If you are still mourning the demise of Peep Show last year, this latest offering from BBC Three might just be the perfect fit to fill that void of hapless depravity.
Flat TV might not have the most original set up – two white man-children moan about their self-involved problems – but like Channel 4’s seminal cult comedy it turns expectation on its head with a mind-bending stylistic quirk – the characters frame their lives through the prism of recognisable TV formats.
Co-creators Tom Rosenthal (Plebs) and Naz Osmanoglu star as, well, Tom and Naz (I doubt they put too much thought into the names), two 20-something slobs with nothing better to do with their lives than slosh about their grotty flat share acting out their favourite TV shows.
While the frequency of these off-the-wall skits can give episodes a bitty, sketch show-like feel, the regular bursts of absurdity more often cut through the inanity of domestic life like a Swiss army hat through pizza.
As with Peep Show’s dizzy POV style, these telly spoofs are more than just a cheesy gimmick, coming tinged with human truths. From passive aggressive news bulletins to heartfelt confessions in a makeshift Diary Room (actually a bathroom with a faulty lock), the off-beat parodies offer a fresh and imaginative way to peak into the male psyche and the internal conflict of living with other humans.
Throughout Rosenthal and Osmanoglu have excellent chemistry. The duo have clearly honed their performances during the show’s beginnings as a web series as they display impeccable comic timing here, both switching effortlessly between straight and funny man to share the spotlight while maintaining a winning sense of genuine friendship.
Move over Jez and Mark, the new El Dude brothers have finally arrived.