Review: Toast of Tinseltown

I’m a huge fan of Matt Berry and loved the chronicles of egotistical, always on the cusp of both failure and success actor Steven Toast in Toast of London.

Toast of Tinseltown, though…you know when you get the new album by a band you like, and, like, some of the old magic is there, but it just doesn’t hit the same way? Yeah, it’s like that.

While Toast of London was always over the top, Toast of Tinseltown goes all the way to surreal, and the results are mixed. I’m tempted to blame the whole thing on the casting of Fred Armisen, that pioneer of the Comedy Without Laughs genre, who here, once again, delivers a performance that I understand to be comic but that inspires no laughter. (Perhaps this is because he’s actually a little too good at playing a prickly, unpredictable guy with a dark secret?). Rashida Jones is charming as usual, but I still haven’t forgiven her for pulling out of the film adaptation of one of my novels and thus denying me a sweet payday. She’s also not particularly funny in this.

To return to my album analogy, think of this as Billy Bragg’s Don’t Try This at Home, or X’s Ain’t Love Grand, or whatever version of that album a band you really like put out. There’s still some good stuff here, and if you liked the other stuff, you’ll still find stuff to like here, but you’re not going to reach for it first and you definitely wouldn’t recommend it as a starting place.