"Mockumentary" Come Fly With Me Premieres On BBC America

Hilarious and ambitious, the award winning Britcom is a comedy treat.

By , Columnist

A small sampling of the nearly fifty characters Matt Lucas and David Walliams portray in Come Fly With Me.

In 2001, Ricky Gervais' classic The Office premiered on the BBC, and the "mockumentary" was born. Prior to Gervais' brainchild, actors breaking away from the action to speak directly to the camera was a no-no. The success of The Office changed that. The British version of The Office begat the American sitcom, which has been in business years longer than its British predecessor.

Now Little Britain creators, Matt Lucas and David Walliams, have taken it upon themselves to further blur the line between comic reality and fantasy with Come Fly With Me, a hilarious, often scathing parody of the popular reality show Airport.

Come Fly With Me
, winner of the 2011 BAFTA for comedy, takes place in a British airline terminal and, like the show it parodies, focuses on a day in the life of airline employees. The difference is, unless you have a fondness for inept, careless louts, you might not want these employees helping you along on your journey.

You'll meet Omar Baba, penny-pinching founder of FlyLo, Britain's eighth favorite low-cost airline, Taaj, a member of the ground crew who wants to be a filmmaker. (His favorite film? Avatar 2: "It's not out yet but it's gonna be great".) Keely and Melody, FlyLo's bickering check-in girls, married pilots Simon Trent and Jackie, and Precious Little, the world's laziest coffee kiosk lady. Over fifty characters will appear during the course of the episodes, all played by Lucas and Walliams, who are aided award-winning costume and make-up teams.

It is an ambitious undertaking and judging by the first three episodes, one that might last a few seasons (or "series," as they say in the U.K.). That said, the humor can be mean-spirited: Ian Foot, chief immigration officer, might be the most bigoted character on television. If you don't mind a smattering of that sort of thing, you'll enjoy Come Fly With Me.  The show is smart, laugh out loud funny, and a unique addition to BBC America's Britcom lineup.  

Come Fly With Me
airs on Saturdays at 11:30 PM ET on BBC America.

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Mindy Peterman is a freelance writer whose focus is on television, movies and pop culture. She has written over one hundred articles for the award winning Blogcritics.org website and has conducted interviews with producer Peter Asher, psychic-medium John Edward, Greg Grunberg and Bob Guiney from Band…

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