Show offers gender bending comedy

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November 24, 2008

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It’s hard to find examples of metrosexuality in the media. Debate and social issues aside, I, for one, am thrilled about the term. After so much binary gender expression being shoved in my face since my pink and frilly Barbie years, it’s fantastic to see some grey in our black and white gender world. I went searching in the wilderness of sitcoms and reality TV for my own metrosexual gem, which I have unearthed in the British comedy series The Mighty Boosh. Don’t worry. It’s not a show about the tragedy that is living outside normalcy. It’s a comedy show that will have you in stitches

Metro-joy finds its form in the character of Vince Noir, played by Noel Fielding. He and his best friend Howard Moon, played by Julian Barratt, with a host of supporting and equally awesome characters find themselves in strange yet hilarious situations throughout the episodes. Vince can be seen in a plethora of amazing and couture-liscious outfits that contradict the stereotype that men can’t dress themselves unless the Fab Five sort it out. That’s right. He’s fierce.Whether he’s jamming tundra style aside a polar bear in a glam rock ski suit, highlighting the Velvet Onion in a bi-gendered Electro boy/girl polo number, or fighting off urban foxes in a low cut Joan Jett jumpsuit, Vince Noir knows funky fresh androgynous fashion like the back of his hand. How does he hold up against nefarious characters? If any mountain man thinks he can mess with the likes of Noir, Vince sets him straight (literally, no pun intended) with the Nikki Clarke hair straightener he religiously uses. Whilst he keeps up to date with the fashion trends via the magazines Cheekbone and Dazed and Confused or various binges at Top Shop, Vince Noir gives the Boosh a character that couldn’t be replaced, even by the notorious look-stealing Lance Dior, who Vince and Howard defeat with a bout of crimping. Don’t know what crimping is? Well, as Vince would say, get involved. I won’t give away Boosh secrets.

While weaving in and out of androgynous fashion choices in styled and complicated hair, Vince also weaves in and out of binary sexuality. In a trip through Vince’s brain to eradicate a rogue jazz cell, Howard happens upon a fantastically dressed brain cell. And when Howard tries to shove him in the closet to hide him from the jazz cell, Vince’s brain cell kindly informs him that he does swing both ways, but he’s not really feeling it with Howard. And when Howard’s luck with females is spent and he declares he’s going to play for the home team, Vince calls his bluff. He tells Howard that going gay is not as simple as buying a ladder and men fancy Vince because, and I quote, “I’m the confuser. Is it a man? Is it a woman? Ooh, I’m not sure if I mind.” To prove to the Head Shaman that Vince has no intentions upon his wife, he and Howard share – gasp – a kiss. And it gives the no hips touching, double back pat socially acceptable American male “hug” a good solid kick in the arse.

So if you liked Mulan better in drag and thought the Ugly Stepsister was a marvelous addition to the boring and typical princesses, you’re going to love Vince Noir as well as the entire Boosh gang. Noir fills the desperate need for refreshingly androgynous and fantastic characters in the media.


Show offers gender bending comedy was published on November 24, 2008 in Arts & Entertainment

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