Television At Its Worst!

Posted on March 26, 2010

TV hit the heights of un-funniness this week with two programmes that have defied all logic with their lack of humour. Firstly we had Life Of Riley which is now, inexplicably, on it’s second series. Life of Riley is about two middle class families struggling to merge their dysfunctional families, with Maddy (Caroline Quentin) in particular finding life more difficult than imagined, stumbling over unpacked boxes, deciding what paint to buy, finding a pregnancy test kit (who’s could it be?) and dealing with a shoplifting nine year old.

This Sitcom is worse than 2.4 Children worse than The Green Green Fields of Home (spectacularly unfunny Only Fools and Horses spin off with Boycie and Marlene) and worse than My Family, which, shockingly, is on Series 9, which will give the witless writer of this dross(Georgina Pritchett) hope for future BBC pay cheques.

The first series of Life of Riley was panned by the critics as dull and humdrum, so why it got another run is curious, though it is probably a case of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. I watched it because I was quite taken aback by the ferocity of the reviews it got on BBC Radio Five the other day. I wasn’t let down, Life of Riley is utter shit.

If that wasn’t enough, my children stayed over last night, and convinced me to watch a programme they had recorded called League of Their Own, a new sports quiz hosted by fat Essex boy “Smithy” and captained by Andrew “Freddy” Flintoff and well known media whore, you guessed it…………Jamie Redknapp. The Redknapp’s have no shame when it comes to picking up pay cheques, if Sky produced a show called Dog Breeds and Their Various Turds the Redknapps would be presenting it.

“This huge turd was produced by Bowser a Golden Labrador………….Louise, what did Bowser have for dinner last night?”

Freddie Flintoff was a wonderful, full blooded, and ispirational Cricketer, but he is sadly, completely the opposite in front of the camera, and the show descends in to pitiful jokes about Jamie always being injured, and Fred always being on a pedalo half cut. It is crushingly bad, and brings bad stomach turning memories of the strained faces behind Sue Barker on Question of Sport being forced to piss themselves laughing when Matt Dawson says football is a girls game, or when Tuffers accidentally, and hilariously, answered a question as Sheffield Wednesday instead of Sheffield United.

When the audience were again pissing themselves with laughing at another “Jamie didn’t see it, he was on stretcher” joke, the camera panned the audience on to… guessed it, Louise Redknapp, who was wiping tears of joy from her face, presumably after opening a cheque and seeing how much Jamie was getting paid for this jolly jamboree of old shite. If there was to be a joke on this show about Jamie, surely “Jamie, you dodge tackles better than your Dad dodges taxes” would have been funnier. That would have wiped the smug, whitened teeth smile off his face.

As for “Smithy” I am really beginning to dislike this guy. Gavin and Stacey was in my opinion a very good comedy, which wisely stopped as it started becoming tired, but Smithy is no presenter, and certainly not a funny one. His self depreciating fat jokes are pretty dull, and his matey attitude to the sporstmen is a bit pathetic. Teenage kids love Smithy, I hear them all at our cricket club mimicking him, a bit like my age group did with Basil Fawlty, Baldrick or The Young Ones, and that causes me concern. It is probably me turning in to a miserable old fart (in fact I know it is me turning in to a miserable old fart) but I can’t understand why we allow someone who clearly has obesity issues attach themselves to sport (what odds on him doing an England World Cup song about Lions, Curry and Lager?).

The media have taken Smithy under their wing as some sort of comedy underdog, a bit like Eddie the Eagle years ago, and I don’t like it. I don’t want my kids aspiring to eat shit food and be disturbingly unhealthy by their mid twenties. I know from working with kids, how hard it is for their parents to drag them off Playstations. I don’t want to get spiteful about his weight problem but the media championing someone like Smithy won’t help Parents’ cause, it really wont.

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