Beautiful People

I tuned in to the first episode of Beautiful People, the new sitcom by Gimme Gimme creator Jonathan Harvey expecting something rubbish. I was disappointed. It’s not rubbish. It’s beyond rubbish. Scientists working on the Hadron Collidor last night watched this programme and immediately suspended all work on Quantum Theory to instead come up with a new category of shiteness to put this show into.

Blue Peter have also today launched an appeal for children to name this new special category: seven-year-old Nathan from South Wales suggested, ‘Ball-hanging, thundercunting balloon-juice of the highest order.’ And eight-year-old Suzie suggested it was a ‘Shitty, ring-sniffing jizz bag full of plop plops.’ And she also did a nice drawing. Keep those entries coming in kids … 

Well, let’s not beat about the bush any longer. I really didn’t like this, you know. 

The main character is Simon Doonan, a 24-year-old gay British window-dresser now living in New York. We flash back to his childhood in 1997 as a camp teenager in the UK and meet his family, neighbours and schoolchums. This week the story was all about how he secretly wanted a Posh Spice doll for his fourteenth birthday.

Despite being apparantly set in Reading, all the main characters have different comedy regional accents, from Brummie to Cockney to Liverpudlian, which are merely used here as lazy character short-hand. Look, she’s a Brummie! That means she must be warm-hearted and the salt-of the-earth. His mother’s one of them Cockernees – she’s bound to be a bit feisty. His father is from Southern Ireland. Well, wouldn’t you know, he’s so laid back and easy-going.

Every character in this is one-dimensional. From Simon’s mouthy Liverpudlian headteacher, to his dad – the laid-back irishman who doesn’t care that his son is gay and just ‘loves the bones of him.’ This is great news for Simon I guess, but doesn’t really add conflict. And any first-year media student will tell you that without conflict, there is no sitcom. So what we get instead is just Jonathan Harvey’s wish-fulfilment of a fantasy land where young camp gay boys are lighty but lovingly mocked. Even the schoolbully comes round in the end – in one of the most stomach-churningly mawkish scenes ever to hit our screens.

The only person who comes out of it with any dignity is the always excellent Olivia Coleman, succesfully playing a sort of younger version of Alison Steadman’s ‘mum’ character from Gavin & Stacey.  Meera Syall is as dull as ever, playing a blind randy auntie ( even blind women sometimes want to have sex, you see? How brave, how visionary, how the fuck did this bollocks ever get past anyone’s desk?)

This series is based on a popular memoir by real-life Simon Doonan. Perhaps in this, he succesfully manages to convey some of the black humour and pathos of growing up as a camp gay teenager in a working-class area of Britain in the 90’s (though the original memoir was actually set in the 60’s and 70’s) but this show certainly fails to do so spectacularly. I’m pretty sure even today such an experience must be no picnic for a young gay boy, but formulaic garbage like this really doesn’t honour or accurately represent such experiences in the least. That probably wouldn’t matter if it was funny. But as I mentioned earlier, they’re still working on a new category of unfunny to put this utter ball-juice into.


10 Responses to “Beautiful People”

  1. nursemyra Says:

    it can’t be any unfunnier than the US version of Kath and Kim

  2. MD Says:

    Marvellous invention, remote controls. You can turn things off.

  3. charliemingles Says:

    what would be the point in that MD? try being funny about something good. its fucking hard.

  4. daveselectricblanket Says:

    Marvellous invention, the TV license. Gives us the right to moan when our money’s being squandered on shite.

    The BBC should be promoting culture, not pissing on it.

    *steps away from soapbox and milks an elderly goat dry*

  5. MD Says:


    I don’t do funny. Factual only please.

  6. The Tombstone Says:

    I think MD may have missed the point of this blog.

    I refuse to watch this show because the character has a curtains hairdo and I have a curtains hairdo and everyone makes fun out of me for having a curtains hairdo because it’s so old fashioned. So when the adverts started they were like , ho ho it’s a show set in the past and he’s got your old fashioned hairdo.


  7. charliemingles Says:

    Just noticed this blog is 92 in wordpress blogs of the day! wahoo!

    *sits back and waits for the money to roll in*

    *is still waiting …*

  8. The Tombstone Says:

    That’s really good, aren’t there like 4 million blogs on this thing?

  9. charliemingles Says:

    I dont know how it works TS. I just got a link in my admin section from the wordpress daily blogs thing saying this was 92. It cant be just on numbers I dont think as I dont get that many. that was just one day though. It only happened, I think, because I reviewed something that graham Linehan might have alluded to and his readers were curious. Im also enjoying the zombie rubbish, I think its quite good fun. better than I expected so far.

  10. The Tombstone Says:

    Well however it works well done chief.

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