Friday, 11 January 2008

That Joke Definately Isn't Funny Anymore.

Good God! If anything can put a dampener on the Conchord-infused bubble of love surrounding us today it’s further evidence of the Great British Publics piss-poor taste in just about everything.

The BBC website is reporting that a poll conducted by onepoll has put Only Fools And Horses as the show the public most want to bring back, further proving my belief that Del Boy Falling Through The Bar is the zenith of comedic achievment in most peoples eyes. The full results are below.

1) Only Fools and Horses
2) Friends
3) Fawlty Towers
4) Brookside
5) Sex and the City
6) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
7) Monty Python
8) The Krypton Factor
9) Big Breakfast
10) Absolutely Fabulous

Honestly, when will people learn? Lets put aside the sacred cows in the top 3 for now and deal with the lower regions of the list.

Absolutely Fabulous
Really? Did anyone who voted in this actually see the revived version of Ab-Fab a few years back? It had lost all of its bite and its silliness felt over done rather than glorious. Besides which Jennifer Saunders is currently working on infinitely more interesting fare in the under-rated Life And Times of Vivian Vyle, and especially in the current series of Jam and Jereuselam, which has quietly become –thanks in no small part to Sue Johnson and David Mitchell- one of the best bittersweet comedies on TV.
Chance of a come back: probably for a special here and there.
Deserves a come back: Nope.

Big Breakfast.
An interesting one this. Breakfast telly is awful just now and Channel 4 have given up all together. In its day the BB was one of the best things on all week, especially in the Evans/Roslin and Vaughn/Van Outen hey days. The replacement show, Ri:se was dreadful from the outset, and the brave revamp proved the train had long since sailed. Saying that, what’s on instead? GM:TV has its steady Mumsy viewership, but its yucky. BBC1 do a visual version of the Today Programme that isn’t as good, and C4 themselves just show Friends.
Chance of a come back: Unlikely
Deserves a comeback: If it’s done right it could work.

The Krypton Factor
Let’s not dwell on this, as it’s not comedy. However it would make certain older sketches funny again.
Chance of a comeback: Fair actually.
Deserves a comeback: Why not?

Monty Python
I refer you to 1999’s Python Night.
Chance of a comeback: Unlikely. Plus TJ says it can’t be done.
Deserves a comeback: Something’s should just be left alone. Maybe a live show would be fun though.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Would probably work fine. Joss Whedon’s “Season 8” comic books certainly seemed popular.
Chance of a comeback: Maybe.
Deserves a comeback: Spose.

Sex And The City
Surely disqualified as there’s a film in production?

I know, lets bring it back, right. Only, instead of just the show, they can do an E4 sister show where a fictionalised version of Phil Redmond –played by, oh I don’t know, Harry Enfield- can talk about the production. It’s genius, genius I tell ya.
Chance of a comeback: Nah.
Deserves a comeback: Nah

Okay, now we get to the meat of it…

Fawlty Towers
Again, somethings should just be left be. It was pretty much perfect, another series can only be a bad thing. The show was recently bought back as a corporate video. Oddly it’s not made its way into the public sphere.
Chance of a comeback: Well there’s a Divorce to pay for, and the BBC would pay for through the nose, so…maybe.
Deserves a comeback: Only on one condition. The only way it would work is if ITV re-do the Audience With Alf Garnet format from a few years back. An Audience With Basil Fawlty? That would be ace.

Friends, the perennially likeable collusus of modern comedy is probably the most influential TV show on the speech, habits and attitudes of young people ever. Maybe something so powerful shouldn’t be allowed back. Besides, it was all wrapped up quite well wasn’t it?
Chance of a comeback: Well, the cast are hardly doing well in films are they?
Deserves a comeback: Probably not.

Only Fools And Horses.
And you have to just release a weary sigh. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Fools and Horses. Genuinely it was a funny show. But how many times can you reanimate it? Since going out of regular production in 1990 each progressive reanimation has been further proof of the law of diminishing returns. They managed to squeeze out one iconic moment in the Batman and Robin sketch, and making them rich was a nice way of closing it up, but it hasn’t had the magic, especially since Buster Merryfield died.
Chance of a comeback: Inevitably.
Deserves a comeback: Not on your life.

Still, just to show that not every format has been done and dusted here’s the That Joke Isn’t Funny Top Ten of shows that could and should be brought back:

1) Brass Eye
2) Shooting Stars
3) Big Train
4) Futurama (okay, it sort of is)
5) Alan Partridge
6) The Good Life
7) Red Dwarf
8) Fist Of Fun
9) The League Of Gentleman
10) My Hero. Only joking.

Note I didn’t mention Spaced. Some things are sacred.


Emma Dalby Bowler said...

You think the good life should be brought back?
Has the last Penelope Keith comeback been so quickly forgotton?

Don't inflict that on us again. Please.

Marc B said...

ah, ah, ah. But I didn't actually see that so it doesn't technicaly exist, and The Good Life was better than Manor Born, which frankly was a baffling choice for a comeback.