Saturday 29 September 2018

Utter tripe

This blog never properly addressed the much-hyped Bodyguard. Craig, who hadn’t watched it himself, covered it by way of Laura Perrins's Live Tweets.

Bloody Richard Madden

The BBC bigged up Jed Mercurio’s series shamelessly, but at the end of the day, to quote James Delingpole, it was a load of utter tripe.

The only way one could make head or tail of the story was by visiting the Guardian’s recaps - one of that paper’s few redeeming features.

It astonished me that so many viewers actually knew the names of the many indistinguishable characters, whom they referred to with such familiarity, ”Craddock”  and “Sampson”,  you’d think some of them actually knew what was supposed to be going on.

Haddock and Salmon

Anyway, Dellers has done such a good job, we at ITBB need go no further. Here are some of his best bits:

Even more distracting than the gratuitous sex, mind you, was the diversity casting. The whole exercise was like an extended United Colours of Benetton advert, with black female snipers, an Indian/Pakistani SWAT team head, an oriental bomb disposal expert, etc. If you sincerely believe — as the BBC demonstrably does — that the primary function of contemporary TV drama is to act as a make-work scheme for BAME actors then this is admirable. But from the point of view of most viewers it is distracting, insulting and discomfiting — for it forces you into noticing something you’d rather not be forced to notice. 
Worse still than the diversity stuff, though, is the relentless equality agenda. […] In BBC dramas now, it is absolutely de rigueur for anyone in any position of authority, including most of the police force, to be a strong, capable, confident woman. That includes, in this case, the female Muslim suicide bomber who — to allay any concerns that this might be racist stereotyping — was indulged with a little speech at the end announcing how proud and omnicompetent she was, not some male jihadist’s stooge, but an independent trained engineer with a mind of her own. 
I wonder, do BBC writers like Jed Mercurio feel any twinges of artistic self-disgust as they churn out this Social Justice Warrior propaganda? Isn’t it a bit like being a composer under Stalin, knowing you’re free to write whatever music you want, so long as it’s revolutionary, anti-bourgeois and celebrates the struggles and triumphs of the proletariat? Do they never worry at all what the audience might think?
They should because some of us have had just about enough. If it weren’t required for my job, I would seriously be thinking about stopping paying my licence fee. It’s a monstrous injustice — and, of course, a betrayal of its charter principles — for the BBC to charge people £150 a year on pain of imprisonment only to spit in their faces if they don’t hold the correct ‘woke’ views on anything from climate change and the EU to multiculturalism and feminism. My prediction is that the BBC is going to become increasingly marginal, partisan and irrelevant” 

I haven’t acclimatised myself to new-look Channel 5 yet, since I firmly associate it with voyeuristic topics like nature’s ‘freaks’ and physical abnormalities. But recently, according to James Delingpole, it has reinvented itself and it’s now the place to go for proper documentaries.

Whereas with Channel 5, what you see is what you get. Michael Buerk’s How the Victorians Built Britain (Saturdays), for example, tells you most of the stuff you need to know about the Industrial Revolution, why they built the Manchester ship canal, how the sewing machine changed fashion, and so on. You don’t get quite the production values that the overindulged BBC can still afford. But you don’t get the PC bollocks either, for which relief much thanks.


  1. Yes it was complete and utter tripe with no salt and vinegar to take away the taste of a cow's innards... :)

    I will accept Old Jed managed to pull a fast one on me, though...

    I had assumed that (as with most BBC dramas) one could safely infer that no follower of Sharia would be the dastardly fiend.

    But of course I forgot he could play the extremo-feminist card - thus turning the Hijabed One (previously depicted as a cowering submissive woman dominated by her husband) into an amazingly intelligent and forsightful empowered WOMAN who showed her wonderfully strong spirit and thus defying the patriarchy by blowing people and separating their limbs from their torsos.


  2. I didn’t watch all of it, but once you start going down the PC path in casting it inevitably escalates into a farce. The absurdity of it all is that the obsession with race and gender becomes in itself racist and sexist.

  3. I can't help feeling JD is a bit over-eager to see bias/social engineering. Consider, for example, a TV programme with a female Prime Minister, a Home Secretary of Pakistani descent and a female Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. PC gone mad? No, actually it's the 6 o'clock news... perhaps the country has changed a bit since JD last looked at it closely. A bent female copper and a lady Muslim suicide bomber aren't exactly the left's poster children for diversity.

  4. It is a similar situation in most Radio 4 comedy. The format seems to be a kind of lecture in which an entirely compliant studio audience is invited to congratulate themselves by whooping and cheering at a completely unfunny PC statement. The concept of wit or entertainment seems to be secondary. It’s hard to imagine why, other than a warm feeling of self-righteousness, anyone would want to be informed for the umpteenth that Susan Calman has wife.


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