There’s a boring old saying that goes ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to.’ But in the case of The League of Gentlemen, the creators have thankfully made it exactly the way they did the first time around.
A full 15 years after the most beautifully grim TV series in British history last aired, the League returns to the BBC for a brief run of three episodes – the first of which was broadcast tonight (Monday, December 18) and gives fans pretty much everything they’d been hoping for.
Royston Vasey is still a shithole, but with added shit. Handwritten letters make way for mobile phones and dodgy shops have been boarded up. But it’s still recognisable as Vasey, and so many of our favourite characters have returned – some with a touch of tragedy added to their already awful lives.
We won’t add spoilers here as everyone deserves to see it without having some twat ruining it for them. Suffice to say that everything you loved about The League before is back – bigger, bolder, ruder and more horrific than you thought possible.
As well as the character storylines having moved on and giving viewers a laugh as they realise what’s been happening in the intervening years, the ridiculous and throwaway visual gags are back with a vengeance too. Particular favourites involved one (two) of those cones they put on dogs when they hurt themselves and a close-to-the-bone gag about a little person. Those genuine laugh out loud moments are what made this show stand out from the crowd in the 90s and 00s and they are just as strong in 2017.
You’ll marvel in the nostalgia as much as you’ll love seeing the evolution of the characters. The only disappointment is that the episodes still clock in at just 30 minutes.
With two more episodes to come on December 19 and 20, we can hardly wait to see what Dyson, Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith have in store. And we can all ask Santa for a full length season to follow some time in 2018.