Never let it be said I don't give things a chance. The second episode of The Persuasionists was marginally better than last week's yawn-fest, mainly because there was more going on, but "The Handsomeness" was still a laugh-free zone for the most part. Things perk up whenever Daisy Haggard or Simon Farnaby are around acting silly, but it's otherwise a waste of time and talent.
The plot this week involved a campaign for beauty cream "Night Gak", being modeled by bimbo popstar Victoria (Kelly Adams), who revealed to Greg (Adam Buxton) that she's looking for an "ordinary" boyfriend, prompting him to demonstrate his innate facileness in order to woo her. Meanwhile, Emma (Haggard) was given a position of power that led to her quarantining all the ugly employees in the agency's boiler room.
Look, there's definitely potential in an advertising agency sitcom with an episode focusing on beauty, but The Persuasionists is too daft to land any insightful blows[*], and its surrealism isn't clever enough to feel inspired. The IT Crowd does a far better job of skewering workplace/pop-culture targets via oddball, larger-than-life comedy. Here, you just have Iain Lee acting like he's still reading The 11 O'Clock Show's autocue, and Jarred Christmas bellowing.
Consider me dissuaded from watching anymore.
20 January 2010 BBC2, 10pm
written by: Jonathan Thake directed by: Tristram Shapeero starring: Adam Buxton (Greg), Jarred Christmas (Clive), Simon Farnaby (Keaton), Daisy Haggard (Emma), Iain Lee (Billy), Kelly Adams (Victoria), Alex Beckett (Owen), Andrew Brooke (Photographer), Stefano Braschi (Agency Worker #1), Roxanne McKee (Agency Worker #2) & David Schaal (Maintenance Man)
[*] Considering the fact creator Jonathan Thake has a background in advertising, the biggest disappointment so far is the lack of "inside knowledge" giving everything a bedrock of plausibility to expound upon in a comical way. Y'know, Ricky Gervais used to work in an office...