Dan Majestic writes from London: Let me tell you something about TV comedy in Britain: with very few exeptions it sucks. It’s made by people who wouldn’t know what comedy is even if its kicks them in the balls – or in the vaginas, if the occasion demanded it. I’m really fed up hearing all that crap how wonderful British TV comedy has been in the good old days and how some of the modern funny men and women have followed the best traditions and supposedly came up with brilliant stuff of their own. Yes, sure they did, considering that the best British TV comedy has come up in recent years was the abysmal Have I Got News For You, an even worse Mock The Week and the pathetic the Fast Show, Little Britain and The Office.
But let’s not blame the current lot. Let’s cast a critical eye at some of the so-called greats of the past. How is it, for example, that a situation comedy like Dad’s Army is still considered brilliant? Is it that people just go along with the flow, so to speak, or are they actually quite content with that sort of undemanding humour that Dad’s Army offers? For the life of me I could never understand all the excitement surrounding this pathetic attempt to squeeze a laugh at the expense of a bunch of buffoons, walking about in military uniforms of the Second World War. The script in Dad’s Army was embarrassingly bad, the acting was abysmal and the so-called jokes and funny situations were not really proper jokes and funny situations, now were they? Not to mention that all the so-called ‘lovable characters’ looked like total idiots and didn’t seem to understand the simplest of things said to them.
Another attempt to have a go at wartime comedy was the absolutely terrifying Allo Allo. This one was so bad that if there was capital punishment for making shitty TV comedy sitcoms, the whole cast would have deserved a meeting with the hangman. It’s in the same abysmal category as Victoria Wood’s dinnerladies, a so-called TV comedy series that should have been banned after the first episode, and The Royle Family, a comedy sit-come for people who have turned into vegetables and have no strength or will power anymore to change the channel they are watching.
And then there was Fawlty Towers. What is exactly so great about this amateurish hastily made series? It was a typical farce, scripted and filmed in a hurry, with very few funny lines in it and most actors not really doing a good job. But if you listen to all the adoration and all the praise that have been showered on it, you would think that it is some new word in comedy. So that you know, the show has been voted the Greatest British Television Programme by the British Film Institute (BFI), that bunch of wankers who know shit about comedy.
And now we come to the Monty Python Flying Circus, that sacred cow of British TV comedy. No one is allowed to say anything bad about it. We are told that it is the greatest thing ever to have hit the small screen. Period.
Well, I beg to differ. I think that the show has its occasional funny moments, there’s no denying it, but overall it’s quite disappointing, repetitive and predictable. There are way too many scenes that are solely based on raising a cheap laugh and the obsession with members of the cast dressing up as women and talking in silly high pitched voices is, quite frankly, irritating. The supposedly hilarious cartoons are mostly not funny at all. It mostly crass, in your face humour at its worst.
And what is so great about Little Britain? I mention it here because it has a lot of Monty Python in it. Little Britain has been praised to such an extent that you would think that it’s something out of this world. I’m sorry, but it’s not. It’s politically correct to the extreme – otherwise the former Labour government in Britain would have never jumped on the appreciation band wagon so quickly. It’s also repetitive, too predictable and it has too many scenes where men dress up as women and talk in silly voices. It’s basically TV comedy for chavs, pure and simple.
I also find it very strange that Absolutely Fabulous has a cult following in Britain and even in America. What is so funny about it? It is tragic, actually. Both main heroines overact in every single scene. I repeat: OVERACT IN EVERY SINGLE SCENE. This is an achievement in itself.
Joanna Lumley might be a good person in life but she has no acting skills – none at all. Just like Jenifer Saunders, by the way. The whole show is just one long disaster, with two leading women pretending to be funny and eccentric. The dialogues are totally irrelevant and meaningless. It’s just not comedy. It’s amateurish buffoonery, if such a thing exists.
And now I come to Ricky Gervais of The Office fame. In my humble opinion, Ricky is to comedy what herpes is to a loving relationship. He wouldn’t be able to be funny even if somebody put a gun to his head and said: ‘If you don’t come up with a decent joke in the next thirty seconds I’ll pull the trigger and blow your brains out.’ Under such circumstances, I suspect, even former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, known for his woodiness, might have pulled off something close to funny. But I bet you that Ricky would not have been able to save his life. Nope, dead he would be, failing to be funny, brains splattered all over his short, overweight body.
I’ve never been able to watch a single episode of The Office in full. I just couldn’t do it. It’s more fun watching paint dry. How on earth did the American viewers fall for that crap and a U.S. version made for TV, I would never be able to explain.
And then there’s that pathetic comedy series with the abysmal Richard Wilson in it, One Foot In The Grave. I’m sorry people, but it sucks. It actually sucks in every bloody scene. It’s so unfunny that Wilson and the rest of the gang who had anything to do with it should have been banned from making TV comedy for life. One Foot In The Grave should have never been made at all. For everyone’s sake.
So what’s the big deal, you may ask, if people like to watch bad TV comedy shows in Britain? Where is the harm in that? Well, let me be blunt and tell you where the problem lies: if you can’t distinguish what’s funny and what’s not, you gradually start to lose all sense of reality.
Want an example? How about the British people voting in New Labour with that creep Tony Blair at their helm three times in a row? How’s that for having no sense of humour, eh? I can understand when these two-timing weasels had won for the first time. They were simply lucky then and got in because the Tories went into meltdown. But what about the second time and then the third? How humourless should voters have been to vote for a bunch of corrupt non-entities for two more times?
And as for the present lot, the ConLibDem coalition, well, I’m sorry to say but it was a result of a total break-down of the nation’s sense humour. This is in the Allo Allo and dinnerladies category of disasters.
So there you have it: there’s a direct link between watching shitty TV comedy shows and series and making the wrong choices. And there’s more of that crap coming to your screens soon, so beware of future consequences.
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