Your Views – Bumper Mailbag

Regular readers of this blog will know that the first entry of the new month is about looking back. However, I’ve been a bit lax lately due to a combination of being away and being busy with Big Brother and X Factor. However, I’ve perused all the feedback and mail sent in during July and August. Here’s what you’ve been saying…

On the whole, my piece on Comedians & Controversy was received with great interest. The idea was sparked by Russell Brand’s recent faux pas. However, my description of Jim Davidson’s "laugh-free act about his black ‘friend’ Chalky" didn’t meet with MSN User Mark’s approval. He said:
"Hmm me thinks me hears an ethnic lefty with a chip on her shoulder. I have seen him many times and the audience were laughing. Maybe the audience was not made up of uptight homosexuals and chippy ethnics, but hey ho, we the white working class were laughing." In response Mark, not every white working class individual is enamoured with Jim Davidson. Similarly, it’s possible that there are non-whites that do like him. Either way, one thing’s for sure; I’d rather be "an ethnic Lefty" than a has-been woman-beater. 

When EastEnders’ Wellard went off to that great dog kennel in the sky, we compiled a list of the Top TV Dogs. However, as is always the way, we left some out. MSN user Uzma wrote in to say: "What about The dog from Come outside? Pippin, I think his name was.. he was my favourite when I was a child." Colin also put pen to paper (after a fashion): "I really liked the feature on Top TV Dogs but feel that the most important one was missed out. Surely Spit The Dog of Tiswas fame should rate up there with the best. Thanks for a fun listing." Colin mate, I bow down to you. That’s a great shout! I will add Spit The Dog to the feature at some point in the future.

Goodness! My piece on Teenage Kicks & Other Dire Sitcoms truly opened Pandora’s Box. How dare I criticise that critically-acclaimed rib-tickler (not!) Two Pints Of Lager & A Packet Of Crisps! Here are just a few of the objections received….
"Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. There is no way you can put this down. I know many people who enjoy it and it has never failed to make me laugh. I don’t know what your problem is, but a show that is popular and has been running for a good few years doesn’t deserve to be attacked by the likes of you."
Tom said: "What a negative review of sitcoms that are actually crowd pleasing, feel good shows."
Katherine added: "The likes of My Family and After You’ve Gone have been going on for so long because people do find it an enjoyable and entertaining programme."
Rob said: "Come on 2 Pints of Lager, Teenage Kicks & My Family??? What are you thinking woman lol!"
Daniel went for the jugular: "With all due respect, I don’t think the programme is meant to be aimed at people that are slightly older." Ouch mate!
Lewis added: "It can’t be one of the worst British sitcoms because it has had seven series."

Guys, there are times when editors here at MSN write articles from a very personal point of view. When we do this, we put a disclaimer on the article in question to indicate the stance it’s written from. It says: The views in this column/blog are those of the author alone and not of MSN or Microsoft. List-based content is always subjective. One man’s meat is another (wo)man’s poison etc. Therefore, no list can possibly ever be definitive. However, when I selected some of what I believed to be Britain’s Worst Sitcoms, I took into account factors such as air-dates, running times, longevity etc. The likes of My Family and After You’re Gone are acknowledged as ratings winners, but that doesn’t make them of the calibre of the likes of Fawlty Towers or Porridge. They will NEVER make a top 20 list of Britain’s Best Sitcoms. Not while the likes of Blackadder, Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe & Son, Till Death Us Do Part and Only Fools (pre millionaire days) are fresh in the memory.

On the same subject, Claire wrote in to say: "Are we to gather from your rubbishing of our nation’s sitcoms that you are working on a brilliantly original sitcom that will have us all laughing?" Claire, my Oscar-winning script is in development as we speak. On the other side of the coin, Jonny enthused: "Can I just say you are f*cking ace! I thought I was the only person that hated (with a passion) the nauseating banality of My family and that Two Pints was wildly overrated… thank you for making me realise I am not alone 😉 ". No Jonny, thank YOU for making me realise that I am not alone. 🙂

Finally, the last word to Sarah: "OK, we get it. You don’t like Ray Quinn, we’re all well aware of this by now. Move on please and stop mentioning him in every list you do whenever you get the chance, it’s very tiresome." Where has the notion that I take the mick out of the adult Munchkin in every feature I write come from? He’s only mentioned in X Factor content and anything I do relating to ‘most-annoying’ after all…..

Thanks for all your comments and messages guys. Keep them coming in. That’s it for this month as far as the mailbag is concerned.

MSN Editor Coops
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