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Toast of London

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Deleted Scene: Toast Reads Bob Marley
Toast does his best Bob Marley impression in the voice booth

Watch Toast of London Season 6 Episode 1 Now

Toast of London is an eccentric, surreal British comedy series, first aired in 2012 on the Channel 4 network. The brainchild of co-creators Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews, this darkly hilarious sitcom blends comedic absurdity, suave satire, and sharp wit, providing viewers with a truly unique viewing experience that stands distinct in the realm of comedy television.

The series centers around Steven Toast, a vain, middle-aged, formerly renowned stage actor, portrayed with razor-sharp comedic timing by Matt Berry. Steven’s theatrical career is on the downturn, and while he tries to revitalize his fortunes and name in London's glitzy, glamorous, yet cutthroat acting sector, he ends up with voice-over work for shoddy adverts and dodgy dramas.

Throughout the series, viewers witness Toast's chaotic life teetering on the brink of disaster. His professional life is filled with ludicrous situations, narrated using flamboyantly dramatic soliloquies. The vibrant cast of characters includes eccentric colleagues, competitive rivals, and an agent with dubious competence. Yet, what keeps you invested is Steven's determination to make the best of his dire predicaments, his unflinching pride in his craft, and his steadfast refusal to become an 'unemployed actor'.

Toast of London is a satirical masterpiece, with its writing dynamically capturing the trials and tribulations of an actor's life beautifully. It employs a potent blend of slapstick comedy, character-based humor, and sophisticated wit to lambast the world of showbiz, highlighting the precariousness, artifice, and ego clashes prevalent in the industry.

Matt Berry excels as Steven Toast, utilizing his impressive range of facial expressions and rich, distinctive voice, which become cornerstones of both his character's persona and the show’s comedy. Additionally, the supporting cast comprising Doon Mackichan as his ruthless agent Jane Plough, Robert Bathurst as edgy actor Ed Howzer-Black, and Harry Peacock as his rival Ray Purchase, among others, give stellar performances. Their on-screen dynamics build a seamless flow of humour that lends depth and quirkiness to the narrative.

Beyond its humorous façade, the series skillfully incorporates elements of parody, surrealism, and social commentary. The absurd circumstances Toast finds himself in, coupled with his oddly romantic idealism about his craft, lead to a succession of hilarious and bizarre scenarios that savagely satirize the London theatre and television industries.

Conversely, Toast of London isn't a comedy that instantly connects with everyone. Its brand of humor leans towards the absurd and often requires viewers to suspend their disbelief. Some of the humour is purposefully cringe-inducing, which might not resonate with everyone’s comedic sensibilities - but this distinctive character forms part of the show's appeal. It relishes in the unconventional and refreshingly resists the temptation to play it safe, making it a stimulating detour from traditional sitcom formulae.

Furthermore, the show's technical aspects are commendable. Toast of London uses visuals and sounds innovatively, featuring distinct video montages, theatre driven sets and vivid colors that give it a retro, yet contemporary vibe. The imagery, flashing lights, and cuts synchronize well with its fast-paced humor. Its catchy theme song and intermittent musical performances by Berry himself add an additional creative dimension to the show which underpins its characteristic originality.

Toast of London is a critically acclaimed show, having garnered several nominations and awards, including a BAFTA for Matt Berry's performance. Its satirical take on an actor's life, the idiosyncrasies of showbiz, and its unusual style of comedy separate it from the pack. For all of its surrealism and barrelfuls of absurdity, the series remains anchored by its inherently human characters whose flaws, ambitions, and failures compel you to cheer for them, laugh at them, and occasionally wince at their misfortunes.

In conclusion, Toast of London offers a fresh, audaciously comical take on the world of theatre and voice acting. It thrives on the eccentricity of its characters, its surreal narrative landscape, and its relentless wit, making it a unique, amusing, and thought-provoking watching experience.

Toast of London is a series categorized as a canceled/ended. Spanning 6 seasons with a total of 22 episodes, the show debuted on 2013. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.2.

Channel 4
Matt Berry, Robert Bathurst, Doon Mackichan
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