Sketchy Oddballs 1 : Mindhorn Over Matter


Grandpa Felicius Grandpa Felicius: I recall when I was tasked by the Royal Shakespeare Company with playing BOTH Rosencratz and Guildenstern, and a mad “Hamlet” fan forced me at gunpoint to solve the Mystery of Castle Elsinore. This is why I could quite relate to this zany comedy about Richard Thorncroft, a nearly-unemployed former star who is recruited to fight crime in the Isle of Man- while staying in character as “Mindhorn,” a daffy mix of Rockford, Magnum P.I., and The Six Million Dollar Man. Julian Barratt plays the young sapling who was forced into semi-retirement much too soon, if you ask me. Shakespearean proselytizer Kenneth Branagh makes a hilariously humbling cameo.

Father Hank Hank: It is a truth universally acknowledged that the ‘70s and ‘80s were the Golden Age of Television. We didn’t need pretentious dialogue, no season-long story arcs, no movie-worthy production values! No siree, give us a good mustache on Tom Selleck and a tight swimsuit on Farrah Fawcett, and our imaginations took care of the rest!

Grandpa Felicius Grandpa Felicius: The Golden Age of Television involved George Burns and Gracie Allen, and it’s a fool who contends otherwise.

Trent Trent: MINDHORNY! Hahaha! I get it! That’s pretty much the only joke I got. No cherry.

Beatricia Beatricia: “Mindhorn” taught me quite a bit about the Isle of Man. Some useful trivia: Its male inhabitants are called Manxers, and its female inhabitants Minxers. It has the creepiest flag of all Earthly nations: three severed legs stitched together by the Isle’s founder, a noted murderer who arrived upon the remote location in the year of 1765 on a raft made of mutilated, buoyant corpses. Its motto is “Quoconque Jeceris Stabit,” Latin for “Whosever Landeth Here, Shall be Stabbed.” The island’s greatest claim to fame is as the birthplace of the Bee Gees, although they promptly escaped its confines on a disco ball, (which was coincidentally also made of mutilated, buoyant corpses.) Its second greatest claim to fame is its beloved mascot, the Manx Cat, known all over the world as “Stumpy” for its genetic defects. This proud independent nation has not one, but TWO movie theaters; one of them is fully operational half the year.


Tracey Tracey: I love how there’s an Isle of Man but not an Isle of Woman! TYPICAL. But Julian Barratt is pretty funny in “The Mighty Boosh,” which I implore everyone to watch. And of course who doesn’t love THE ONE AND ONLY MISS FISHER, ESSIE DAVIS? As Mindhorn’s partner in crime-solving, she rules this tiny, pathetic Isle of Man with a smart business suit and an even smarter, skeptic smile.


Cousin Franz Cousin Franz: Are we a character playing a character playing a character playing a character? Are we all ultimately prisoners of an Isle-of-Man-Made Illusions? Trying to solve an Eternal Mystery while grasping at clues on a moth-ridden TV script inherited from a fictionalized past? “Mindhorn” provides many questions to ponder, including: “Could this have worked just as well as a five-minute sketch?” (The answer is Yes.)

Blurbarella Blurbarella: “Mighty– Mindhorny– Stumpy– Five-Minute Sketch.”

3 out of 6 Cherries.


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