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LAST NIGHT'S VIEW: Funny situation for comedies.

Byline: TONY PURNELL

IT'S a funny old business, comedy. The old-fashioned shows are what people want if the viewing figures are anything to go by.

The most successful new sitcom has been My Family, which was exactly what it said on the tin.

The sit was a house in suburbia and the com came from The Harpers - dad, mum and their three kids.

If you suspected you had seen it all before you were dead right.

The Porters were doing exactly the same sort of thing in the 90s in 2 Point 4 Children.

So were The Parkinsons in Butterflies back in the days when Nicholas Lyndhurst first wore long trousers.

Comedy doesn't come any cosier.

It makes you wonder why Steve Coogan bothers to offer an alternative. His spoof horror series Dr Terrible's House Of Horrible (BBC2) is certainly different.

But the main difference is it doesn't contain any laughs.

A ballroom dancing champion lost both his feet in a freak accident which was about as funny as a ballroom dancing champion losing both his feet in a freak accident.

Don't ask. Suffice to say it involved a giant pair of scissors and so many puns I lost count.

He was given a transplant and became the victim of a voodoo curse. His replacement feet took on an evil life of their own with blood curdling results.

Amid all the murder and mayhem actors of the calibre of Tim Pigott-Smith, Jonathan Cake, Roger Griffiths and Tom Bell queued up to deliver lines such as "You just have to take it one step at a time," "I bet she keeps you on your toes," "How nice to see you on your feet again," "You've led us a merry dance for long enough," and "You can't defeat de feet."

Comedy doesn't come any cornier.

IT'S an even funnier old business, comedy drama. Cold Feet (ITV) was the best to come along since Auf Wiedersehen Pet but even that disappointed in the end.

The fact that the gang ended up in Australia showed just how much the series had lost its way.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 11, 2001
Words:350
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