the film, and its titular rock act, still get referenced and riffed upon everywhere from ‘The Simpsons’ to highbrow academia…

By Stephen Lavington on 30 January 2004 Comments Off

It’s good to find an original comedy concept, and it looks like this is such a rare discovery as Rob Brydon provides comic voice-over to a series of C-grade TV series (‘Bonanza’, ‘Duchess of Duke Street’, ‘Mr and Mrs’)…

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