Rentaghost meets Spaced; lazy as it is, this was the comparison that stuck with me as I watched the six episodes of this You Tube web series. By the way I love Rentaghost and Spaced, so don’t take that as an insult.
Telling the story of two friends who buy a basement flat in a fashionable part of London, Ruined’s six short episodes each between 3 and 6 minutes are packed full of gags. With such a heavy gag rate you’d expect a few misses, but most seem to land their mark.
The comedy is gentle, but with a surrealist twist. As well as Spaced, Big Train, Chris Morris’s Jam, and the films of Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright all seem to have had their influence.
The two leads give great performances and it was great to see a Gay character not playing to the usual stereotypes. It’s a shame that some of the supplementary cast are not so strong; the Nazi ghosts’ German accent and psychic do give you a couple of cringe moments.
A strong script, direction, and editing make up for what was obviously a small budget; keeping this in mind some the visual effects are of a high standard and obviously had a lot of work put into them.
Later episodes move a little into Being Human territory, but the gag rate is maintained so the familiarity just doesn’t matter or distract from the story.
The characters, premise, and strength of the writing all beg for this to be made into an expanded six part, half hour an episode series. The story could easily maintain this larger run time and both lead characters are screaming out for further development.
Final thought, when quality comedy like this exists, why does James Cordon continue to get work?