TV Laughs: The Goes Wrong Show on Amazon Prime

by Bob Schwartz

Farce: A comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

I need laughs right now. Real repeated laughs. Not just a smile or “isn’t that witty.” Laughs that make me feel good and forget, just in case there is something going on in the world that is best forgotten, even if for a half hour. Maybe you need that too.

I don’t laugh at plain physical comedy and slapstick. What I laugh at is physical comedy combined with outrageousness. That is funny. That is farce.

The Goes Wrong Show (Amazon Prime) is a BBC series from the creators of The Play That Goes Wrong, a West End and Broadway theater hit.

The series has a very simple premise. The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society undertakes some very ambitious plays that far exceed their talents and production abilities. With each play, things go horribly wrong, but the amateur actors carry on earnestly in the face of catastrophe. We in the audience are the beneficiaries of these theatrical disasters.

Farce is not for everybody, and this may not be for everybody, but please give it a try. You have nothing to lose but incessant wallowing in the dour and depressing alternative of the news. All episodes of this first season are recommended, but my current favorite is A Trial to Watch.

One more thing. You may be tempted to watch some of the many clips that are available. My unusual advice is don’t. Much depends on set up and premise, without which these clips look only like little comedy bits. With complete set up and premise in the context a full episode, you will get why, at least for me, this is the funniest show on TV.