When I first saw the trailers for The Revolution Will Be Televised, I can’t say that I was that enthusiastic. I wasn’t really paying attention and it looked a bit shit, as most student-oriented comedies are. I imagined it would be a smarmy, Lib Dem version of the utterly dreadful Mighty Boosh. (A show that I guess one could describe as post-modern. That is to say not remotely funny. I wondered if it was just me not getting the jokes. But then I came to my senses. There weren’t any.)
But, boy, was I wrong (about TRWBT, not Boosh).
My epiphany occurred when I was bored at the weekend and watched all the episodes that have been broadcast so far on the catch-up thingy on my TV (it was that or watching the Bundesliga highlights show again).
I was pleasantly surprised.
It was a mixture of at times very witty satirical and polemical sketches, usually involving unsuspecting members of the public and political establishment, and factual segments exploding a few myths about the economy and who and what got us into this mess. It wasn’t hectoring, it just used humour to point out a few of the hypocrisies of the world.
It is, in short, a socialist comedy show on the BBC. Quite extraordinary.
Now I’ve written many times previously of my foam-flecked contempt for the BBC but I suppose they have to be congratulated for putting this out, even if it is sandwiched in between the usual vapid bollocks they put out on BBC3. It’s also a shame that some of the factual segments are appearing on a BBC comedy show and not any of the BBC’s journalistic output. I suppose tucked away on a channel that hardly anyone watches it is relatively safe and not liable to wind anyone up at the Daily Mail. A typical BBC cop-out, sadly. Oh well.
BBC OMG WTF was a personal favourite, a segment involving Jolyon Rubenstein where he appears to be a typical celebrity interviewee asking the usual vapid questions one expects on the red carpet but then throwing his ‘victims’ a curveball like “so anyway, NHS privatization. Thoughts?” The looks on their faces made me chuckle, I have to admit, and it reminded me a lot of the brilliant Brass Eye.
I also enjoyed the part where Heydon Prowse, pretending to be a Lib Dem MP, tries to give George Osborne a GCSE maths textbook. Quite a ballsy thing to do, I think you’ll agree.
The other important service these guys are performing is in not allowing MPs to forget their outrageous expense claims, a subject that for all the hand-wringing and cheap rehtoric about it being a game-changer when it first came out has been allowed to be quickly forgotten, after a couple of (seemingly randomly-chosen) sacrificial lambs were given short prison terms. It cannot be forgotten that when Tory (and Labour) MPs are banging on about benefit fraud and austerity they had their noses in the trough and were spending tens of thousands of pounds on themselves. It might not be the biggest issue in the world right now, but it, and the fact that it has been so quickly forgotten (largely because so many were guilty of the same thing) provides a great example of why British politics is so rotten.
Anyway, I can wholeheartedly recommend watching the show. With Thick back too, it seems there is suddenly some good TV that doesn’t involve bikes and ITV4……….
While I’m here, I may as well also point you in the direction of an excellent piece Prowse has written on payday loan companies.
The guys behind TRWBT appear to the real deal, so far at least. Pleasing news.