Some things make you feel so angry, so filled with bile and rage that you have to speak out through fear of internally combusting. Being a Yorkshireman, there are many things that greatly aggravate me. People causing traffic jams by gawping inanely at a road accident. Pigeons constantly announcing their presence of my roof by crapping all over my windows and garden. Leeds United screwing up their chance to get back into the Championship. But one thing above all has been scratching away at the back of my brain now for a few years, and it’s time I finally got it off my chest. How the flip did Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps ever make it to TV?
Pick a weekday, any weekday, and you can be sure that this shitstorm of a TV show will be blathering its nonsensical, desperately unfunny comedic wares to an apparently eager-for-more audience. Listening to the laughter from the TV audience, you’d think you were watching the jewel in the BBC’s comedic cannon and yet whenever I’ve tuned in I’ve been left dumbfounded at the lack of jokes, comic timing and general acting talent to warrant such guffaws.
Problems with the show are so multilayered, it’s hard to know where to begin but I’ll take my first stab at the actors. I’ve seen Ralf Little in various productions, including The Royle Family and some excellent dramatic roles, and he’s a pretty good actor. So why is it that in this show he consistently looks lost? Of course, his own performance is nothing compared to Will Mellor’s. In surely one of the greatest anomalies ever to hit TV screens, this is a man who cannot act to save his life and yet has been in the business now since the mid-90s during his time as Jambo in the equally risible Hollyoaks. The three female actors are all perfectly fine but are served no favours by the script, which brings me neatly onto problem number two.
That the script is coarse, crude and defiantly adult in humour is not necessarily a bad thing – Mike Leigh has been doing it to great effect for years in his films. That it celebrates the ‘yoof’ generation in the UK is similarly not on its own something to bemoan, as many other productions have tackled this topic with great aplomb. However, to have a script that is also devoid of any laughs is fairly criminal and that’s exactly what we’re working with here.
Crappy production values (each location looks like a TV set), terrible lines, awful plotting (including supposed imbued drama as the series has progressed) and characters you just couldn’t give a stuff about make for one of the worst comedies in living memory. Then there’s those episode titles. Fags, Shags and Kebabs. Lard. On The Blob. Seriously, WTF!
And yet I haven’t even touched on the worst aspect of the show, which is that the BBC screens it constantly. Not only do we have to be exposed to this complete waste of a licence fee, we’re subjected to episodes night after night after night. Has no one at the BBC thought ‘Hold on, this is shit. Let’s just put an end to it all.’ No they haven’t, because idiots keep tuning in week after week, the same idiots who seem to think that these five dossers hanging about with each other doing sod all is hilarious comedic fodder. It’s not. It’s the worst show to ever hit TV screens in the last ten years and it has to stop.