The Trip is a British-made comedy series starring UK comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. In it, Coogan has been invited to tour and review restaurants in northern England and review them, and (due to others being busy) has invited Brydon to accompany him. They go on the trip, only to spend 6 episodes being uncomfortable with male bonding: one being more reluctant than the other to have a twin bedroom, etc.
What follows is a master-class in how not to write a comedy. Fair enough if they were actually doing a review series with improvised pieces, but that’s not what this is: this is surprisingly unfunny for the frontmen of I’m Alan Partridge and the recently finished series of Would I Lie To You. It’s essentially two guys chatting with slightly fictionalised personas.
Once an episode, they will have a discussion about how a particular person (for example, Michael Caine) sounds — and try to outclass each other in impersonating them. This may possibly be the only funny bit in the entirety of the show (apart from a bit where Coogan randomly shouted “Ah-ha!” into the scenic view, which I presume was a callback to his show-within-a-show of the same name), and even these are hit and miss. Rob Brydon always wins these, in my opinion.
As much of the action (if you can call it that) takes place within the restaurant of the week, they pepper the time with shots of the dishes being prepared. The first time they did it, I thought it was important ot the plot. But, no, apparently not. It’s the kind of thing you would expect to see when food is being prepared wrongly and the audience needs to know this. Methinks I detect poorly disguised pick-up shots.
There seems to be a growing feeling of contrast between the two men in their roles here. Coogan is characterised as a has-been who wants to be famous and doing something again, with a girlfriend in the States. Brydon on the other hand is characterised as a happy family man who still has time for the old phone sex with the missus. One gets the feeling that the series will end with Coogan killing ‘himself’ off.
At the time of writing, three of six episodes have been aired in Britain. I will not waste more of my time with a fourth. Anyone waiting for the next big thing like I’m Alan Partridge or the humour associated with his film roles is strongly advised not to look here. Apparently there is a DVD available for pre-order from the Amazon UK site.
Words cannot express the fear I have for such a release.