The magazine comedy show is something of a dying art. Sometimes, when high drama and tense character relationships feel a little too overwhelming, there’s nothing easier than sticking on a half-hour comedy that highlights the weird and wacky in our world. Out now on DVD in its entirety, Channel 4’s Eurotrash is the perfect remedy. The series is as brazen and wonderful as it was all those decades ago, and it’s even more accessible than ever.
The premise of Eurotrash is a simple one: polar opposite Frenchmen Antoine de Caunes and Jean-Paul Gaultier play host between segments highlighting the oddest and most outlandish escapades across the European continent. There’s no rhyme or reason as to which regions we explore, or the kooky activities contained within. It makes every episode a roll of the dice, brimming with anticipation to see just how bonkers things can get. And often, it’s far sillier than you could imagine.
In just a few of the episodes we sampled for this review, it went from a man dressed as a Smurf infiltrating Disneyland, to an Italian strip club introducing magnetic panties to adapt to the then-new one Euro coin. Fittingly, Eurotrash doesn’t take itself seriously at all, often sniffing the most jaw-droppingly absurd scenarios that you won’t foreget in a hurry.
It’s all held together by the back-and-forth between de Caunes and Gaultier, who bounce off each other so well. It’s a shame that Gaultier departs the show before its end, as the episodes without the iconic French duo lack the same magnetism during the intra-segment inserts. But nonetheless, there’s so much fun to witness between the two, with equally hilarious and self-aware voiceovers to boot. Eagle-eyed viewers will also spot the odd celebrity cameo, with one notable segment involving Eddie Izzard running through the introduction of the Euro in the continent.
It’s clear to see how shows like Russell Howard’s Good News and Rude Tube took huge inspiration from Eurotrash, which took the magazine formula and adopted it strictly for an adult audience. Yes, Eurotrash earns its 18 rating, with a special focus on sex and the naked female body. Sometimes you’ll wonder whether the show borders on sheer objectification due to just how much nudity there is, but it’s absolved by the show’s goal of proliferating the more taboo cultures running through Europe.
This new DVD box set is a need for fans of the show looking to relive old favourites or catch up on episodes you may have missed during its original run. It’s a shame that there’s a lack of special features, because any behind-the-scenes footage or retrospective analyses could’ve been really interesting.
Despite that, it’s more than worth a watch if you need something easy to stick on and find yourself lost in. Eurotrash is painfully watchable thanks to the increasingly weird and wacky people and practices it highlights, and the formula never gets old as a result.
Eurotrash is out now on DVD and digital.