This is Jinsy: Review: Episode 1

Sky Atlantic, September 19

Welcome to Jinsy, a small island whose inhabitants are monitored constantly by the tessellators as they obey their communicative god, the Great He. Justin Chubb plays Arbiter Maven, in charge of everything on Jinsy ,assisted by the only almost-ordinary person seen in the opener, Chris Bran as Sporall. And in order to keep the Jinsey gene pool clear, there’s a wedding lottery…

Highly surreal, watching the first episode of This is Jinsy is the mental equivalent of sticking your finger in a light socket – there’s a great deal of flash, quite a lot of bang, and then a realisation that your perspective has been changed.

There are elements of many previous hits here – the isolated island community of Father Ted, with its loopy inhabitants; the fake adverts that have appeared in everything from The Goodies onwards (and you get the feeling that trio would fit in quite well here); exaggerated local characterisations seen in The League of Gentlemen or Little Britain (and heard in the radio shows of the 1960s such as Round the Horne).

Add in the most over the top performance from David Tennant, at times channelling Catherine Tate, at others almost parodying Matt Smith’s Doctor, and you’ve got 25 minutes that inevitably doesn’t work throughout, but which has a high enough hit rate that it’s likely to attract an audience.

Verdict: Worth a look, but won’t be to everyone’s tastes by any means.  6/10

Paul Simpson

 

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