I didn’t plan on it but I watched the pilot (and only episode ever broadcast) of the 1990 British sitcom Heil Honey, I’m Home, one of the worst shows ever made.
I could write something original about it but the show just isn’t worth the effort. Instead I’ll just make some Simpsons comparisons.
“Brother from the Same Planet.” Back when Krusty the clown hosted Saturday Night Live, he appeared in a lame sketch called “The Big Ear Family,” a stupid concept that went on far too long. More than anything, that reflects Heil Honey, except “The Big Ear Family” only lasted a matter of seconds (which was plenty) and Heil Honey dragged on for a full show.
“The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show.” During Poochie’s debut, the cat and mouse drive closer and closer to a fireworks factory. Despite the build up, there is no pay off whatsoever. Heil Honey does this with the Holocaust.
Mel Brooks, guest star in “Homer vs. Patty and Selma,” once said “When you go up to the bell, ring it, or don’t go up to the bell.” Heil Honey uses Hitler with dialogue that could have been spoken by an Adam West villain. The show went up to the bell and gently brushed against it in fear of making too much noise.
“Homer Loves Flanders.” At the beginning of the episode, Homer tries to take advantage of Flanders but doesn’t have the guts to acknowledge him in public. Eventually Homer manned up but Heil Honey never did. The creators of the show tried to pass it off as a decades old American sitcom, another country, another age. They could have made it work but they never put the effort into it.
The greatest crime of the show wasn’t that it was offensive but that it wasn’t. If your show isn’t remotely interesting, why no make it offensive? If you can’t manage to make a sitcom about Hitler offensive, you really shouldn’t be writing it.
The second greatest problem was that it was intentionally unfunny. No matter what you think of later seasons of The Simpsons, they were never so low. “Isn’t it funny that this isn’t funny” is not a premise to build on.
“Brush with Greatness.” Back when Marge painted a nude painting of Mr. Burns, she desperately tried to find something good about him. I don’t have to struggle so much here. The set designer did a fantastic job in capturing the look of early American sitcoms. I’m sure whoever was responsible will never receive proper credit for his work. It may have been a pathetic, cowardly cop-out by the show’s creators but the artist to whom it was handed (putting together the look of old American shows), played his hand better than anyone could have expected.
All in all, Heil Honey, I’m Home earned its reputation as abject crap.