Sitcoms that have parody as their major thrust are a challenge to get right. Enough people have to recognise what it is you’re mocking and not to hold it too dear to be offended by it for it to work. That’s before you even get to making it actually funny, which is an even greater challenge, as you are working at one level of humour constantly. You risk repeating gags much earlier than if you have a comedy with lots of different streaks to it.

Angie Tribeca is the latest parody to launch. It obviously owes a debt to the likes of Police Squad, but has chosen the increasingly over-blown CSI and NCIS franchises as its source. The titles, using mocked up CGI-graphics on glamourous LA scenes whilst a rock voice screams, before it cuts away to the screams coming from a cop holding a hot coffee pot or something similar is an obvious nod to the pretentious title sequence of the likes of CSI Miami. It is also one of my favourite gags, just for its sheer daftness.

Overall, some of the jokes work a lot better than others. The interplay between Tanner and his canine partner Hoffman has me giggling away like a fool. The supposed relationship developing between Tribeca and Geils leaves me cold, however. It just doesn’t work, to my mind, to have a romantic sub-plot, even if you are parodying romantic sub-plots.

It also has another, more unique problem, here in the UK, in that it is scheduled straight after Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I am a huge fan of Brooklyn, and it has the different layers that allow it to have greater breadth in its humour than Tribeca. Because of this, its gags have a higher hit rate. If one character or scene doesn’t hit the spot, the next one probably will. Tribeca, with its one-note humour, as to make it all work constantly, otherwise it just doesn’t work. The first couple of episodes have been good enough for it to succeed, but I question whether it can last an entire series at the same pace.

Despite this, I want to give it a real shot. Like I say, so far I am liking it more than I hate it, and is able to tap its sources just right. Will it stand the test of time? Who knows? It’s raising enough laughs now to earn its stripes. Just maybe don’t screen it so close to its biggest rival.

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