sun 19/05/2019

Dead Pixels, E4, review - gamers for a laugh | reviews, news & interviews

Dead Pixels, E4, review - gamers for a laugh

Dead Pixels, E4, review - gamers for a laugh

Witty sitcom about videogame addicts pits real life against fantasy

Game on: Alexa Davies as Meg in 'Dead Pixels'Mr Whisper

The joke in Dead Pixels, a new sitcom on E4, is that there is a better life to be pursued in the fantasy world of videogames. In this alt. environment, outcomes can be controlled by consoles and keyboards, squeamishness about violence can be parked and you are free to be your best or worst self. Probably the show’s target audience is gamers under 30, but I’m very far from either and I found it a hoot.

The other joke is that real life has a habit of butting in. Thus we first met squat blonde Meg (Alexa Davies) on the badminton court where she was plotting to end a long period of celibacy. Then the phone rang. It was her geeky redhead game bud Nicky (Will Merrick) summoning her urgently back to her screen to put out a cyber-fire in a pixelated castle in the non-world they inhabit online.

The script has come up with a lot of ways to describe Meg’s barren run. “My vagina is like a rare penny black,” she told Nicky. “It is never get licked.” She also needs to “feed the beast in the basement cos she needs her nutrients and she is growling”. When it all gets too much she disappears to the loo “because I am in the mood for some rubbin’ of the nubbin”. The author of these frank gags about female sexuality is Jon Brown, a graduate of Misfits and Fresh Meat.Dead PixelsMeg and Nicky have an addiction issue – they’re so hooked to their screens we only discovered at the end of the first episode that they are flatmates. But they’re nothing to Usman (Sargon Yelda), an American on a large sofa in a large house who happily neglects his children. The other characters are outsiders who bring perspective. Meg’s flatmate Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) is regarded with utter pity for wanting to learn the flute. Russell (David Mumeni) is a dim new co-worker whose status as a gaming novice – a clacker, owing to the frenetic noise he makes on his keyboard - is so ruthlessly exploited by the others they shock even themselves as they club his avatar to death.

The action flits between the world of offices and bedsits and the cleverly visualised otherwhere in which the gamers act out their baser urges. There are doubtless in-jokes that only gamers will appreciate. It can equally be read as a brilliant disincentive to go anywhere near a console. Laughing at gamers as they laugh at themselves is the best solution all round. The whole series is available to binge on on All4. It looks like a big hit.

It can equally be read as a brilliant disincentive to go anywhere near a console

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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