Remote Control - Saturday 26 April 2014

About a Boy is a programme for people who are stupid, says Alan
About a Boy is a programme for people who are stupid, says Alan

“Yeah American television it’s soooo much slicker than the UK.”

“Better production values.”

“Totes amazballs season six.”

Jog on.

As a man who had a 17-year embargo on American fast food and clothing, the new love of all things American does my head in.

In fact, I’ve never forgiven them for invading Grenada in 1983.

(The U.S. awarded more than 5,000 medals for merit and valor for what the UN slammed as “a flagrant violation of international law” – praise indeed for Operation Urgent Fury against a country with a population less than Preston’s to this day.)

But sometimes you have to swallow your morals for what Utilitarian Jeremy Bentham had as his fundamental axiom – “the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.”

In this case me watching some of her rubbish in return for having the remote control for the whole of the World Cup.

I’m not sure the pain giving up two hours to watch How I Met Your Mother and About a Boy were worth a full 64 clashes of balletic football.

Who lives a life like the people in How I Met Your Mother?

It’s Friends but even more living in a bubble removed from the real world.

Telly for people who enjoy “nibbles and fizz” on a Friday night.

The fizz being Asti.

Show me a group of 30-somethings of both genders who meet up in cafes and waffle on about 
innocent adventures.

This is the Dole Age.

No it’s not; it’s the era after the Dole Age.

Where’s the hydroponic cannabis growing in the ‘Spare Bedroom’ to offset the reduced Housing Benefit thanks to the ‘Bedroom Tax’?

Where’s the infidelity, the rows, the hatred, the alienation, the wage freezes, redundancy threats, skipping dentist appointments because you can’t afford the bill. Dumping your dog on the rec because you can’t 
afford its food.

It’s on a par with the Disney Princesses – but even your daughter leaves them behind for One Direction around the age of six.

As bad as it gets? No way.

About a Boy!

Hugh Grant’s film asked all sorts of odd questions back in 2002.

So why anyone would want to spin a tale of a singleton hanging around with an 11-year-old boy in 2014 into a full series baffles me.

No, the last thing we need on TV now is escapist fluff.

We’ve never needed Ken Loach as much.

Someone to shine a light on society’s demise.

And not five bland interchangable airheads on a quest for the perfect burger.

We need Albert Finney, Shelagh Delaney, John Braine and John Osborne.

We need Angry Young Men.

Do Look Back in Anger.

And if you think that’s a reference to Oasis go back to your trite Americana or start reading something other than Nuts.

There’s a line in the sand and one side is occupied by listless acquiescence.

I’ll be on the other .

Alan Burrows