It was early. Or it may have been late. The windows were covered in clouds and I was jet-lagged. I had no idea what time it was, and I didn’t really care, for there is nothing as content as the moment you wake to the soft echoes of children laughing.
We were in Sweden staying with friends, and my wife and I were sleeping in a converted attic that required slow steps upon either end of a twisting staircase. I found my footing and then the living room, the kids all bundled in it, happy in hushed tones before the glow of a warm television and summer-crisped twilight.
They were watching a show I had never seen before, something they had found on Netflix, and it only took a minute before I grabbed a seat and joined in their merriment. The other adults appeared between yawns and intervals, there was coffee and the day grew suddenly brighter.
The show is called Pompidou, and we watched every episode, yet none of us could say what it was, exactly, that we were watching. The general consensus was that it may be either the most ridiculous or the most genius work that we’ve seen in quite sometime, and we all enjoyed it immensely.
The British comedy stars Matt Lucas (Little Britain) as the title character, an aristocrat living in a trailer park with his man servant (Alex MacQueen) and a very smart dog, and is, for the most part, devoid of any actual dialogue. That doesn’t mean that the characters don’t speak, just that on the rare occasion they do it’s in delightful gibberish.
“This is great, because anyone can watch it,” said my Swedish friend. “It’s all physical comedy.”
He was referring to the lacking need for subtitles and understanding English, although it applies just as well to the age of the audience. Granted, there were a few scenes where we, the adults, would glance at one another and wonder aloud if it was actually a “kid’s show,” but those were few and far between. Besides, the kids didn’t seem to notice. They were too busy laughing.
“Can we get this on American Netflix?” the boys asked.
A quick Internet search confirmed that we could.
“Good. We need to watch it again.”
The show became a constant point of reference during the entirety of our vacation, everyone working to perfect their respective Pompidou impersonation and the running jokes that we added to it. As promised we even brought it back to Los Angeles, mumbling, stumbling and laughing all the way.
That seems genius enough to me.
This post was written as part of our relationship with the Netflix #StreamTeam. Netflix has a lot of great shows for the whole family available for streaming or rental, which is nice. All opinions are our own.