Karl Puschmann is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Karl Puschmann: FYI : Miami - there's a new kidder in town

Rashida Jones and Hayes MacArthur keep the silliness cranked to maximum in Angie Tribeca. Photo / Supplied
Rashida Jones and Hayes MacArthur keep the silliness cranked to maximum in Angie Tribeca. Photo / Supplied

Things are so damn serious these days that I really think we could all do with some silly. Without a doubt the silliest show currently screening is Angie Tribeca. As such, I can't recommend it highly enough.

I know what you're thinking. Surely, my recommendation of watching something silly can't be serious? Well, I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.

If you like comedy you would have seen that gag coming a mile away. It's an oldie but a goodie. A bona fide classic.

It was delivered by the late, great Leslie Nielsen with the utmost sincerity and conviction in the game-changing, utterly riotous, 1980 disaster spoof Airplane!.

Even today, nearly four decades later, Airplane! still stands up as one of the funniest and most quotable films of all time.

So, you either laughed or groaned or scratched your head in bewilderment as to WTF I was going on about when you read that line. It's this reaction more than anything else that will inform whether Angie Tribeca is for you.

The show is a spoof of those croaky television cop procedurals that dominate TV listings and all seem to be named after a jumble of letters and a location. You know, shows like CSI: Miami, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: NY, NCIS: New Orleans, CSI: Cyber and Bones.

As a genre it's ripe for piss-taking. And Angie Tribeca lets rip.

The series takes all its cues from the files of Police Squad, the Naked Gun and Hot Shots! movies, and the aforementioned Airplane!.

Jokes are fired off at a rapid pace. Every minute crammed with deadpan wordplay and ridiculous sight gags. Characters speak exclusively in double meanings and double entendres and constant repetition batters LOLs into your brain while the constant repetition batters LOLs into your brain.

It's juvenile, yes, but it's also very, very funny.

It's best described as a machinegun approach to comedy. Continually firing and hitting more often than not due to the sheer volume being pumped out.

This style of comedy has been dormant for so long that Angie Tribeca's dense, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style of extremely goofy humour feels fresh again.

Rashida Jones (Parks & Recreation) is great in the title role, playing the hardnosed detective with the same oblivious seriousness to all the absurd goings-on that Neilsen brought to The Naked Gun's hapless cop Frank Drebin.

Tribeca works in the Los Angeles police department's Really Heinous Crime Unit and it must be said that great restraint was shown by the show's creators/writers Steve Carrell and Nancy Walls-Carrell in not calling the series LAPD: RHCU.

Rest assured, this is the only display of restraint you'll find.

Steve Carrell, who also directs, wastes no time setting things up. The show opens to a montage of Tribeca's morning routine, a send-up of early morning fitness regimes that starts off with some simple push ups and ends with her destroying her apartment in a frenzied blaze of judo kicks and karate chops. Things only get sillier from there.

At the station there's the cliched grumpy lieutenant, a colleague whose partner, quite literally, is a dog, and a couple of clueless forensic experts. When Tribeca is assigned her new partner, a heated three-way discussion ensues where every passing insult is prefaced with the line, "with all due respect". And there's a terrific Lisa Kudrow cameo as a suspect whose wink-wink, nudge-nudge sexual allusions gradually become more explicit, disintegrating completely with the line, "Oh, I've already destroyed him by having sex with him. If you catch my drift ... "

It's juvenile, yes, but it's also very, very funny. As long as you're in the mood for something silly.

Really, though, the silliest thing about Angie Tribeca is the fact that TVNZ has dumped it on to Duke, their "Dudes Only" channel. Last time I checked, women also enjoyed a good laugh. Maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. And judging by what's expected to screen on Bravo, MediaWorks' upcoming "No Boys Allowed" channel, I most certainly have no idea what I'm talking about.

However a quick glance at Bravo's Wikipedia page informs me that housewives and reality is all women want to watch. Jeepers ...

Surely, women want more than that? Shirley, they're not serious? Broaden your horizons, women!

Okay, yes, I'm being silly. That's a side effect of watching something silly. It tends to rub off on you.

- NZ Herald

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