Famalam Is Back & It's Still The Funniest Thing On TV

Courtesy 0f BBC
I'm trying to think of another TV show out there that can take topics like slavery, inner city gang violence and racism, subvert them, satirise them and still make you laugh out loud – but I can't. Famalam can.
The sketch show, which launched in April last year – online on BBC Three and iPlayer with a slot on BBC Two – has come back stronger for a second series (airing on BBC One tonight).
Since it started, its standout star Samson Kayo has received a BAFTA nomination (for male performance in a comedy programme) which he should have won and while some of the series one sketches have been phased out, fans will be happy to hear their favourites are back.
That means more Lagos low-budget Nollywood productions from Fantastic Egusi films, plenty of competitive cousin-offs and passive-aggressiveness pissing contests from the Nigerian aunties, and continued bad luck for African Prince Alyusi, who still can't give away any of his vast fortune to a single stupid, cynical Westerner.
There are plenty of fresh faces, too – new additions to series two's character list include Roxanne Sternberg's spot-on parody of a clueless, reality TV-inspired imbecilic Essex girl with exploding T&A (that's tits and ass). There's miserable Insta-obsessed bland dad Peter, whose cheese slips fully off the cracker by the end of the final episode, and an unfortunate office worker banished by society because she doesn't share the love for everyone's favourite contemporary diva (yes, Beyoncé). Gbemisola Ikumelo is brilliant as undercover reporter Sandra, doorstepping disappointing dudes in her documentary, To Catch a Wasteman.
There are some enjoyable arcs to watch as well. We get to see how life pans out for provocative SoundCloud rapper X69, who was partial to a few face tattoos in his youth, and I think I watched the sketch when Samson Kayo's overzealous and over-jealous Jamaican loverboy finally meets his match in the park about 10 times.
Series two of Famalam feels fresh but its strength is undoubtedly its versatile six-piece cast. They gel (John Macmillan and Tom Moutchi seem to bounce off each other best) but it feels like all of the players are attached to the scripts they are performing, and there's not one weak link.
Advertisement
The high points are the continuing inner city turf wars between the E19 Posse and the Stratford Soldiers, and thank God there's more of verbose garage MC Scribbler P to give us bitesize lessons on everything from the Oscars to black military history. As for Midsomer Motherfuckin' Murders, I might start a petition to get Detective Moses Mountree a show of his own because I could watch Samson Kayo play the trigger-happy horn dog all day.
If you don't believe me about how good Famalam can be, I'll leave it to the Stratford Soldiers and E19 Posse to convince you otherwise...
Famalam is on BBC One, Monday 27th May at 10.35pm. Catch series one and two on BBC iPlayer now.
Advertisement

More from TV