Wednesday, 31 December 2014

People Do Nothing

The biggest question posed by People Do Nothing is how long it spent in development hell. A comedy about a pirate radio station might have been topical in about 1994 - before the internet made it possible for DJs to stream from their bedrooms without worrying about the old bill nicking their transmitters. Unless the script was proposed in 1993, the concept has missed its sell-by date by around a decade.

The second question is how far the BBC wants to go in  demonising the working class. Every character is an idiot: even Alan Partridge gets more sympathy. Stoner characters, when they turn up in sit-coms (even in Seinfeld) get a few laughs and minimal screen time. People Do Nothing  is a series of stoners shambling about, trying to con the dole and living in a fantasy world in which radio remains relevant.

The plot is three guys, maybe four if you include the one who gets sent to do odd jobs, trying to run a pirate radio station. Had the writers any love of music, it might work: had more than the barest of plots been written, it might have had a satirical point. As it goes, it is half an hour of mockery, that imagines a working class without taste, intelligent or common sense. 

A third question is whether caricaturing Bollywood as a twee, trite music is racist or just patronising. 

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