“The Year of the Rabbit” is a kooky Victorian-set police comedy, kind of like “Angie Tribeca” or “Get Smart” but with corsets, grimy London streets, and, as a recurring character, a foppish Joseph Merrick, also known as the Elephant Man.
Obviously, you should not expect sophisticated adult humor, even though the creators – Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley – won Emmys for “Veep.” The show, which finishes its six-episode IFC run on Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m., is an exercise in inspired (and, occasionally, uninspired) silliness, and it will evoke groans as much as laughs. The best material subverts the crime and costume-drama genres and all of their clichés, like “Ripper Street” gone off its rocker. The pace is fast, and the language is gleefully profane.
Matt Berry, so good in the FX vampire comedy “What We Do in the Shadows,” stars as a inspector named Eli Rabbit, who is a drunken, foul-mouthed, randy detective. He has a young partner who is his opposite – an innocent, clean-cut guy named Wilbur (Freddie Fox) who, in an amusing episode, tries exceedingly hard to pass as a ruffian. The pair are joined by Mabel (Susan Wokoma), who ignores all the people – including her father, the chief inspector – who tell her that a woman cannot be a cop. She simply shows up for the investigations, the third corner of this oddball crime-solving triangle. Kelley Hawes (“Bodyguard”) is on the show, too, as a woman with mysterious intentions who’s trying to court Mabel’s loyalty.
Ever wonder what “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” might look like with Charles Dickens as the showrunner? Here’s your answer.