November 22nd, 2005

breaking bad

Sadistic crap legitimised by florid catch phrases?

getawaywithit has a regular TV review at The Sharpener. His latest review suggests that Little Britain is actually not very funny any more, and this is taken up and elaborated in the comments which follow.

I must say I walked out the room when the old lady pissed herself in the supermarket. It doesn't make me laugh.

In the comments to Nick's review, someone called ajay says, 'Comedy is all about empathy; you could empathise with the manic fury of Basil Fawlty, the neurotic failure of Arnold Rimmer or the deep cynicism of Edmund Blackadder, because, at some level, you’d felt the same yourself. So, at some level, the writers have to like their characters... Little Britain is written by two people who essentially hate everyone. Men, women, chavs, Prime Ministers, gays, social workers, whoever - they loathe humanity, and it shows in their characters. They don’t just hate human folly, or human weakness, or human pettiness or bigotry or greed - lots of great comic writers have done that. They hate humans.'

I don't know. I think some of them are affectionately portrayed: Dafydd is cute, and Andy in his wheelchair (or is he the one pushing the wheelchair?) and a few others. I liked Anthony Head as Tony Blair, and that unrequited-love story last series made me smile. But there does seem to be a wretched streak running through the whole thing these days.

Johann Hari in the Independent says it's a 'sadistic unfunny piece of spite...Their targets are almost invariably the easiest, cheapest groups to mock.' What do you think?