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Tv To Go
Tv To Go was the first major sketch outing of the online age. It was the first to look at computers and emergent new technology which at the turn of the vilely-named 'naughties' had us completely confused and baffled.
And it did this without strange meta-narrative quirks, dark edgy weirdness or visual effects that made anyone want to vomit: it was simply well-observed, using excellent performers throughout and consistently strong writing.
A favourite TV To Go moment: Hugh Dennis as an estate agent, guiding a woman through an area he persists in pretending is perfectly fine, when it's blatantly obvious that it's a war zone.
Other highlights are the brilliant stalking sketch, where the people round a dinner table gradually reveal that they're all stalking each other - and of course, every appearance of Russ Abbot threatened to put all of us in a mental time machine, which was of course, sort of the point.
Perhaps the most symbolic recurring sketches of TV To Go involve the two househusbands. Trapped perpetually by the fact that they're obviously less competent or employable than their partners, they're forced to push all their testosterone into homey pursuits like washing up, vacuuming and picking up the kids. When a show creates characters like this, whom you're convinced you know intimately from moment one, you have an instant classic.
Better than virtually every other sketch show produced around the time, TV To Go almost inevitably didn't last long - perhaps because its success caused a rapid expansion of some of its stars' bookings, but mostly because its material, modern, shifting and new technology, was hard to pin down.
But it was the best of its kind at that time, and other shows are still chasing its tail.
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