This Is Jinsy. Image shows from L to R: Maven (Justin Chubb), Sporall (Chris Bran). Copyright: The Welded Tandem Picture Company
This Is Jinsy

This Is Jinsy

  • TV sitcom
  • Sky Atlantic / BBC Three
  • 2010 - 2014
  • 17 episodes (2 series)

Surreal comedy set on a fictional island inhabited by a range of oddball characters. Created by Chris Bran and Justin Chubb. Stars Justin Chubb, Chris Bran, Alice Lowe, Geoffrey McGivern, Janine Duvitski and more.

Press clippings Page 3

If you were to try and piece together the genetic make-up of This Is Jinsy, Sky Atlantic's comedy, the family tree would run something like this: Grandfather: Spike Milligan; Parents: The League of Gentleman and Vic and Bob; Distant Cousin: The Mighty Boosh. There's a fine running gag about a talent show judged by a dog called Sandy (his paw hovers between two buttons marked "Woof" and "Enoof" after he's watched the acts). I couldn't put it better than one of the characters in last night's episode: "I think I can safely say, without fear of exaggeration, that I quite enjoyed it."

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 11th October 2011

Word of mouth is growing: This Is Jinsy doubled its audience in its second week. If you're coming in now, you've hit upon the best episode yet.

It's snowing, which is bad for shorts-wearer Arbiter Maven (Justin Chubb) even before he has to trek across country with his fearsome former teacher - a delicious guest turn from Simon Callow. Nigel Planer is equally fantastic as a madman who lives in a miniature chalet, while Harry Hill returns, in that figure-hugging coral skirt, as sensual law enforcer Joon Boolay.

Amid the nonstop gags, Chubb and co-creator Chris Bran always steal the show with their songs. Tonight they're dusty geriatrics Retch and Hoik, authors of the rousing march Put in Your Teeth. Plus, the ever-present, eight-strong Island Singers - Chubb and Bran in four different wigs and frocks, superimposed next to each other - offer thoughtful comment on the futility of working life.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 10th October 2011

This Is Jinsy review

This is Jinsy looks great, somehow combining a high-definition sheen with a folksy, low-fi aesthetic. So far, the list of guest stars has been pretty spectacular too. It just has one problem. It isn't very funny... but it's not as big a problem as it usually would be for a sitcom, because the show is just so damn charming and loveable.

Transmission Blog, 10th October 2011

It should be a proud moment for Arbiter Maven, as construction of the fourth wonder of Jinsy, a bridge built in the shape of Maven's nose, reaches the halfway point. But that's as far as it'll ever go if local environmentalist Edery Molt (a typically excellent Kevin Eldon) gets his way. Can Maven bribe him with a rare bat? Why is Sporall turning orange?

The main story is joyous enough - when Maven gets Molt round for dinner, there's a fantastic visual gag that literally has another, even better one hiding behind it - but as always it's the irrelevant inserts that make This Is Jinsy the bulging, shop-soiled selection box it is. Tonight, bits I rewound and played again included a bulletin from half-dead reporter Jesric Underdone (this week's top story: using live rats as cavity wall insulation), and an insane contribution from the jumpily edited, Stanley Unwin-esque weatherman Tracee Henge.

Best of all is KT Tunstall guesting as throaty shanty-man Briiian Rattagan. His/her song is utter nonsense but catchier than a burr cardie. Altogether now! "It's cold and it's wet and it looks just like an onion..."

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 3rd October 2011

It's always a worry when a new comedy makes a stellar start. Like a band recording their debut album, have they packed all the good bits into the opening moments only to run out of steam? The good news is that it looks like This Is Jinsy (Sky Atlantic) is going from strength to surreal strength.

Featuring a Beardboy contest where the resplendent entries sported music-themed titles such as Pretzel Logic and Like A Bridge Over Trevor & Walter, the latest excursion to this offbeat isle also gave us Catherine Tate as a germaphobic magazine editor, a sense of regret that Mixed Men's Synchronised Shaving is not actually an event at London 2012 and a porn-based frisson of excitement centred on a magazine called Big Fingerless Mitts.

Best of all, though, are the musical interludes from psychedelic folk siren Melody Lane, the disturbingly erotic love child of Laura Marling and Margaret Thatcher, whose latest tune, on the theme of personal hygiene, slipped the word corduroy into its chorus and had me itching to download it, only to find my search was in vain.

Keith Watson, Metro, 27th September 2011

On the eve of the island's beard-growing contest, hairy chins on Jinsy are suffering random attacks from a phantom nibbler. Arbiter Maven (Justin Chubb) is no help: he's busy trying to get on the cover of Glove Hygiene Monthly by wooing its maniacally pristine editor, Roopina Crale (Catherine Tate). They have a series of tensely erotic encounters ("Mmm, you smell of... nothing"), but clean freaks and beards don't mix.

Resident psychedelic folkster Melody Lane (Chubb in a paisley dress) provides a disturbing, catchy song about hygiene, in one of the many lovingly crafted inserts that enhance the action and repay repeat viewing. This Is Jinsy has solid comic chops beneath its obscure exterior.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 26th September 2011

The first thing to report about This is Jinsy - a sitcom set in a fictional island community - is that it's easier to laugh at than describe. I could say that I noted elements of Father Ted and Monty Python and Vic and Bob and 70s Doctor Who and Teletubbies in the show, and that nasal hair and wigs featured heavily, and that the prevailing aura of things is valve-powered, knitted from string and dressed in the blinding worst of the glam-rock years. But does that sound too unwatchable? I hope not.

The truth is I guffawed more than once at its foolishness, its exhausting invention, its inbred characters and little TV screens dotted like parking meters around moor and village issuing residents with advice and entertainment - a talent show judged by a dog ("Woof" for yes, "Enoof" for no), a Stanley Unwinesque weatherman and Harry Hill in drag revealing who's in the punishment booth this week. Blimey, there was even room for storylines - the shenanigans of the island's annual wedding lottery; the ease with which a new religion can take off from an advert for cupboards. Maybe you had to see it. Maybe you should see it.

Phil Hogan, The Observer, 25th September 2011

The opening episode of This Is Jinsy has, in fact, aired before: featuring David Tennant as an overly camp television game-show host, and revolving around life on the tiny, other-worldly island of Jinsy, it was broadcast in March of last year as a pilot on BBC. Now it's back, as a full-blown (but sadly, after episode one, Tennant-less) series on Sky Atlantic.

The gist, broadly, is this: Jinsy (population 971) is stuck somewhere in the 1970s, governed by Arbiter Maven - whose nasal hairs offer insights into the future - and populated by means of a random televised "marriage lottery". And, Tennant or no, it is brilliantly done. The world that's been created is genuinely surreal, with its televised punishment round-ups, bizarre clothing and odd religion, which sees residents don cupboards in a mistaken attempt to welcome the messiah. It's part Yellow Submarine, part Hitchhiker's Guide, part League of Gentlemen. Written by its two stars, Justin Chubb and Chris Bran, it offers a slice of oddball humour quite unlike anything else to be found.

Alice-Azania Jarvis, The Independent, 20th September 2011

This Is Jinsy airs...but only 50,000 people tune in

Sky Atlantic's first domestic commission This Is Jinsy aired last night - but only 50,000 people tuned in, according to overnight ratings from Broadcast Now.

Such Small Portions, 20th September 2011

This Is Jinsy review: Tune in your tesselators

It is as much of a challenge to find the words to describe Sky Atlantic's new comedy series, This is Jinsy, as it is to work out what is actually going on in the bizarre sitcom. Written by and starring the previously unknown comedy duo of Chris Bran and Justin Chubb, the sitcom is set on the fictional island of Jinsy, where 791 seemingly bonkers residents live.

Sarah Cox, On The Box, 20th September 2011

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