If you’re on the case, Sophie Willian: Novice Detective deserves your skills of deduction.
There’s something inherently depressing about daytime detective shows – who are they for? –The retired? The unemployed? Mum and the baby, or you and your gran? Willian’s fascination (obsession?) with them is connected to missing her father as a child, and having the fantasy of being a detective and solving the case of just who her father may be. This takes her and her conspiracy-crazy Nan on a novice detective’s investigation to find him. What follows are gags where a man from the audience is turned into Willian’s assistant detective, forced to don a Poirot moustache and the coat, hat and mannerisms of Humphrey Bogart. It’s all quite fun but all rather odd as well; as we’re forced to play out Willian’s detective fantasies in the desperate teenage desire to find her father. There is some unfortunate dragging in the middle, once the detective idea has been played with for a while and the show reverts to audience focused gags. But then almost out of nowhere the show’s real emotional core kicks in and you’re laughing and feel like crying at the same time and you’re not sure which one is happening when.
Sophie Willian is a likable and witty comedian. Her show has its faults and may not appeal to everyone, especially if you have no interest in detective shows, but if you’re on the case, Sophie Willian: Novice Detective deserves your skills of deduction.