This website has moved to www.worldofcrap.co.uk. Please update your links. And then go there, because it's really really good, and there's cake there and everything.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Willy Fog - Carry on up the Khyber in animal form

I've been asked to review Around the world with Willy Fog by up to half of my two readers. I know I used to watch it as a kid, but my memory of the show was very sketchy, so I did a little bit of research before I watched an entire episode. To this end, I visited the show's Wikipedia page, with startling results. Now, I might not remember minor details, but I do remember that it was animals in suits ripping off Jules Verne's idea. This, evidently, isn't obvious enough for the folks at Wikipedia, since there is an entire section of the article devoted to "Differences from the novel". Sorry, what? Excuse me, isn't the only difference that really matters the fact that in the show they are all giant animals in costumes? Somehow, this detail manages to slip through the net.

Anyway, the show itself is pretty self explanatory - Willy Fog, the protagonist, is travelling round the world in - yes, you guessed it - 80 days. All sorts of hilarity ensues. Maybe.

I decided to dive straight in with episode 19 - "The Stampede". Since I haven't seen the episodes leading up to this one, I'm going to give a rundown of what I think has probably happened so far-

Fog and his cronies are on the run from the law for unlawfully impersonating people (really badly, I might add), and have decided that, if they can stay out of the country for 80 days, then there is a loophole in the law that will turn them into non UK citizens, thus protecting them from the force of UK law. So far they've spent a week in Benidorm, but they didn't like the food, so they moved to Las Vegas and lost all their money, which is why they're now having to use public transport. I'm 99% sure I've got this synopsis exactly right.

So - here we go with Episode 19 - The Stampede -

I rather like the opening line of the song - "Fuck! I'm the one who made the bet!" Did he make a bet in the pub or something, and has only just remembered?

Also, Fuck is the only one whose singing you can understand. The others are all incoherent, which is hardly surprising since they're all FOREIGNERS!!!!!

Apart from that, nothing at all happens in this opening sequence, apart from "Around the world, around the world, world around the, the world around, around the world, world the around, around the world" x 3400. I'm not sorry when it finishes.

We start with some Etonian toffs playing billiards, and talking about Fog (the protagonist I assume, not the weather type). I almost switch off at this point, before they all turn into Boris Johnson. Luckily we soon cut to Fuck, I mean Fog, and the action. Oh, but before we do, there's a brilliant goat in a wheelchair called Lord Guinness. I wish the show had been about him instead.

Right. The actual storyline begins. They're all on a train. I'm sort of following this so far. The French one and the Italian one are entertaining the others with a song. Are we really expected to believe that this is them singing? They were squeaky animals with heavy European accents a minute ago, and now they've suddenly both turned into Donovan?

Anyway. It turns out they're in America somewhere, which is confirmed beyond all doubt when they meet an American bear in a top hat. Let me see. Fat? Check. Obnoxious? Check. Assumes everyone knows everything about America? Check. Yup, they've pretty much ticked all the boxes here. I bet his name is Wyatt Eagleburger.

I notice Willy Fuck hasn't actually done much yet, he just keeps chipping in occasionally, sounding a bit like James Mason.

I know these guys sat listening in to them, they're the police I think. I know this because A) I watched 5 minutes of another episode, and B) they're Cockney dogs. When Cockney dogs aren't playing snooker in paintings, they're upholding the law. Jus' the way it is.

The gang go off for dinner. God dammit, why does cartoon food always look so damn good? Anyway, the bear starts crapping on about some railway history, an I almost switch off again. Also, has that bear got a bottle of Jack Daniels all to himself?

A ha - some action! Oh wait no, it's just some cows crossing the road. Yawn. Oh wait, they might knock over the train! In fact, they're actually making a conscious effort to, with such malice in their eyes that I swear I won't feel guilty the next time I eat a steak. They estimate the stampede to last for the next 4 - 5 hours. using mathematics, I estimate that to be approximately 7.3 trillion buffalo.

Ooh, we finally get to see the baddie! Things should start to liven up a bit now! God i do hope so. So, the bad guy is trying to delay Willy Fuck's train. But why? For what purpose? OH, it's ok, it's all explained to us by a helpful narrator. I like that they feel the need to explain what he's doing there at all - probably because they know no one will remember anything from last week, as it's so ball-crushingly boring.

To make matters worse, it becomes clear that the show is also meant to be "educational". That explains why, approximately every 3 minutes, one of the characters pipes up with a lecture on the history of a mountain, or the composition of topsoil or something. if you want to educate kids, how about not telling them that the railway was invented by a bear?

And I'm only halfway through the episode. Kill me now. This show would be unbearable if it wasn't for that Italian animal thing jumping around and generally getting in everyone's faces.

But wait! An as yet unidentified baddie has sabotaged the bridge! Will they all die? probably not, otherwise this would be the last episode, and it wouldn't be called "The Stampede", it would be called "Cataclysmic Train Inferno". How I wish it had been.

Oh I see now, the random baddie is the bad fox wearing a mask. He truly is a master of disguise. It's confusing though. i mean, I'm having a hard time following this and I'm 27. Although, to be fair, I am also an idiot.

this is the first time in the episode that I am impressed with Willy Fuck. he just saunters over and announces that he's going to go and fix the bridge, just like that, and he's so bloody English about the whole thing - he's like "Oh yes, all we need to fix this bridge is TEA!" Also, who suddenly made him boss? Oh, that's right, bribes did. Of course.

Afterwards, he just saunters back up and announces that he's fixed the bridge. Why did they just take his word for it? Why wouldn't they even check?

It doesn't really matter though, because now it's a little bit exciting - will they manage to cross the bridge? I won't give the outcome away, but let's just say that afterwards, I was so excited I needed a wee. But here's a hint - yes they do cross the bridge.

Anyway, that's about it for this episode. we get a sneak preview of what's coming up in the next episode. Next week, they are attacked by Injuns! will I ever be able to cope without tuning in to find out what happens? Yes, I think it's safe to say I will.

A quick epilogue - I asked someone whether or not Willy fuck was gay, and he said -

"No, he's pounding the fuck out of the cat."

I'll leave you with that lovely thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment