BBC Three's beyond a joke

Boom Town is the last straw for Paul Jensen

I like to think of it as a charity, at least that’s why BBC Three still exists I presume; something to keep the kids from rioting. Dumb down their brains enough, and they’ll be content with wasting their lives in front of the TV.

Aptly-named for recession-era Britain, the newly-commissioned Boom Town will be an unscripted reality sketch show featuring real people, set in a fictional town. Where to begin..?

Warping the meaning of reality television takes some doing, but they’ve done it. Not even James Cameron’s Avatar can compete when it comes to setting an unscripted production in a fictional world. They state they were striving to create something original, and on that I guess they’ve succeeded.

Whoever got the concept of filming real people instead of comedians in an unscripted sketch show past commissioners begs the questions... are the TV execs on coke? Or has the Donald Draper of indie producers played a blinder? Or is it both?

Speaking of producers, the makers of this show are Knickerbockerglory Productions. In case you’re wondering, this is not the plot to season 2 of Nathan Barley. The inmates have taken over the asylum, and you’re paying for it, along with every other licence fee payer in the country. After seeing the UK banking industry’s example of how to screw over the UK taxpayer, I guess the indie producers are following suit, by making TV shows as messed up and convoluted as the Collateralised Debt Obligations the banks conjured up.

Sadly, the UK banking industry isn’t allowed to fail, but what about BBC Three? If this show bombs, will the people who allowed this to happen still be employed? You have to remember that this is the same channel that recommissioned TittyBangBang. Twice. Does anyone hold the channel to account for the quality of its output?

Alas, I no longer see BBC Three as a saviour for UK comedy, unless you include it as an inspiration for satire. While Diane Spencer rightfully bemoaned the state of comedy TV commissioning in White City in her Correspondents piece, it has to be recognised as being something of a lost cause.

Compare the comedy output between the BBC and Channel 4, and ask yourself which channel you tend to watch more when it comes to comedy? Ask where Frankie Boyle chooses to broadcast his comedy, and why he abandoned the BBC. Even before the Sachsgate affair, the BBC has been morphing into a castrated dog, lacking balls to stand up to the Daily Mail’s self-inflated furores.

BBC Three was once the home to the Mighty Boosh and Pulling, but those days are long gone. I’m done with that joke of a TV channel, it’s dead to me. Let’s move on and find a better place for our efforts.

Published: 17 Apr 2012

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