At first glance, Karl Pilkington’s scripted comedy series Sick Of It is a shallow echo of Ricky Gervais’ podcast, featuring all the same quips and amusing observations you’d expect with a sprinkling of staged scenarios to justify its TV show format. Under this facade though Sick Of It is a surprisingly deep series, one that manages to weave some thought provoking themes within its humour, all whilst showing off Karl’s acting range in his dual role. Some of the situations are a little unrealistic and the casting of Norma as his American aunt is a little jarring but despite its flaws, Sick Of It certainly has some charm that makes it an enjoyable watch.
The 6 episodes all work as stand-alone stories with a common thread of Karl’s break up with his girlfriend running throughout. From a new sofa arriving during a funeral to a quiet week away spoilt by noisy locals, there’s a variety of incredulous and relatable situations explored with the added narration of Karl’s cynicism on the world around him helping to give the show some originality. This is all showcased through the personification of Karl’s thoughts; a second Karl alongside himself broadcasting all of his thoughts and opinions. The episodes certainly get better as they go along too so it is worth persevering with this one, with the opening episode one of the weakest of the series.
At 20 minutes a piece and only 6 episodes to chew through, Karl’s scripted comedy makes for an easy watch and one that’s very easy to binge. The different situations are relatable with Karl’s mundane life narrated to hilarious fashion through his own cynical and insightful quips. Of course, those who have seen Karl Pilkington’s other material and aren’t a fan of his style of comedy are unlikely to warm to Sick Of It. A lot of the series plays on the observational commentary Karl has become famous for with some of his own jokes rehashed and copied from his podcast. While this helps give the show a distinct comedic edge, it’s also something that may not be wholly original to those expecting something completely different to his usual style of comedy.
How much enjoyment you’ll get out of Sick Of It will be dependent on your tolerance level with Karl Pilkington’s cynical but surprisingly profound observations of the world. If you haven’t taken to his comedy before Sick Of It is unlikely to change your mind and an interesting but oftentimes overlooked thematic core does help give the show an extra dimension it may not have achieved sticking to podcast format. Aunt Norma is miscast and the opening episode is a little rough round the edges but Sick Of It is a fun little comedy series nonetheless. While its unlikely to be as fondly remembered as An Idiot Abroad, there”s enough here to make for an entertaining watch and those who have enjoyed Karl’s comedy in the past, certainly can’t go wrong here.
Verdict - 7/10