Dapper Laughs On The Pull | TV review by Steve Bennett

Dapper Laughs On The Pull

TV review by Steve Bennett

Once upon a time, when ‘legend’ meant an a heroic story, not a bloke who vomits Jagermeister on a Tiger Tiger toilet attendant, and when ‘banter’ was playful teasing, not an excuse for hate speech, television created makeover shows that improved the lives of those who took part.

But in Dapper Laughs On The Pull, the terrifying aim is to create more men like the titular geezer himself; a vain, sleazy pick-up guy who sees women as little more than ‘gash’ or ‘vadge’.

Dapper Laughs, the nom de guerre of Daniel O’Reilly, is usually described as a comedian, though that’s an insult to those who work on their craft rather than playing up the worst excesses of booze-and-birds laddism. In last night’s opening episode, he shared his dubious advice with Ricky, a shy, nervous guy from Coventry who, admittedly, did not take much care over his appearance. Or, as Dapper put it, with the eloquence of a bully shouting abuse from a screaming car: ‘No wonder you can’t get no minge, you’re face looks like one.’

Ricky is a naive bloke who might need some help with his confidence, but it seems cruel to accept the tacit invitation to laugh at him. And beneath his nervous babbling, Ricky actually seemed quite funny and sweet, far more genuine way than the brash Dapper and his clones.

So our presenter shared his tips on how to get your ‘cock battered for weeks’; and Ricky got a haircut, beard trim and new wardrobe – even a spray tan. But if the answer is ‘fake tan’ you must surely be asking the wrong question.

Rough approximations to comedy sketches punctuated the scenes showing Ricky’s transformation. A list of crass chat-up lines, for example, or an ancient double entendre about getting a floppy disc to work by ‘popping it in and out nice and fast’. On The Pull is surely aimed at an ITV2 audience whose mental age is too young to remember floppy discs.

In slight defence of Dapper Laughs, he’s got some rough-diamond charm and a twinkle to suggest he’s got some self-awareness of what he’s doing, though to recall a Richard Herring line about ironic racism, does knowing it’s wrong make the gag better or much, much worse. Whether all the impressionable minds who’ve made Dapper an internet hit will pick up on the tongue-in-cheekness is a moot point, and like lads’ mags, of which he’s a direct product, Dapper is more likely to normalise crass, unpleasant behaviour than satirise it.

Though if you’re watching On The Pull you are probably beyond redemption anyway…

Review date: 30 Sep 2014
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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