Anorak | Gogglebox, Channel 4’s Basement Gimp And Why BBC3 Is Dead

Gogglebox, Channel 4’s Basement Gimp And Why BBC3 Is Dead

by | 11th, March 2014

the gimp channel 4


Gogglebox, Channel 4’s basement Gimp and why BBC3 is dead

SOMEWHERE in the basement of Channel 4 there lives an executive known only as The Gimp. Constantly masked and frequently gibbering, His job apart from not drawing on the walls is to come up with new formats for the channel to exploit. It was he who devised the legendary Orphan Slingshot proposal which, though it got to pilot stage, was cruelly hampered by those swines from the Healthy & Safety Executive who deemed firing orphans at desperate childless couples to be unsafe. Still, he did well with Embarrassing Bodies, My Big Fat Gypsy and the forthcoming crossover My Big Fat Embarrassing Gypsy Body

…alright, that’s all lies but it just makes me feel better to think of The Gimp shouting out formats in the basement than it does to face up to the reality: there’s a group of people out there absolutely delighted that they devised Gogglebox . If you’ve not seen the show yet, it’s 45 minutes of watching other people watching telly with Caroline Aherne providing a voiceover pitched somewhere between a kindergarden teacher with a major head injury and someone explaining Twitter to a half-deaf elderly relative.

The executives are no doubt utterly delighted with the little metatexual joke of having Aherne who co-wrote and devised The Royle Family narrate a show that is simply a reality knockoff of that show. Rather than having to invest in true documentary or new drama to fill the slot, Channel 4 can just point cameras at ‘normal’ families, carefully cast to get the optimum mix of over-opinionated, under-educated and occasionally pleasant. Charlie Brooker should also be delighted. Nathan Barley was his first character to metastasise into reality, now Screenwipe’s Barry Shitpeas is made real on Gogglebox.

Presumably 37 Days, the BBC’s docudrama on the run up to World War I, was so patronising to avoid confusing viewers who like several of the cast of Gogglebox are baffled by things like “the news”, “facts” and “linear narrative”. 37 Days resembled an episode of Horrible Histories with the jokes removed and the moustache budget tripled. The moustaches actually turned out to be a somewhat less heavy-handed way of explaining who were the goodies and who were the baddies

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Posted: 11th, March 2014 | In: TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink