Saturday, November 17, 2007

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

This is a show that's easy to miss, but funny as heck. From Wikipedia:
The premise of the series is that in the mid-1980s, Garth Marenghi and his publisher Dean Learner made their own TV series on a shoestring budget. Set in Darkplace Hospital in Romford, East London Garth Marenghi's Darkplace tells of the adventures of Dr. Rick Dagless, MD, as he fights the forces of darkness while simultaneously coping with the pressures of running a modern hospital.

In reality the series is a deliberate send-up both of the horror genre and of 1980s TV production. Action series such as Blake's 7, Doctor Who, The A-Team, The Sweeney, cult drama Twin Peaks and various American medical dramas are also obvious influences, and the comedy relies partly on familiarity with such programmes. More obscurely, Darkplace makes reference to Lars von Trier's "haunted hospital" TV series The Kingdom (Riget in Danish), which was later remade by Stephen King for an American audience as Kingdom Hospital. Much of the show could be taken as a parody of King's work (with the flying staplers and other deadly inanimate objects of Hell Hath Fury, for example, being a fairly direct parody of King's Maximum Overdrive and similar works).
Catch it late Friday nights on Cartoon Network, during the adult swim segment. The funniest thing about it isn't the flying staplers, it's the dialogue. Especially the behind-the-scenes commentary.

The official website is here.

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