The Mimic - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'The Mimic':
Terry Mynott interview
Where are all today's distinctive voices? That's the question The Mimic star Terry Mynott and I are left asking as we chat about the inspirations behind the many voices he masters during his off-beat comedy.
Written by Caroline Frost. The Huffington Post, 23rd July 2014
The first series of The Mimic ended with our copycat hero Martin (Terry Mynott) hiding in the toilet, paralysed by stage fright and unable to face the television cameras that could have propelled him to stardom.
Series two of Channel 4's sweet, gentle and understated comedy finds him back on the bottom rung of showbusiness, busking in the local shopping precinct, facing competition from a violinist and a human statue.
Anyone expecting to guffaw will be disappointed, but The Mimic's combination of the consistently amusing and irresistibly engaging should put a large smile on most faces.
And then, of course, there are Martin's uncanny impersonations. Episode one treated us to Walter and Jesse from Breaking Bad, two variations of Harry Potter's headteacher Dumbledore, Morgan Freeman as the Hobbit and the Imp from Game of Thrones, who, it was pointed out, sounds a bit like Victor Meldrew. An observation I sincerely hope I can forget before the fantasy drama's next series, or it will never be the same.
Harry Venning, The Stage, 23rd July 2014
Sending the characters in your downbeat sitcom to rock bottom carries the risk that the whole show will become suffocatingly sad. We're dipping into that rut a couple of times tonight as jobless, hopeless impressionist Martin (Terry Mynott) says goodbye to his grief-stricken son and quarrels with his equally lacklustre soulmate Jean (Jo Hartley). Martin's even doing the same old Wogan and Attenborough routines over and over.
The show just about veers back from the edge. As usual Neil Maskell does the heavy lifting as Neil the paranoid newsagent, who this week fears that oestrogen in soya milk is giving him moobs. When Neil and Martin go double-dating and Martin meets a woman who enjoys celebrity voices, writer Matt Morgan indulges in a comic set piece he must have had up his sleeve from the start. It was worth waiting for.
Jack Seale, The Radio Times, 23rd July 2014
Life's looking bleak for Martin, with no job, ants living in his broadband router and his son Steven heading off travelling. Still, there's always a trip to the Build-A-Ted workshop with newly-dumped Neil to cheer him up. When Jean sets him up with Harriet from her soulsercise class, Martin's on to a winner even though Neil insists on coming with him on the double date. His Kermit the frog impression is a hit with his new love interest, and there's a nicely freaky bedroom scene to cement their strange night of lust.
Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 23rd July 2014
One of 2013's best debut sitcoms returns, as downbeat, sad and kind as ever. Martin (Terry Mynott), the lonely loser with a secret talent for doing impressions, lost his nerve at the end of series one when stardom beckoned. Now here he is, in his pants in the kitchen, heating up tinned food while absent-mindedly perfecting his Walter White. Unwanted help comes from Neil, the nervous newsagent who becomes Martin's new agent - "it's only one letter different!" - and insists he try busking outside Timpson's.
This isn't one of those misery-coms that doesn't have any jokes, but little disappointments drizzle down constantly onto Martin's prematurely grey head, the main source of pain being his own lack of endeavour. Classic sitcom leads are confident but delusional - Martin, played with real gentleness by Mynott, is humble and awfully self-aware. That he somehow finds things for him and us to laugh at is what makes The Mimic quietly comforting, like sugary tea on a wintry day.
Jack Seale, The Radio Times, 16th July 2014
The Mimic makes its most welcome return this week. Following Martin choking spectacularly just moments before his big break on the telly at the end of the first series, we pick up as Terry Mynott's troubled lead is without work, but still able to turn in an uncanny impersonation. His son Steven is in a listless depression after the death of his mum Dionne, and Neil and Jean's relationship looks like it might already be on the rocks. Oblivious to the fact, Neil becomes Martin's new manager, with predictable results. Marvellous.
Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 16th July 2014
TV preview: The Mimic, C4
I'm not sure if it is possible to have a slow burn, under-the-radar sitcom these days. Everything comes with so much hype and baggage it either sinks or swims quickly in the glare of publicity and wildly hysterical Twitter responses. Except for The Mimic.
Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 13th July 2014
Terry Mynott interview
I caught up with Terry Mynott who plays Martin to find out a little bit more about the series. Here's what he had to say...
Written by Elliot Gonzalez. I Talk Telly, 12th July 2014
Terry Mynott interview
Terry Mynott tells us what we can expect from Series 2 of The Mimic.
Channel 4, 26th June 2014
The final episode of the comedy. Martin's big break has arrived, after Steven scores his mimicry a spot on a TV show, but as the performance approaches, he loses his voice. A potentially clunky twist is made much less so by the acknowledgment that it's all probably psychosomatic, and then given an extra fillip with a joyous cameo from Ralph Brown as Neil's dad. The news of Dionne's illness is treated gently, too, avoiding the potential for mawkishness, while the whole thing appears to be left rather open for a second bout.
Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 10th April 2013
Finally, Martin's hit paydirt. Well, kind of. Steven has sorted him out with some work voicing Satnav commands - however, a day of intoning 'turn left at the roundabout' in the voice of Barack Obama leads to a gentle meltdown. Martin's array of voices aren't just impressions - there's something genuinely confused and schizophrenic about him and this gives The Mimic its heft. When Martin's wig-out goes viral, it's apparent that, while everyone else is excited, he's vaguely ashamed.
Elsewhere, Neil's artistic bent is revealed, Jean deals with an inevitable dumping and Dione's reasons for encouraging Steven to get to know his dad become clear - this last development will have to be handled carefully if the show isn't to descend into Coldplay montages, group hugs and emotional manipulation. Still, thanks to the nicely observed writing and excellent performances, The Mimic continues to sustain itself pretty well.
Phil Harrison, Time Out, 3rd April 2013
A downbeat sitcom that plays out like a low-key indie film: the talented Terry Mynott is the gloriously named Martin Hurdle, an extremely lowly site maintenance worker at a pharmaceuticals firm who has very few friends or prospects, and a talent for celebrity impressions that forms his mental escape route. He may also have a long-lost son. Mynott was in The Morgana Show and VIP, where he worked with The Mimic writer Matt Morgan - but where those shows were brash and crass, this is the opposite.
Jack Seale, The Radio Times, 23rd March 2013
The Mimic review
It didn't quite work and yet bizarrely, I'm sort of willing it on, partly for its bravery, partly because a couple of the minor characters seem to have some potential, but also because if it added some more comedy to the mix it has the potential to be a bit more than the current sum of its parts.
TV Jam, 20th March 2013
There's a lot that's very, very good about The Mimic, which stars the gifted impressionist Terry Mynott as lowly maintenance man Martin Hurdle.
It's the second episode tonight, but if you missed the first all you need to know is that Martin escapes his humdrum life by doing other people's voices - everyone from Alan Carr to Christopher Walken - and last week he discovered he has an 18-year-old son called Steven. Probably. We're still waiting for the results of the DNA test.
As a means of doing something more interesting with impressions than just going down the Dead Ringers route (or Very Important People, which was Mynott's last gig) this gets full marks for originality.
And the excellent supporting cast includes Ami Metcalf (last seen playing the young Kathy Burke in Walking And Talking) who plays colleague Chelsea, and Neil Maskell (fresh from playing Utopia's hit man) as a depressed newsagent whose foray into internet dating tonight is inspired.
But the mixture of occasionally crude humour and misty-eyed pathos is a tough one to pull off successfully. And that soundtrack is one dollop of syrup too far.
Jane Simon, The Mirror, 20th March 2013
Martin Hurdle continues to hide in plain sight in this week's second episode of the comedy drama, his vocal abilities employed to seduce a swimsuit model over the phone (as Christopher Walken), to socialise with strangers in a pub (as an Irishman) and to amuse his long-lost son (as Ian McKellen), whose mother he re-encounters tonight. Who the real Martin is, however, remains an engrossing mystery: unless his entire personality can be constructed from life's little disappointments, setbacks and missed opportunities.
The laughs come mostly from Terry Mynott's spot-on impressions or his deadbeat pal, Neil (Neil Maskell), who's considering dating someone he met online who has a chocolate lab, ('Some kind of Willy Wonka shit'). It's another beautifully judged blend of humour and pathos: one false step and it could be either dismal farce or Taxi Driver-esque alienation horror. No danger of either just yet, though: in Martin, Terry Mynott has created a tragicomic character it's impossible not to root for.
Gabriel Tate, Time Out, 20th March 2013
This unassuming comedy may be a bit scattered and light on laughs, but there's something there. The tone is even more bittersweet and wistful tonight, as hero Martin regrets his missed opportunities and takes refuge once again in his celebrity voices (Schwarzenegger holding a leaf blower works well).
"Life happens. Time goes past," muses his old flame Dionne, mother of the 18-year-old son that Martin never knew he had. We get the feeling she's harbouring another bombshell, too.
Meanwhile, in another part of the plot, there's Neil Maskell as Martin's newsagent friend. Maskell was last seen as a terrifyingly low-key hitman in Utopia. He's just as good here in a wildly different sort of role and you can't help wishing we saw more of him.
David Butcher, Radio Times, 20th March 2013
When I saw the premise for Channel 4's new comedy The Mimic, I was furious. It might banjax my long-nurtured plan to write a sitcom for Alistair McGowan, in which he plays a TV impressionist whose personal life is a disaster because of his inability to converse as himself. Scene one: Alistair resolutely embarks on his sixth marriage, but recites the vows in the voices of Peter Snow, Jim Bowen, and Orville. Later, the wedding night is ruined when Alistair does Dot Cotton in his new wife's ear.
Anyway, as it turns out The Mimic is sort of the opposite of that. Terry Mynott is the fabulously named Martin Hurdle, a gentle loser who has only one friend, a dowdy trouper called Jean (Jo Hartley), and no future prospects in his work maintaining the grounds of a faceless pharmaceutical firm. His secret, and his mental release valve, is that he's a brilliant impressionist.
The Mimic is by Russell Brand's old sidekick Matt Morgan, who worked with Mynott on The Morgana Show and VIP. Where they were crass and brash, this is slow, quiet and lovely. It has the vibe of an indie film, possibly one starring a big comedy name gambling their fame to prove they're human and can act.
Mynott has no fame to risk, yet there's still bravery in the way he makes Martin so uninhibitedly genuine and sad. In the first episode he was often filmed to accentuate his isolation. His little triumphs mostly weren't witnessed by anyone. He stopped doing his spot-on Alan Carr in the company car park when people walked into earshot, and his fantastic imagined conversation between Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones faltered when Jean asked who he was talking to and told him to get some sleep.
The Mimic[c/] is a bit more than a sitcom. You wonder not only whether it will still be funny next week and the week after, but also where it will go - what will happen to the hero. Is he a talented man waiting to be discovered or just a lonely man waiting to be loved?
Scenes where Martin met his previously unknown 18-year-old son, and where he took revenge on a bad HR manager by being him on the office tannoy, hinted that his achingly small world is about to expand. We'll be rooting for him to survive the change.
Jack Seale, The Radio Times, 17th March 2013
Partial though I'm not to the word "quirky", Channel 4's new midweek sitcom, The Mimic, made a special plea for it, perhaps along with "gentle" and also, at times, "funny". Here was Martin Hurdle (Terry Mynott), a man with a dull job amusing himself by doing impressions. Wogan and Ronnie Corbett have become too standardised to impress but you had to laugh at his Al Pacino and his James Earl Jones quibbling with Morgan Freeman. The show didn't entirely depend on mimicry and there was strong support from Jo Hartley as his live-in friend Jean and Neil Maskell (arch psychopath from Utopia) turned up as a compellingly neurotic newsagent.
The first episode found an anxious Martin meeting up with an old flame's 18-year-old son for a burger followed by a DNA test. "If I'm not your dad, we can still be friends," he said. It was droll but unexpectedly touching. When it came back positive, I almost had to stop eating my biscuit.
Phil Hogan, The Observer, 16th March 2013
TV commissioners take note. Impressions aren't funny. The actual act of sounding like someone else is an impressive skill, especially if you can do more than one, but by themselves, impressions are not in the remotest bit amusing. Jon Culshaw may do a canny Tom Baker, but the mere act of sounding like Tom Baker is about as humorous as getting stuck in a lift. With Jon Culshaw.
So it was refreshing to see Terry Mynott bringing something very different to the TV impressions table in his rather bleak new sitcom The Mimic.
Dour, slow and not the cheeriest of concepts, The Mimic doesn't scream hit. The tale of maintenance man Martin Hurdle, who muddles through life with only his uncanny ability as a mimic to perk himself up, isn't a gag-fest. It ekes out jokes and woos you in with pathos and the likeable Mynott.
It wasn't the most sure-footed debut, but purely for bravery and trying something different, I'm willing to come back next week. Mynott could knock out 27 minutes of Terry Wogan and Ronnie Corbett impressions, but he's tested new waters here and his exploration of the mundane, outsiders and the ordinary showed brief glimmers of potential.
And the fact that he didn't just wheel out a Tom Baker impression means that I'm willing to give those glimmers a chance.
Alex Fletcher, Digital Spy, 16th March 2013
The Mimic review
The Mimic is definitely a slow burner and, if I'm honest, my faith in Terry Mynott's capabilities made me persevere as, other than a few scenes referring to the protagonist's possible fatherhood, this debut episode seemed to lack a plot somewhat.
UK TV Reviewer, 14th March 2013
Review: The Mimic
The Mimic could become something of a surprise classic.
Written by Nick Norton. On the Box, 14th March 2013
TV Review: The Mimic (Channel 4)
Admittedly it's still early days, so I don't want to write-off The Mimic too soon. The brief trailer for episode 2 was funnier than this opening half-hour, and maybe the dramatic elements of the series will rapidly improve.
Written by Dan Owen. Dan's Media Digest, 14th March 2013
The idea behind The Mimic, starring the remarkable Terry Mynott, is that it accepts the truism as truth. This is a comedy about a man who can pose convincingly as Ronnie Corbett stuck in a postbox but has no life to call his own.
Martin Hurdle - even his name sounds like a personality flaw - works in maintenance at a pharmaceutical company. There is no hope of promotion from whitewashing graffiti off walls, so he disappears into a multi-coloured vocal hinterland where he can be any number of camp television presenters or, in the sharpest sequence, James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman engaging in a Socratic squabble over who has the better Afro-American larynx for narrating documentaries about penguins.
This ability has not brought Martin any more joy away from work. He lives with Jean (Jo Hartley), a female flatmate who is equally propping up the bar at midlife's last-chance saloon. For all the richness of Martin's interior life set against his humdrum routine, The Mimic could easily struggle to escape its binary parameters, but this first episode swiftly introduced a second outlandish scenario: Martin has discovered that he may have fathered a child 18 years earlier. It's all subject to a DNA test, but when they meet in a pub, the boy is soon crossing his fingers that they won't be related after all. This is a worry Martin articulates to himself through the conduit of Wedding Crashers. "If I didn't know who this guy was, and it turned out to be this guy," says Vince Vaughn, " I would be pretty disappointed." Or was it Owen Wilson?
It'll be worth finding out where The Mimic, already promisingly weird, goes from here. A lot rests on how series creator Matt Morgan marries two distinctly left-field scenarios - incurable impersonator discovers he's sired an adult. It certainly revinvents a branch of entertainment that has felt for a while like a busted flush.
Jasper Rees, The Arts Desk, 14th March 2013
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