Buy Me Up TV, a new sitcom starring and co-written by Justin Edwards, faces a real comedic hurdle. The world it portrays, in this work-based comedy, is that of the cheaper end of the shopping channels. The problem is, those channels are funny enough: crass and camp, and full of phrases you can't quite believe you just heard.
When this sitcom focuses on the selling, it does match the real thing for laughs. There's the ludicrousness of the products - a chicken de-boner which 'uses centrifuge'; a knife reputed to be 'so powerful it can turn into a fine mist', and 'Robert Mugabe beach towels' - and the sales team's banal, empty phrases (
they are quite literally amazing). Off camera, though, it's a patchier affair, in places somewhat hysterical - as opposed to hysterically funny - and all a bit overexcited. There are nods to Larry Sanders, hints of Alan Partridge and faint echoes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. These are not bad precedents, but what this lively new sitcom needs to sell is an identity all of its own.
Perhaps, judging that this setting has been the subject of numerous satires, the authors settled for a frenzied facsimile of life at the consumerist cutting edge. Everyone sounded barking, indeed on the verge of a nervous breakdown, perhaps because they had to cope with dialogue that could apparently only be delivered at ear-shattering volume. The audience laughter was strangely disturbing, as if they had been force fed E numbers before being manacled to their seats.Moira Petty, The Stage, 21st May 2007