In taking this show from what started out as a radio parody show and putting it on TV, the essential element of humour seems to have been exsanguinated from it.
That’s not to say that some of the actors didn’t put in good performances, they did – notably an understated Rhys Thomas as Bellamy – but the show seems to have been too liberally daubed with tar from the same brush as Little Britain, and I have to say, that show didn’t appeal to me either.
It’s not that I’m lacking in the ability to be amused by the quirky, but when done often enough, quirky becomes clichéd. And I felt that most of the characters in Bellamy’s People – though some were original in concept – became an embodiment of all that I suspect the writers, Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, were trying to avoid.
The show seemed to want to seek out eccentricity and capitalise on it, and fair enough, if it had been a little less eccentric, might well have worked, but some were simply too ‘eccentric’ to be remotely believable.
Take for example the sisters living together; one a fan of a Nazi regime, one a communist and n’er the twain shall meet without forced dialogue it would seem.
That said though, I did find the sweetly drippy Mr Khan character was fun; his call to get more Muslim shows on TV, such as Strictly No Dancing was amusing.
But to every silver lining there’s a cloud and white van man was way too overdone, but arguably one of the more realistic characters. We’ve all met the type of course, but again, white van man has been done to death.
Overall, I guess there’s a possibility that as it goes on, Bellamy’s People might grow wings and fly, but though it’s not a total dodo, it might well be on the verge of extinction unless it manages to attract that most sought after of comedy prefixes, ‘cult’.
If it does, it might live, but otherwise, I think this one could well be destined for a retrograde step back into its original habitat, and perhaps it should never have been taken from there in the first place.