Urban Myths (TV series): Episode aired 19 January 2017

(director: Ben Palmer; screenwriter: Neal Webster; cinematographer: David Marsh; editor: Mark Henson; cast: Eddie Marsan (Bob Dylan), Paul Ritter (Dave), Katherine Parkinson (Ange), Jessica Gunning (Border officer), Cavan Clerkin (Taxi Driver); Runtime: 22; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Neal Webster; Sky Arts Channel; 2017-UK)

“The sophomoric comedy borders on being moronic.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

On August 1993 Bob Dylan (Eddie Marsan) flies to London to visit his singer friend Dave Stewart (part of U.K. synth-pop duo Eurythmics), but he gets lost not knowing the exact address, just that it’s in north London (in the area called Crouch End).

Bob walks around the area and at random knocks on a door. Responding to questions of what he wants in a wise-guy enigmatic tone, until the lady answering the door, Ange (Katherine Parkinson), has enough of his sassy talk and tells him Dave (Paul Ritter) just popped out but will be back soon. Bob invites himself in, and she tells him to make himself at home in the couple’s living room and she makes him tea. When the plumber Dave returns it’s obvious that he’s not the Dave that Bob was looking for, but the hipster Bob stays anyway talking gibberish with him and in an egotistical way talks down his celebrity. Dave recognizes him, though Ange does not. The guys mainly talk about Dave’s large LP record collection, which Bob admires except for a Donovan’s Greatest Hits album (giving me my only laugh in the film). Before leaving when it gets dark, Bob autographs Dave’s early Freewheelin album and advises him to marry Ange–because he knows a good woman when he meets one. Bob then takes a cab to the airport and heads back home to Malibu, hinting that it doesn’t really matter that he didn’t meet his pal Dave.

The sophomoric comedy borders on being moronic, Dylan comes off looking like a twit and the inane skit tries to make the rock star accessible and likable (things he’s not noted for).

The Urban Myths British TV series on the Sky Arts Channel was most notable for a controversy surrounding the casting of Joseph Fiennes in the role of Michael Jackson, an episode that was pulled from transmission. If I were them, I would also pull this schlocky episode. It’s directed by Ben Palmer and Neal Webster as if it wants to pat itself on the back for bringing up a few obscure and unimportant things about Dylan that only his hardcore fans would know. For instance, Dylan in 1993 went into the Banner’s restaurant, where he tried to get just a drink but, due to licensing laws, would have to order food too. Dylan is immortalized (or mocked, depending on how you see it) to this day in the venue’s artwork featuring him asking, “Don’t you know who I am?”

REVIEWED ON 12/31/2019  GRADE: C+