Photo: Rory Mulvey/Sky

The Trip to Spain

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In recent years, too few high quality comedy series have graced our screens and left us craving for more. The beauty of The Trip, starring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, is that you know what you are going to get, yet it continues to deliver. In their latest venture to Spain, Coogan and Brydon play fictional versions of themselves as they endure a cultural escapade across the country whilst reviewing highly regarded restaurants. From vibrant high streets to the tranquil countryside, The Trip allows the audience to follow their expedition and embrace the hilarious anecdotes, remarkably accurate impressions and educational insight into Spanish literature.

Unlike any other comedy I have witnessed, the 50-51 year olds manage to construct a show out of improvised conversation and impressionist battles, and it works brilliantly. The more notable voices on offer include Michael Caine, Roger Moore and an eccentric Mick Jagger, with them skilfully drifting into a flowing exchange or impression-off in admiration of their celebrity idols. The impressions are no doubt the gem of this show, as they illustrate the versatility and talent of the two as comedians as well as prove that their comical personas go beyond their profession.

As the two indulge into numerous courses of sophisticated cuisine, we are treated to a mouth-watering insight into the beauty of food and how it is prepared. This is a miniscule but interesting part of the show that often gets overlooked by viewers. At the table, Coogan and Brydon share their keen interest in Miguel Cervantes, which gifts viewers with an educational lesson associated with the Spanish writer and, at other times, the Spanish Inquisition. A pattern of literature is evident throughout their previous series, with English romantic poets Percy Shelley and Lord Bryon starring as the beacons of their admiration when they embarked across Italy and the British countryside. A balance of consistent humour and educational facts allows the series to stand out and is why The Trip should be acclaimed for its delivery of knowledge as well as its unrivalled sarcastic comedy.

From vibrant high streets to the tranquil countryside, The Trip allows the audience to follow their expedition and embrace the hilarious anecdotes, remarkably accurate impressions and educational insight into Spanish literature.

Bursting into song as their Range Rover follows the winding roads of the Spanish countryside further illustrates the bond and friendship between the two. The addition of carpool karaoke to their episodes offers a fun breather from their satirical insults and talk of career insecurities. Coogan often dwells on the success of his Oscar-nominated film Philomena whilst Brydon clings on to his notorious ‘man in a box’ voice, which Coogan labels as the ‘apotheosis’ of his career. The introduction of their past work in the comedy business questions the imagination of how much of the show is real and how much is scripted. The constant switch from their real careers to the scripted story of mid-life difficulties and relationship troubles keeps the audience guessing and is a rare concept in any series. Nevertheless, it works incredibly well.

The Trip is truly an enjoyable watch and is a show that TV comedy needs. With its main course of humorous entertainment, and the dessert of a bonus educational aspect, they combine to create a great meal that will surely fill the spot of your comedy needs. However, it will still leave you with the hunger to go travelling, regardless of what the bill is.

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