A Life without work, ( part 1 reviewed here ) while not nearly as uplifting as Reggie Perrin ( see below) was supposed to be, hit the mark from the first second. Part two which aired last week, covered York in 2010 and asked the question, has anything changed in a century. Using prototypical examples of key demographics Richard Bilton, walks us through the life of the young unemployed, the chronic unemployed, the single mum, the older unemployed, the living on the edge unemployed, all the while asking if the reforms created from the original study by Seebhom Rowntree, have made a difference. In a few words Yes and no. Yes for the single mum who no longer has to struggle half as much as the lady in 1910 who's husband died or left her had to. Overall the desperation of the workhouse and abject poverty no longer hover like the grim reaper, but it has robbed some of the need to look for work. While I would never advocate the wholesale destruction of the social safety net we have today, I find it sad that a job centre employee has to convince large groups of young people of the importance of getting off social assistance. Surely the welfare state is not the zenith of life one should be aspiring to? While the state should keep people from the depravity of 1910 like poverty, it should do all it can to move people off the rolls and into proper full time well remunerated work.
McLuhan's 15 minutes, you can achieve financial security from the exclusive deals you'll get before the next flash in the pan shows up. Sadly or for the good, that even seems to be harder and harder to do. More and more of the human race and by extension, your neighbours are surplus to requirement. What if anything are we to do?
Reggie Perrin before, and considering what a massive Martin Clunes fan I am, it makes me to wonder why I missed the first series last year. A few friends had banged on about it and as they seemed to know of what they'd spoke most of the time, I took a chance. I watched episode one of the new series last night. Reggie Perrin is a disjointed sitcom written in two parts. Part 1 where you get an As Time goes by feel where two adults have a conversation that just happens to be funny, then it switches into part 2 where you enter wacky sitcom land ( his office). The entire thing would more palatable if it didn't have the geet annoying laugh track throughout, telling me when to laugh or titter or not. Every time I think the laugh track is gone, it interrupts a perfectly good bit of dialogue between Reggie and his wife or his office. I do not like Reggie Perrin, I do not like laugh tracks and I do not like being told where to laugh nor do I trust producers who think so little of what they have done they feel the need to add a laugh track just insure we know what the funny bits are supposed to be. As and when the laugh track is taken off, I will give it a shot, but not as it stands now. Well at least Martin Clunes gets to eat till his next bit of decent acting...Vogon bad scale 4 ...
And as not to leave you on a totally depressing note....Watch Russell Howard's Good News, he made me laugh.