Streaming highlights February 26: The First Team, 2067 & The Muppet Show

KITTED OUT: The First Team is a fictional look at modern life for young professional footballers.
KITTED OUT: The First Team is a fictional look at modern life for young professional footballers.



IT'S no coincidence that watching The First Team feels like The Inbetweeners set inside an English Premier League soccer team.

The six-episode British comedy series sees writer-directors Damon Beesley and Iain Morris reunite for the first time since 2014's The Inbetweeners 2 movie and the results are mixed.

The pair's brand of humour has matured slightly, in line with the modern times. There's no mentions of "clunge" and none of the characters are quite as colourful as the sex-obsessed Jay.

However, The First Team is hardly grasping for anything greater. The target audience remains young men and there's enough lad jokes to keep them engaged, mixed in with witty observations about famous young men navigating the pitfalls of social media and female relations.

The First Team follows three rookies playing in a fictional Premier League team, amidst fan pressure and locker room politics.

There's Mattie (Jake Short), a earnest American who appears to have been signed by accident and he doesn't even appear on FIFA, shy Jack (Jack McMullen) who is actually talented but constantly derailed by his insecurity and the cavalier Benji (Shaquille Ali-Yebuah) who is obsessed with using Instagram to pick up girls but still lives with his overbearing mother.

Inbetweeners actors Tamla Kari and Theo Barklem-Biggs are also part of the cast as the aggressive club media manager Olivia and the maniac team captain Petey.

Fans of The Inbetweeners will find The First Team amusing, but don't expect quite the same magic this time around from Beesley and Morris.

What made The Inbetweeners so special was the chemistry within the cast and its honest portrayal of the awkwardness of teen life.

The First Team doesn't hit the target every time, but the jokes find the back of the net often enough to be worth the journey.



HIT SKIP: Kodi Smit-McPhee in Australian film 2067.

HIT SKIP: Kodi Smit-McPhee in Australian film 2067.

AUSTRALIAN filmmakers have delved into sci-fi of late, most notably with Occupation and its bigger-budget sequel Occupation: Rainfall.

While the former was an enjoyable enough ride, because it didn't take itself seriously and understood it was a B-grade film, 2067 sadly aims far higher and falls miserably short.

The world is slowly suffocating as climate change has destroyed all plant life, leaving the last surviving humans to live on synthetic oxygen with is made from mining. However, increasingly it's failing as more people die from "the sickness" caused by the tainted oxygen.

When scientists receive a radio signal from the year 2474 they decide to send miner Ethan Whyte (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to the future to find the cure to save the planet.

There are some interesting ideas at the heart of 2067, but they're ruined by lame special affects and wooden acting. Smit-McPhee is admirable in the leading role, but Ryan Kwanten and Deborah Mailman struggle with the cliche dialogue.



NOSTALGIC: The Muppet Show.

NOSTALGIC: The Muppet Show.

I LOVED The Muppet movies as a kid. Iconic characters like Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo and Fozzie inhabit some of my earliest memories. Disney+ is keeping the nostalgia alive by adding all five seasons of The Muppet Show to its platform that ran from 1976 to 1981.

Sadly the absurdist brand of humour doesn't age well and the variety format plays like a lost relic from the '70s.