Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Charts Show: A Tale Of Two Sitcoms (BBC Two Comedy Zone Week 7)


Yep, it’s taken us until now to realise that adding an ‘s’ to the title of this ratings-based strand makes it work much more effectively. See, now it works as both a pun on the title of the 1980s pop rundown show AND as a description of the content of each blog post, as in “the charts show that [whatever we’ve decided is our version of the facts]”*. Some may argue that “The Chart Shows” would be a better title, considering that each update only contains a singular chart, but until they work out our password for Windows Live Writer, there’s nothing they can do about it. NOTHING. (It’s a really clever password, too.) (That’s also a clever pun, our Windows Live Writer password is ‘password2’.) (Oh bugger.)

ANYWAY. It’s no wonder that Warwick Davis’ character was always so defensive, given the way every single stranger he encountered during the run of LIFE’S TOO SHORT decided to be so needlessly unpleasant to him, is it? Conversely, the Christmas episode of REV followed on from the preceding six episodes of the series by being absolutely bloody lovely and excellent. It did irk us a little when the writers went for the clichéd device of “having children do a swear in front of a well-meaning adult”, but that aside it was a genuinely heartwarming episode. Yay.



It’s probably fair to account that the final episodes of each series aired on a different day to the remainder of the series for each show, and both performed about as well as could be expected after recent weeks. The relatively underpromoted Rev finishes 28.3% ahead of Life’s Too Short ratings-wise. (R. Gervais’s voice: “Aaah, but the BBC have just told me that 7.2 million viewers watched the show in the window of Dixons, so I’m still popular and brilliant.”)

It’ll be interesting to see if LTS performs well enough on HBO** to warrant a second series. The series airs in the USA from the 19th of February. It’s possibly telling that LTS featured (for the most part) British celebrities that the US audience will be familiar with – such as Sting, Cat Deeley, or Right Said Fred. (UNRELATED FACT:  Gervais and Merchant commendably kept in most UK-centric references for the US edits of Extras. While the Extras finale had scenes clumsily edited to mention  ‘DirectTV’ (sic) adverts and Katie Couric, it kept in jokes that the audience wouldn’t understand unless they knew who Robbie From Eastenders is or who Hale & Pace are.) If it doesn’t impress stateside viewers, it’s possible that even the shared cost of production between HBO and the BBC might not be enough to save the show. Maybe they’ll merge the show with Little Britain USA to cut costs. That would be funny. Ha ha.

(*Of course, we’ve only just realised that the title of the film ‘The King’s Speech’ has a double meaning. That’s ‘speech’ as in ‘a prepared written statement to be read to an audience’ AND in the sense of ‘the act of speaking’. Doh, eh? It’s Hill Street Blues all over again.)

(**Coincidentally, HBO have just cancelled the marvellous Bored To Death, the rat bastards. They are now officially on our enemies list.)


1 .:

Simon said...

In fairness, when you've written episodes revolving around Les Dennis and Ross Kemp, you can probably keep most British references in for the US market. Oddest of all, the last Extras changes several passing references but keeps intact the Celebrity Big Brother cast.

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