This Is Jinsy Review: Islands On The Screeng

March 1, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

THIS IS JINSY: Monday 1st March, BBC3, 9.30pm ALERT ME

Welcome to Jinsy, a land of leg salutes, mawk tats, the highly flammable beverage Pelch and home to new surreal comedy This Is Jinsy.

The country’s small population are monitored by contraptions called tessalators – devices with little screens to watch important island events, a coin slot for paying fines and a nozzle to download products and pills.

Arbiter Maven rules from the Tower with help from his underling Operative Sporall. The pair keep the islanders under constant surveillance, picking them up on untoward activities and administering electric shocks.

In this pilot, Maven and Sporall travel to the neighbouring land mass of Old Jinsy to install a tessalator and unite its tribal peoples with the mainland.

Chopped into the plot are random sketches, presented as tessalator broadcasts. These provide most of the laughs and include some talking seagulls, weather reports and a rendition of the island’s national anthem.

At times the episode tries too hard to be bizarre, making it hard to get into the characters. Fresh talent Chris Bran and Justin Chubb, who write, direct as well as star in the series, may have created a completely new world but follow very much in the footsteps of the Mighty Boosh.

Like the Boosh there are some comical songs and pointless asides but the island’s dictator and his henchman lack the warmth of Vince and Howard.

There is extensive use of CGI to create the island’s bizarre landscape which is impressive on a small budget but doesn’t quite match the home-made charm of Boosh director Paul King’s creations.

Sometimes being constantly “random? can become predictable. If This Is Jinsy wants to become a cult favourite it needs to develop the leads into loveable characters.

A promising start to what could well become your new favourite madcap comedy.

Arms & the Lady says:

I very much agree with the review.

Being from Guernsey, and a Boosh fan as it happens, I really wanted to love this. Instead I liked it and can see a great potential.

The Boosh, which does seem the most useful comparison, had a heritage of stage performance and then a radio series where they honed their characterisations before a TV commission was on the cards.

I don’t know if Jinsy had a similar background, but it feels like they worked extremely hard on approaching TV before anything else. Could be their undoing.

Obviously I’m prepared to be assertively corrected if I’m making the wrong assumptions.


The This is Jinsy pilot is probably one of the worst written, performed and directed pieces I have ever seen. Boys go back to the drawing board and get a proper External Director and writers – you really can’t see how bad you are.
In summary I’ve seen better 6th form reviews. BBC get proper talent in and stop the my mate culture!!

Charliehungerford says:

I thought this review was spot on, if not a bit too generous. This is Jinsy had a handful of smile out loud moments but fell too much into the random whimsy bracket. It wasn’t hateful like a lot of BBC3 efforts but simply wasn’t nearly funny enough to be a hit. The Boosh, as you so rightly point out, anchor their surrealism in a very clearly defined Laurel and Hardy like double act dynamic – one is a silly sunny idiot savant (Vince) and the other is a self-regarding know all who constantly has his pomposity deflated (Howard). The Jinsy pair only hint at this. They also lack the pop culture Hoxton savvy to appeal to teens I think. I also feel I’ve seen ‘the aren’t people in the provinces weird’ done much better – Father Ted particularly and the League of Gentlemen. It doesn’t help that I’m from Jersey and know the place to be a lot funnier in reality than this is – think Howard’s Way and, of course, Bergerac. I don’t think this deserves a series, but a moderately brave stab. One final point, I found the design interesting, and slightly reminiscent of the nautical Steampunk world of Bioshock.