"Ooh, look at me today, I'm entertaining whilst saving lives aren't I brilliant?": David Brent is Back
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"Ooh, look at me today, I'm entertaining whilst saving lives aren't I brilliant?": David Brent is Back

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | February 28, 2013 | Comments ()


Britain is this crazy place. They've tea and crumpets (so they say at least, I remain unconvinced that crumpets are not entirely fictional), and those red-uniformed guards with hats bigger than the pope's. And they've got universal health care and nationalized television of much higher quality than Americans have been led to believe is possible without a competitive market of several dozen networks of reality shows. This might just be selection bias, after all, we only pay attention to the good stuff out of Britain, and not the flocks of abysmal stuff that doesn't have the wings to make it across the Atlantic.

And they also have random days of the year when new television episodes are broadcast even between seasons. That's why we get these odd "1 year later" two hour episodes of "Downton Abbey" tacked onto the end of seasons. I mean series. Strange place. And then "Doctor Who" always a nice extra long episode between seasons series with some famous guest star we end up either adoring or loathing. I've at least come to terms with the idea that Christmas is special and therefore we get extra British television.

But now David Brent is coming back to us with a special on March 15 for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day, which has the slogan "Who says famine has to be depressing?" So I assume it's a charity that has to do with hunger relief, which makes sense because of the well known Rudolph syndrome that affects those in the final stages of starvation. Google it? YOU GOOGLE IT. I just want to talk about David Brent.

There's a trailer up over on YouTube, but they've disabled embedding on account of being fasco-anarcho-communist twatwaffles. You can see it here.

The gist of the special is that David Brent has entered the music management business and hilarity ensues through his terrible management and constant attempts to push his own songs and dances upon clients. I really really want to like this, because David Brent was a fantastic character. Yet I am falling profoundly short of optimism on this pitched storyline. Brent's appeal was in the fact that his delusions of grandeur were so at odds with the fact that he was a nobody in a completely deadend job in a dying industry. Taking him out of that and actually letting him be in the music business destroys the dichotomy that makes the character sympathetic. David Brent is only comically tragic when he is ultimately a failure. Allowing him into the field of his dreams is likely to just shift him to being an obnoxious buffoon by validating his delusions.

(source: AV Club)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Poo

    The BBC (state funded) hasn't got much (any?) reality crap. Lots of interesting documentaries, research, kick-"arse" "series". (like "Scherlock", the awesomest awesome lump of awesomeness), and most of their panel shows are GOLDEN (like QI). And ive heard olp people actually enjoy shows like "mastermind" or "university challenge" (boooooring) so that makes it ok during the day time (anyway, shouldn't be watching during the day time if you're sane enough to have a real life). My gist if basically; if you're seeing crap on british television, well it's your bloody fault for switching to ITV or Channel 5. But that's not at all what I wanted to say, might be getting carried away. What I was thinking was:

    (to the guy who wrote this episode) : You seem to know why we laugh at the show and why we won't at the new (unseen!!!) one. Would you mind waiting till you've actually seen the thing before you depricate its comedic quality ??

  • Buck Forty

    That last sentence... are you talking about Brent or Gervais?

    BTW I think you're extrapolating too much from a 15 second teaser. Just because Brent *says* he's a player in the music biz doesn't actually mean he is. It could all be just another delusion.

    I'll be watching it.

  • Aaron Schulz

    im going to eat so many god damned crumpets, itll be a crumpacolypse

  • e jerry powell


    What kind of syrup do I serve with those?

  • Bedewcrock


    Make haste to the OED and make sure that's referenced appropriately under February 28, 2013.

  • BWeaves

    I agree with V. Americans only get the good stuff from England. That's why Masterpiece Theatre was invented.

    I also agree with Steven. David Brent was only interesting when he was in a dead end job. Same with Extras. Andy Millman was only interesting when he was an extra. When they made him the star of his own show, it kind of lost the point.

  • zeke_the_pig

    -double post- Go home Disqus

  • zeke_the_pig

    It most certainly is confirmation bias. For every dollop of cultural goodness you get from these shores, take two drops of the Daily Mail website and all good will will fly back out of your mouth faster than a Kryptonite milkshake out of Superman.

  • V

    As an American living in London I can say with utmost confidence...the US is only getting the cream of the crop. My husband and I find it painful watching the programs here and are often reduced to reruns of Fawlty Towers, American shows in syndication, and documentaries. Sure there are good shows (Ripper Street, Downton Abbey), but there are just as many abysmal shows and probably even more reality tv than we have in the states. To name a few - Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex, Gypsy Wedding, X Factor, Pop Idol, Got to Dance, Hotel Inspector, etc. Plus a really sickening one where two brides who have never met and have opposite desires for their wedding have to compromise on their choices and have a dual wedding. Yikes.

  • Dragonchild

    Go back to shaving Natalie Portman's noggin.

  • How dare you. X Factor is a gem, okay. Jokes aside - I LIVE for British Panel Shows. Just. They are so, so good for me. Sadly, pretty much only 8 out of 10 Cats is airing right now. But that's enough for me to get my Jon Richardson fix, so I suppose I'll be alright.

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