thu 02/10/2014

Louis Theroux: America's Most Dangerous Pets, BBC Two/ Misfits, Series 3, E4 | TV reviews, news & interviews

Louis Theroux: America's Most Dangerous Pets, BBC Two/ Misfits, Series 3, E4

Another visit to the human zoo, this time also containing animals, and a new probationer in orange overalls

Big pussy diary: Louis Theroux meets captive tigers in the Midwest

He’s been in the presence of murderers, rapists and paedophiles. He’s auditioned naked for a porn movie and submitted his tender midriff to liposuction. He’s spent more time than can be good for anyone in the company of Mr and Mrs Christina Hamilton. Yet it was only last night that, for the first time ever, audiences glimpsed Louis Theroux in a state of unvarnished terror. And fair play, he wasn’t afraid to show it.

The cause: a chimp, young but already powerful and, in the tentative Theroux embrace, threatening at any moment to remove, by force, the popular proboscis of documentary television’s leading metropolitan ironist. Did Louis not like that. Later a larger chimp was let out to play and this time Louis was content to watch from afar as the simian ran considerably amok, smashing inter alia the window behind which he had diligently retreated. Even the chimp’s owner slipped into Anglo-Saxon. “I think we have what we need,” whimpered a manful Louis, containing the urge to soil himself.

For once the ostensible subjects of Theroux's researches could not answer his keynote question

And then there were the cats. None of them moggies. An Indiana zookeeper dragged over his Siberian tiger, promising interaction. “We should probably have talked this through,” suggested Louis through a crack in a door.

The prairies of the Midwest have been a happy hunting ground for Theroux. They teem with big game of the sort who fit neatly in his crosshairs. But in recent outings Louis’s merciless pursuit of the great-maned American weirdo has started to look a little tired. In the end, one fruitcake is just like another, swimming amniotically in bile, chainmailed in braindead delusion. It’s all felt a little bit like schlepping round the block again. Louis goes back to prison. Louis munches on another bag of nuts. Louis’s season ticket to the human zoo.

But this was different. In a helpful contribution to the show’s pre-publicity, an Ohio zookeeper lately let his menagerie loose before killing himself. For once the ostensible subjects of Theroux's researches could not answer his keynote question – how does it feel to be banged up? It was left to their gaolers to do the talking. As usual Louis was unable to persuade them to see reason. One zookeeper was bringing up a bear and tiger together, as if trying to rewrite The Jungle Book. Another owned 156 tigers. Various of them are breeding with lions to spawn a new super-race of feline labradoodle. The zookeeper playing God was called Joe Exotic. Possibly not a family name.

Misfits is back for a third series, missing Robert Sheehan whose absence was carefully explained in an eight-minute segment screened online a few weeks back. Last night a new character called Rudy came off the subs' bench. As played by Joseph Gilgun (pictured right) with a fruity Mancunian accent, he is just as gobby; in fact twice as gobby, given that his special power is to split in two and represent two diametrically opposed points of view at the same time. It’s not much of a gift. As if trapped in an early Shakespeare comedy, he keeps getting blamed for the stuff perpetrated by his doppelgänger. Two comely new female characters were dead and buried by the end of episode one thanks to this unfortunate tic.

We are advised by the honchos at E4 Towers that the surviving quartet will be taking on new powers in this fresh run-out. Curtis can turn into a girl, for instance, which sounds like fun. Perhaps Kelly will turn into a lady. According to Wikipedia, she acquires “and [sic] ability of hightened [sic] inteligence [sic]”. Which she should maybe pass around. The back-of-the-class sniggerers whom Misfits is keen to impress will note that there’s been no change in series creator Howard Overman’s Tourette’s. Last night there was much discussion of cock monsters and pussy meisters and unprotected anal sex. Better out than in.

The back-of-the-class sniggerers whom Misfits is keen to impress will note that there’s been no change in series creator Howard Overman’s Tourette’s

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