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filthymarine


Member

Posted Tue May 5th, 2009 11:16pm Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
Does anybody else think that at this moment in time new comedy on the BBC is faltering?

Comedy panel shows in the BBC are, as ever, wonderful, but I haven't been so impressed with the sketch shows e.g. Horne and Corden. They all seem to be falling into a set structure of creating a select amount of characters, giving them some catchphrase and then bumphing them in some 'hilarious' situation where the audience revels in the comfort of recognising these old familiar (but really not that funny) stereotypes. Over and over again, until it literally reaches the point of wearing the joke thin.

I love the BBC, it has produced some spectacular and revolutionary comedy from the past, which I think we all know. But just now, the BBC seems to be stuck in a rut. Or, as I think, in a comfort zone.

The comfort zone option seems more plausible, mainly because of the pressure the BBC is under what with the fact they are funded by the license fee. The Brand and Ross scandal showed that. It was, in hindsight, seriously blown out of proportion, which was fuelled by those in media who oppose the BBC.

Just wanted to know if anyone else had any thoughts on this really. I always associate the BBC with Stephen Fry so I thought I would post this pondering here

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IdeaCollector


Member

Posted Wed May 6th, 2009 7:23pm Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
Don't know if you would consider it new or not but I think that That Mitchell And Webb Look is fantastic.

I don't watch Horne and Corden so I can't vouch for them but I suspect comedy isn't faltering. Plus I know lots and lots of Horne and Corden fans so it appeals to some people.

I used to be EternalStudent on these forums until the switch over. So don't get excited..I'm not someone new and exciting. I'm just me :P

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Wed May 6th, 2009 9:45pm Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
I think that there is too much of what will amuse/not offend suburban Surrey in the planning.

Look north over the border to BBC Scotland's old Naked Video style shows. All the subtle good taste of Edward Scissorhands taking a leak (always worried me that, a dangerous occupation) but as a result, funny as a big bucket of funny things.

I can't see BBC London having either a real collective sense of humour enough to show that kind of thing, nor can I see there will be any change of management style.

Hard to believe this is the linear descendant of the organisation that gave us the Goon Show and Python.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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elTweeno


Member

Posted Wed May 6th, 2009 11:10pm Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?

Hard to believe this is the linear descendant of the organisation that gave us the Goon Show and Python.

Indeed! The Pythons had to fight for their spot on the schedules, but nowadays I fear they wouldn't even be allowed the late-night slot they were given. Too much comedy now is either patronising (i.e. assumes we're all thick and won't get subtle jokes or satire) or is totally family-orientated.

I don't find the same things funny as my 13-year-old cousin, nor would I expect to - and I certainly don't want her watching the comedy I love for a few years yet (I'm slightly protective, can you tell?!) I think the BBC executives are so scared of people complaining about 'offense' that they just won't take any risk, and therefore keep everything 'family-safe' even after watershed.

David Mitchell recently wrote an excellent piece on the BBC's fear of complaints & fines:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/1.....sell-brand

I love the BBC, but I am starting to wish they'd grow a backbone.

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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filthymarine


Member

Posted Thu May 7th, 2009 12:27am Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
Ah, how I wish I could have expressed my view as well as Mitchell! Thanks for the article elTweeno Interesting point about Python too, it makes you wonder if there are any modern day equivalents who have slipped under the radar because of the wary BBC.

Eternal Student; I watched some of That Mitchell and Webb Look there, and agree, it looks pretty good But I also think that there is a line when using stereotypes for comedy, and it doesn't make a sketch funnier if you keep hammering it home. To me, a sketch show has many more dimensions than focusing on what is literally in the H&C show, a handful of these characters. There is a trend in BBC sketch shows to do this; Little Britain, The Catherine Tate show, Little Miss Jocelyn amongst others. You could say that the effect of it is that these shows have stereotyped themselves!

Lets just hope something will shake it up soon

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ClareBear


Moderator

Posted Thu May 7th, 2009 9:23am Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
Don't know if you would consider it new or not but I think that That Mitchell And Webb Look is fantastic.


Quoted for truth.

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mrjb3


Member

Posted Thu May 7th, 2009 1:33pm Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
i think it is.

but then again... the past always seems much better than it actually was.

the only comedy i like to watch is live at the apollo or QI, or flight of the conchords, which isnt bbc made.

there needs to be some new, good, comedy shows!

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IdeaCollector


Member

Posted Sun May 10th, 2009 8:47am Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
I rather took to The Catherine Tate show as well though. Not a fan of Little Britain though. *can't vouch for others as I'll not speak for those I've not seen*. I get the point on stereotypes but within sketch shows there has always been some level of capitalizing upon stereotypes or subverting stereotypes to create a sketch that is repeated all the time.

I mean look at the use of the Gumby's and Pepperpots in Monty Python's Flying Circus...both meant to refer to stereotypes and on occasion subvert them.

I see the same thing in Catherine Tate's character Lauren. Lauren is a lazy teenager who won't do her work but when she starts her "Am I bovvered?" rants she reveals she's smarter than she looks in most instances.

I don't think its really gone to hell in a handbasket...perhaps the enemy is the obvious structure of it all. *shrugs*

I used to be EternalStudent on these forums until the switch over. So don't get excited..I'm not someone new and exciting. I'm just me :P

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gadgetgirl


Member

Posted Sun May 10th, 2009 9:40am Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
I'm glad someone spoke up for Catherine Tate, she has some very clever characters in her show. Little Britain is horrible in my opinion.

One I quite enjoy is Still Game, but it is hard to think of much new comedy on the BBC (other than Mitchell and Webb) that I would recommend to anyone. Gavin and Stacey (lets ignore the awful sketch show) was brilliant to start off with but I hope they don't milk it to death, the Christmas special had hints of being a bit stale.

That would be me.

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Polednice


Member

Posted Sun May 10th, 2009 4:58pm Post subject: BBC Comedy... dull?
I agree with most of the sentiments in this thread, and we could certainly do with some refreshing sketch shows so that I don't find myself searching the caverns of YouTube for the Good Old Stuff (which distracts me from work - I need good TV to be an evening distraction!).

Though I think there's a particular problem with sitcoms at the moment. The bland and predictable humour of My Family seems much too in line with the middle-aged quips of my father, and the recent remake of 'Reggie' Perrin is quite a disappointment (not that anyone should have been expecting anything good to come out of a remake of an originally unique performance).).

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