Saturday, 23 April 2011

Don't scare the Hare... it may kill you.

When the BBC gets it wrong, they get it horribly wrong. In order to not miss a second of my precious Doctor Who return tonight, I tuned into BBC One  a bit early. I did so with a great deal of trepidation. Don't scare the hare.....Game show in which two teams are invited into the underground forest of a 4ft robotic hare, voiced by Sue Perkins, where they face a series of physical and mental challenges. The contestants must avoid scaring the animal as they make their way through several rounds of games in a bid to win £15,000. Hosted by The Gadget Show's Jason Bradbury. .... the lead in show sounded bad, but not nearly as bad as the finished product. The only redeeming features of this turkey was that it had an end and that mercifully Sue Perkins wasn't voicing the hare, merely being Graham Norton like when at Eurovision. 

Gazza Hare
The low point was when we were told the contestants had to get past the "alarm frogs" to give Gazza the Hare his bait, which he'd forgotten. I was picturing killer frogs on duty holding pointy rifles or some such. As it happens, like all the other lame consequences of scaring the hare, it consisted of card board cut outs of frogs on lit raised pods going awooga really loud. It only got worse as the hapless victims had to hover in a sort of cherry picker balloon type thing over a garden of carrots to steal the hare's crop protected by laser beams. Sounds chilling, but was laughably bad. Blue Peter set up better challenges for young people than this nightmare scenario dreamed up by drug addled children's telly producers.  How were the questions you ask?  Easy enough if you've grown up in the Harry Potter era and paid the slightest bit of attention in school, but not this lot. Contestants quite possibly stupider than the programme itself. 

Not sure what they were they were thinking running this just before Doctor Who, but I reckon it was to immediately apologize to license payers for the worst ever game show by assuaging us with the Doctor.  One poor bastard who commented on the TV Guide site had this to say ...

Your lucky
You only had to watch it for 35 minutes. We sat in the studio for 5 hours while it was made.

My mate Dave Groggs watched after I posted about just how bad it was in Facebook. I'd like to say I'm sorry Dave, but I did warn you. This made Hole in the Wall look like pure genius. Prime time Saturday night, you'd have thought the brain boxes in scheduling would have had something better to show, like maybe cheese ripening live or watching a 20 something suburbanite looking for the ON switch to the first edition Dickens he's just got from Gran for being such a frightfully good boy.  In their the defence, the Beeb was looking to give this tripe it's best ratings ever by having it lead in to Who. But we all know that next week, should it even see next week, it couldn't have topped 100 people. So why even make it? Who knows, the way some things get commissioned you have to wonder. The pitch must have sounded awesome.... We have a robot hare you see, you have to steal it's carrots, (yawn) by answering questions and doing silly things (right) .... and if you get an answer wrong it goes barmy, lots of lights go off and the eyes glow a scary red.  "Does it shoot things when it's scared?" asks the jaded BBC type, "no, but it does run around a lot on the spot ... not being the least bit scary or funny".  That should of been the end of it, but no, clearly some dirt was covered up, we'll never know who at the BBC was once a rent boy and Don't scare the Hare was made. You've been warned, it's diabolically bad, trust me, you'll feel used and angry if you watch next week. And Sue Perkins, if you're reading this, I hope you really needed the money very badly, it's the only reason you could of done it, or maybe they had a gun to your head.

The Beeb not content to torture us with dreck like Don't scare the Hare, wasted a bit more money. I know this because I was recently the victim of a mugging on the iPlayer.  Looking for something new to watch, I checked out something that had been billed as a comedy, there like a shiny new toy was Candy Cabs.  An all female cab company, based ever so loosely on the Carry on film with which it shares a plot. There the comparison ends. The women are repellent, unsympathetic and about as funny as a case of the trots. The near universal low brow ill educated accent and lack of class on display made the far superior Benidorm ( which I love) look like Royal Shakespeare. There is nothing good about this programme, the casting is awful, the premise is dull and predictable and the writing can't make up it's mind whether we're supposed to like the women or their victims. Oh wait we're supposed to hate them all. It's more footballers wives on scrumpy than a comedy. The idea is that a group of fat charvy women with a bit of money try and save their unique business while being nasty to everybody around them. Hardly the sort of thing you want to go through let alone watch. 

Feeling it was duty to at least try it for a bit, I got through the first 10 minutes of the first ep , then sampled bits of the second.   I had hoped to find a glimmer of talent and or good writing, but all it was, was an unrelenting moan fest of bitchy women past their prime who had scared off even their closest friends. As for the language, I find it hard to imagine an entire community that hasn't a single person who speaks proper English or hasn't the manners of a drunken Essex girl.  I'm more angry over this to be honest than the Hare tripe, Candy Cabs could have been a bit of good old fashioned Oh Matron with some Packet of crisps, but instead is a bowl of sick, seasoned with a bit of glitter.  If you want to see angry people being nasty to each other, watch Jeremy Kyle, at least he doesn't bill himself as a comedy. Can it be that the sitcom division of the BBC is well and truly broken? I have yet to evidence of fresh new comedy from them that isn't derivative, poorly paced and dull since the brief flare of Mongrels and Rev. More misses than hits and sadly most of them are run out for ducks they are so bad. Somebody set up an enquiry please. If Mrs Brown's Boys is the best they can do, then you have to wonder what the rest of them are doing with their time. 

Thank God for Doctor Who and Spiral, or even great dramas like The Crimson Petal and the White. I know in my heart of hearts that the BBC can't be perfect all the time, but this has to be a pretty bad run at comedy central by any stretch. Not sure when the lunatics running the asylum will be rounded up, but it can't be soon enough. 


fatoldtart said...

I agree with every word, but think you should have been more scathing!

Mietek Padowicz said...

Any stronger Jeffrey and I'd be reported to Ofcom.

Caitlin said...

The makers of that programme should be reported to Ofcom.

...and possibly the european court of Human Rights, on behalf of everyone forced to sit through it while waiting on Doctor Who