BBC Three's 'Mongrels' exposes puppetry to adult audience
UK animal-lovers are getting a treat with Mongrels, an urban animal puppet comedy by TX Media, now airing on BBC Three.
Subtitled "a puppet show for adults," the show is described by director Adam Miller as "Avenue Q meets Family Guy but with puppet animals."
Each episode features a song; topics include God, lesbians, pedophiles and the middle class. The show is also peppered with in-jokes about celebrities and random humour.
Bonus: Go behind the scenes to learn more about Marion and Nelson from their creators.
Mongrels was intended to bring the humour of puppetry to a more adult audience. As Adam explained in The Telegraph, "what struck me [about ITV children’s puppet show Ripley and Scuf] was how much adults enjoyed the puppetry, as much if not more than the kids."
Past episodes of the show are only freely available to UK viewers via iPlayer. However, several free clips are on offer, and unofficial copies exist. Mongrels can also be purchased on iTunes, and hard copies will be available mid-August (Amazon.co.uk: Blu-ray and DVD pre-order).
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Wasn't the UK Adult Audience already exposed to puppetry by Spitting Image?
(Granted, it wasn't furry, but just the same...)
Not just unfurry - almost incomprehensible to anyone born after 1980. I got the 2001 reference, but that's about it.
It is telling that most of the jokes in Mongrels are about celebrities rather than politicians.
Which only means that in thirty years time Mongrels will be just as dated and incomprehensible to the young-viewers-to-come. (The poster below claims that he doesn't even get most of the celebrity references now as it is.) Spitting Image managed to thrive for twelve years on BBC, right up into the mid 1990's, which sets the bar pretty high.
Anyway, the point was that Mongrels doesn't really break any new ground as a puppet show for adults, though it might as a puppet show about animals for adults.
Spitting Image was actually on ITV.
And yes I have to agree with the sentiment about how well it'll age. While all in all I find Mongrels to be enjoyable, I would readily acknowledge that roughly a third of the humour is entrenched in 'current' cultural references. I also only really see UK furs enjoying it, I think for most furs outside of the country the humour can fall flat since a certain degree of cultural knowledge helps the jokes work. For instance the 'Middle class' episode is a social commentary on the UK's obscession with social class.
I'm in the US and I enjoy it, the cultural references aren't much of a problem. I'm not familiar with UK celebrities so those jokes fail, but then again I don't get the majority of celebrity jokes in US 'toons like Family Guy. I don't expect Mongrels to age well, though. It's just a weird little show with a twisted sense of humor.
I love this show. I don't get most of the celebrity references but that makes up a small part of the comedy. If you love things like Family Guy, Happy Tree Friends and Retarded Animal Babies this is the puppet show for you.
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