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DVD Review

DVD cover

This is Jinsy
Series 2


Starring: Justin Chubb, Chris Bran, Alice Lowe, Janine Duvitski and Geoff McGivern
Distributor: Delta Leisure
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 24 February 2014

This Is Jinsy: Series 2 takes us back to the extraordinary island for eight colourful new adventures complete with knitwear, folksong and hi-tech surveillance. Join Arbiter Maven, his assistant, Sporall, repairwoman Soosan and legal advisor Trince as they attempt to control Jinsy’s troublesome residents. From an invasion of ancient hair to a dangerous encounter with a tribe of wild accountants, from the mysterious scheming of arch-enemy The Speckled Pom-Pom to a quest for The Golden Woggle… the island is once again peopled with a veritable who’s who of great British stars as they’ve never been seen before including Stephen Fry, Olivia Colman, Ben Miller, Sir Derek Jacobi, Rob Brydon, Dame Eileen Atkins, Greg Davies, Stephen Mangan, Jennifer Saunders, KT Tunstall, Phil Davis and Katy Brand...

The second series of This is Jinsy sees another eight episodes of wacky mayhem. If you've never seen the show... it filters out the best elements of Monty Python, Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen. And for its style... well, where as The League of Gentlemen was notable for its wonderful make-up effects... This is Jinsy puts more of a focus on wigs and facial hair to hide the fact that most of the characters are portrayed by two actors (Chris Bran Justin Chubb, who also write the series).

Justin Chubb plays Arbiter Maven, the leader of the fictional island of Jinsy. The series is set in an alternative reality which incorporates elements of Gorge Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Helping Maven are his assistant Sporall Lertock (Chris Bran), repairwoman Soosan Noop (Alice Lowe), guardian of The Tower Mrs Goadion (Janine Duvitski) and legal adviser Trince (Geoffrey McGivern).

Based in the Great Tower in the parish of Veen, Maven and Sporall keep a close eye on the residents of Jinsy all 791 of them. Life on the island is rather Orwellian: each colourful member of the community, from local folk Dribbler Melody lane to weather monk Tracee Henge, is monitored by a surveillance system of tessellators (1,067 of them to be precise).

Each episode has it's own contained storyline and famous guest star, but there are also ongoing running jokes. These usually take the form of shows broadcast to the residents via the tessellators and include Punishment Roundup (where certain residents are punished for breaking the rules); Sandy's Choice (a talent show that's judged by a dog); Element Repord [sic] (a surreal weather report); The Singing Obituaries (musical news of the day's deaths); and important news of the day (this segment, which is narrated by Jennifer Saunders, is very reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's Monty Python animation inserts).

This series includes eight episodes and features intelligent hair attempting to overrun the island; Maven having to tame a wild accountant into doing his yearly tax return; Maven hiring a double to sit in for him at a public event after he discovers he's going to be assassinated; Maven and Sporall dressing up as girls to go to a girls finishing school and collect the pendant prize they've won; Sporall and the other residents partaking in the annual pagan festival without alerting Maven; Maven banning jumpers when he believes that a super criminal is using them to transmit secret messages; Maven having to kill one resident when the island becomes over populated; and on discovering that his Arbiter uniform is actually a crudely thrown together unofficial costume, Maven visits the previous Arbiter to find out where the ceremonial woggle is residing.

Extras are a little short. All we get are two deleted songs: Uncertainty (27 sec) and Where Were You (11 sec) and a Stills Gallery (3 min, 54 sec). But then the low retail price of £9.99 reflects this.

This is a wonderful series that is packed with original comedy and wacky scenarios. A word of warning though, ff you're the sort of person who hates comedy songs then you will find large chunks of this series not to your liking.


Darren Rea

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