Little Britain backlash

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Nick Barlow and Johann Hari have been mouthing off about Little Britain. Fair enough, personally I gave up on the thing after the first series, although I did catch a few episodes of series two.

I think it has fallen into the same trap that Ali G fell into, in that its initial edge has been blunted by its popularity with a huge number of people who spectacularly missed the point, ably assisted by the artists themselves who could see a quick buck coming a mile off. Ali G was originally a dig at people who would tolerate the most outrageous things out of a fear of seeming uncool. The point of Little Britain initially, I always assumed, was that it was taking the piss out of people from all walks of life. As Nick says:

While Little Britain was never the subtlest of comedies, there was a sense that their characters were – like those that inspired them in The Fast Show – not too far from ordinary life and just exaggerated for comic effect, but now they’ve become little more than grotesque caricatures, devoid of any sense of reality or pathos.

What has happened now is that the most popular characters have taken over, and this has lead to it taking on a degree of nastiness that it didn’t have before.

Johann is right that it is mysogynistic and anti-poor, but in his cute little Johann way he spectacularly misses the point that it isn’t actually funny and has simply become confirmation for certain unsavoury people’s prejudices. Comedians shouldn’t be overburdened with a social conscience, but cannot be overburdened with wit.

If ever there was a comedy that shouldn’t have gone on longer than its first series, this is it.

2 thoughts on “Little Britain backlash

  1. I was always pleased that Tubbs and Edward, who’d become the iconic characters for The League of Gentlemen, were mercilessly killed at the opening of the third series.

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