Tuesday, 15 September 2009

For my chewing pleasure

Operation Good Guys was on the telly when I returned home this evening. Ok, so it wasn't actually on the telly, my brother was watching our never-been-opened boxset of the show, which he bought for me a couple of years ago but I've never got around to watching. This was obviously a huge error on my part, as it's bloomin hilarious! Who remembers it? Basically, it was The Office before The Office (first shown in 1997, whereas The Office was first broadcast four years later). It's a mockumentary about an undercover police squad who are supposedly being filmed by a BBC crew for a fly-on-the-wall look at the detectives in action as they attempt to snare the crime lord 'Smiler McCarthy'.

Predictably, the whole bunch of them are incompetent, but the real dig is at the fact that they're allowed to get away with their shoddiness, and - in one episode - even showcase their idiocy by coordinating an 'undercover squad open day'. But instead of demonstrating their detecting and policing skills, they instead decide to turn it into a cabaret show under the guidance of (the actual) Christopher Biggins.
There are loads more celebrity cameos, my personal favourite being an appearance by David Seaman.

The first series is classic. From what I remember it seemed to go downhill in the second series. Indeed, having just read the Wikipedia entry, I
remember now that they stupidly decided to introduce canned laughter in the second and third series, completely spoiling the documentary feel, but it's still worth watching to see where The Office may have got some of its inspiration from.

Speaking of small-screen hilarity, I am (of-course) addicted to the latest Masterchef incarnation, which is rather inappropriately called Masterchef: The Professionals. C'mon guys, even I know that you don't make sauce in a griddle pan!

From what I gather so far, this competition is open to people who make a living out of any profession which is - however vaguely - related to cookery. So they could be a catering lecturer in a college, or work in the kitchen of a local pub. I'm guessing these people wouldn't be eligible for standard Masterchef, and certainly not for the 'celebrity' version, so this show caters (see what I did there?!) for everyone in between. And everyone in between appears to be a white chap in their mid-twenties. Nope, the BBC certainly aren't ticking any equality and diversity boxes with this programme. Still, it's as entertaining as ever.

Highlights from the first two shows have been the guy who aimed to make ravioli from scratch, but ended up serving an omelette on top of spaghetti, and Jamie from Wiltshire, who is a walking, taking, real-life thesaurus. Jamie's through to the next round, so I'm looking forward to hearing many more variations on the word 'chuffed' from him in the near future / very soon / shortly.


Dan W said...

Never seen this show, sounds interesting though. Another show that is very similar to this is People Like Us, with Chris Langham (he who, well, you know,) that was lots of a fake documentaries / interviews. Was very funny.


Masterchef is still bizarre as ever. Who are these people?!

Dunners said...

I adored 'People Like Us'!