Monday, January 3, 2011
InSecurity Can Help CBC's Comedy Image
InSecurity is CBC's latest attempt to find a replacemet for the rapidly aging sitcom Little Mosque On The Prairie.
This decidedly hilarious spoof of such TV spy series as 24 premieres on CBC Tuesd. Jan. 4 at 8:30 p.m. and should not be missed.
Shot mostly in Regina, the half hour series focuses on the fictional National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and stars Natalie Lisinska (Young People Fucking) as rookie agent Alex Cranston, a lush blonde who gets saddled with a particularly inept band of agents who can't shoot straight.
The cast also includes ultra handsome William De Vry (The Bad And The Beautiful) as her senior boss, a politically knowing bureaucrat named Peter McNeil.
Remy Girard (Les Boys) is the disillusioned veteran of the team, Claude Lesage, who during one tense situation frets that jis souffle might be ruined by too much physical violence.
Matthew MacFadzean (Human resource) is the totally inept young agent Burt Wilson who can't seem to do anything correctly.
Grace Lynn Kung (Being Erica) is the field agent Jojo Kwan, adept at kung fu and a CSI specialist.
And there's also Richard Yearwood (The Plan) as irrepresible agent Benjamin N'udu who gets so hungry on his assignments he might even eat some of the evidence.
Three comedy writers are the creators: Kevin White , Robert de Lint and Virginia Thompson --veterans from Corner Gas.
Together they've created a show in which the regulars try to act deadly serious as they mess up another assignment --there's a lot of comedy potential in the team's sheer incompetency.
Co-creator Kevin White toiled as a writer on Blackfly (2001-2), This Hour Has 22 Minutes (2001-07) and for five seasons on Canadian TV's most popular comedy series ever: Corner Gas (2004-09).
"On Blackly we just needed a bigger writing team and more time to do each episode --it had potential. On Corner Gas it all came together in exactly the right way." The convergence of great writing and a well chosen cast made this Canadian show far more popular than the competition from U.S. TV.
White then toiled on the first season of Dan For Mayor a series still trying to find itself but infinitely better than Brent Butt's follow up series Hiccups.
On InSecurity Lisinska is a real find as the cool blonde and she can do physical comedy as well as bat around the one liners. When she leaves open her team evaluations Burt thinks he's been given the best score not knowing that like golf the higher the score the dumber the agent.
In her first escapade Alex gets captured by a baddie who turns out to be an old flame from high school. When she asks about one victim "He went bald?" the baddie replies "Yes...I scalped him."
The CSI experts discover where she's been abducted by a half eaten pizza deliberately left on the trail. "Look at the bruising on the tomato!" wonders Benjamin.
When the pizza clerk is pressed to say who ordered the pizza she blurts out "This is so Law & Order!"
The second episode about capturing a gigantic Russian spy offers less fun although the guy who resembles the Incredible Hulk collects the teeth of his victim in a chain around his neck.
"In Russia they call me the tooth fairy," he grins.
CBC has such hopes for InSecurity it is giving the fledgling comedy a great spot Tuesdays at 8:30 following Rick Mercer who usually draws over a million viewers weekly.
All InSecurity has to do is hold three-quarters of those Mercer fans and it will emerge as a hit. A tall order? Yes, but one that seems to be within reach.
INSECURITY DEBUTS ON CBC TUESD. JAN. 4 AT 8:30 P.M.
MY RATING: ***.