Tag: peter kay

Bringing EdgyBack

Disclaimer: This is a broad generalization when referring to specific episodes but I am making an overall point so don’t dick me over some late night show which you term a classic.

Each decade of television (and radio) has had an element of the radical that has changed the landscape and influenced the following generation from the Goon Show (1950’s), Tony Hancock (1960’s), Monty Python/ Q (1970’s), Blackadder/ The Young Ones/ Only Fools and Horses/ Spitting Image (1980’s), The Day Today, Big Train (1990’s), The Office, Nighty Night and Nathan Barley in the noughties.

Obviously there was a load of crap that fell by the wayside (Fresh Fields/ Curry and Chips/ Mind your Language) but the last one on my list is the point I am making albeit a broad one.

For me the last great comedy series was Nathan Barley and due to it’s reception was considered an artistic failure, which seemed to be a Chris Morris backlash. Since then there has been nothing challenging which is curious because comedy is about as fashionable as Anna Wintour these days.

The Sitcom Pitch and other Tales of Timing…..

Here is something I don’t get; I get grilled about getting the perfect one line pitch that sells a sitcom script. Fine, it’s all good as nobody needs to hear some meandering semi nebulous idea of a boy in love with a fish (believe it or not this was made into a short film that propelled a talentless director to current mainstream success. When I recently went to a pitch session with established commissioners my semi meandering was battered to submission and I learned a lot about being concise and to the point. I may have a few completed scripts but before I get there I need to pitch within 3 minutes to people who have less than 2 for such things.

So what’s my point?

Read this for a pitch: Two supermarket colleagues who are forced to drive together in a company car share scheme.

Sounds like a total load of cock, right? Well, this is the pitch/ press release of Peter Kay’s new comedy series that is much trumpeted for the iPlayer and then BBC TV.

Admittedly it is a press release for the public but as it’s Peter Kay, he must have had a longer pitch to go into more detail as the one-liner  is a bit of an uninspiring one even though you know it will be a well-written show and therefore should have been worded better as if you are sitting in front of the commissioner himself . The people reading the article are going to be the eventual audience anyway.

Another pitch made is: A three-parter written by Peep Show co-writer Jesse Armstrong, about a politician compromised by his sexual appetites, is planned for BBC2.

Again with his pedigree it will be a solidly written piece of work but as the pitch is given it sounds pretty much like the other similarly themed programmes made recently. Sounds generic and if I pitched these two as they were I would be curtly kicked in the face. But then again they have earned their merit badges and can say anything/ do anything and have more time with the commissioners.  Maybe it just took me 331 words to just say hypocrisy.

In essence I have to get my act to 3 mins and the established get considerably longer.