Author Topic: Jane Root - was she so bad?  (Read 4530 times)

bgmnts

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2021, 02:16:56 PM »
Not if you're a member of a forum largely devoted to the discussion of comedy, television and popular culture generally, no.

Well, they're just barriers to good comedy. Imagine all the great stuff that didnt make it because some pointless executive twat said so.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2021, 02:23:50 PM »
But it's an interesting thing to talk about. The wider context etc.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2021, 02:25:35 PM »
Stewart Lee: "TMWRNJ2 wasn't trailed, ran for longer but over 13 weeks interrupted by sport, and the Friday night shows were usually cancelled"

http://www.richardherring.com/press/6019/interview_from_offthetellycouk_from_the_year_2000.html

What does 'trailed' mean? advertised in the lead up?

I'm absolutely sure it was advertised during the run. I think they used the 'extra final scene' bit as part of the ad. He's right about it being interrupted by sport and repeats cancelled, but it was always a fucking weird thing being scheduled at completely the wrong time. As much as I appreciated seeing it as a kid before the watershed.

Isn't it a bit rich, him complaining about getting 2 series of 45 minute comedy programs (18 episodes!) commissioned for daytime tv? Particularly as most of the content was adult oriented. It would never happen these days.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2021, 02:30:20 PM »
No. Where on earth have you got that idea from? I'm no Goodies expert, but most of the stuff I've seen is utterly harmless.

Are we quite sure about this? I seem to remember quite a bit of blacking up on occasion.

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2021, 02:30:39 PM »
I don't actually think commissioning The Office was in itself a bad decision.
There: I've said it.

Wow. I'm not sure who's braver, you or Brendan O'Neil.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2021, 02:32:18 PM »
What does 'trailed' mean? advertised in the lead up?

I'm absolutely sure it was advertised during the run. I think they used the 'extra final scene' bit as part of the ad. He's right about it being interrupted by sport and repeats cancelled, but it was always a fucking weird thing being scheduled at completely the wrong time. As much as I appreciated seeing it as a kid before the watershed.

Isn't it a bit rich, him complaining about getting 2 series of 45 minute comedy programs (18 episodes!) commissioned for daytime tv? Particularly as most of the content was adult oriented. It would never happen these days.

I don't know if it was trailed or not. But I don't think it would have ever been a smash hit.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2021, 02:39:16 PM »
Isn't it a bit rich, him complaining about getting 2 series of 45 minute comedy programs (18 episodes!) commissioned for daytime tv? Particularly as most of the content was adult oriented. It would never happen these days.
That was an odd thing there for a while. Like The Sunday Show before it. I guess they were targeted at pilled up club kids and that (the Britpoppers would have been too hungover on lager and alcopops).

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2021, 02:41:36 PM »
Am I missing something, why is Coupling as bad as all the other shows listed? It wasn't to everyone's tastes and a bit too blatant in it's attempts to do a "British Friends", but to put it in the same bracket as lifestyle shite like What Not To Wear just seems bizarre.

Also, The Weakest Link was fine. Perfectly passable early evening schedule filler.

Coupling is not as bad as the others, you're right. It's more of the 'not really the stuff of discerning comedy fans' dreams' than 'dyropian horror.'

Weakest Link is the stuff of nightmares. Exactly what makes telly horrible. Like something from 1984. Members of the public fighting for pennies while being abused by The Face of TV before a teatime proletariat.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2021, 02:44:25 PM »
That was an odd thing there for a while. Like The Sunday Show before it. I guess they were targeted at pilled up club kids and that (the Britpoppers would have been too hungover on lager and alcopops).

I remember this period very well, I think Fantasy Football took the same slot at one point as well. I was 11 or 12 and wasn't allowed to watch this sort of stuff normally so it was a eye opening thing to get to watch on a sunday lunchtime. Eventually realised that I recognised some of their stuff from hearing them on the radio before that, but I'd never seen fist of fun.

I find it hard to believe they expected something that goes out on Sunday lunchtime to get much promotion. Look at Sunday's bbc offering nowadays. Match of the day repeats and cooking/gardening shows. Daytime tv fodder basically.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2021, 02:44:32 PM »
Eh? I remember this getting advertised (2nd series at least), as well as being shown in both the original morning slot and repeated late at night. It was a bloody weird thing to have on on a sunday (I think) morning/lunchtime.

I think I remember it being advertised too. Live trailers from the studio even, if memory serves.

Root only came in part way though, didn't she? I think that was the problem. They were given freedom to do a lot of creative stuff and then she came in with the sledge hammer.

thenoise

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2021, 02:59:33 PM »
Coupling is not as bad as the others, you're right. It's more of the 'not really the stuff of discerning comedy fans' dreams' than 'dyropian horror.'

Weakest Link is the stuff of nightmares. Exactly what makes telly horrible. Like something from 1984. Members of the public fighting for pennies while being abused by The Face of TV before a teatime proletariat.

WL was BBC's answer to Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which milked the drama for sure, but the cruelest thing Tarrant ever did was wait until after the ads to tell someone if their answer was right. TWL method of creating drama was to have Anne Robinson patronise and insult the plebs between rounds. Still everyone lapped it up because they are fucking idiots.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2021, 03:04:57 PM »
Nasty people were all over the telly around then: Nasty Nick, Nasty Nigel, Dickhead Diamond. Simon Cowell seems to be the only one that's persisted - with the help of a new face.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2021, 03:08:45 PM »
Chris Packham: history's greatest monster.

Ambient Sheep

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2021, 03:21:05 PM »
Isn't there a racist bit in practically every episode?

No. Where on earth have you got that idea from? I'm no Goodies expert, but most of the stuff I've seen is utterly harmless.

Are we quite sure about this? I seem to remember quite a bit of blacking up on occasion.

Yeah, he said "most".  They definitely did black up "on occasion" (and have since regretted it), but it was fairly rare, and a long way from "practically every episode".


Jane Root was an expletive that ruined BBC2 in so many ways.  Even the idents.  It was very clear at the time that a talentless tasteless annoying twat had suddenly got ahold of the channel... it was a year or two before I discovered their name.

I have lots more I could write, especially about the Goodies blocking, but right now my head feels like it's stuffed with cotton wool.  Maybe later.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2021, 03:38:53 PM »
Jane Root was an expletive that ruined BBC2 in so many ways.  Even the idents.  It was very clear at the time that a talentless tasteless annoying twat had suddenly got ahold of the channel... it was a year or two before I discovered their name.

That's very interesting to me. For a period in the [late '80s and?][1] early '90s, the BBC2 idents looked (to me) like the inventive, studious work of Media Studies departments from provincial technical colleges. I found this exciting.

I liked the idea that the products of creative workshops accessible to people like me might make it into the citadel of tellyland; indeed that the very fabric of certain corners of tellyland (BBC2, late-night C4) might have been made by the sort of intelligent, creative working-class people I sometimes met in real life.

It's weird but those corners of TV gave me hope. But then something did change, you're right, and I find it plausible that Jane Root was a part of what changed for the worse. The feeling that there might be some sort of proletarian TV production industry I could join in with was replaced by a closed-door elitist boot to the face. Hah! Funny really!
 1. can't quite remember the exact period if I'm completely honest

Endicott

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2021, 03:40:29 PM »
There's the episode where they try to revitalise South African tourism - and black up for most of the episode. It was meant to be satirical but it's a tough watch. Apart from that, I reckon it happened about twice, maybe.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2021, 03:50:33 PM »
Nasty people were all over the telly around then: Nasty Nick, Nasty Nigel, Dickhead Diamond. Simon Cowell seems to be the only one that's persisted - with the help of a new face.

Nasty Nick was the worst. He actually brought a pen into the Big Brother house and started writing things down with it.
Just evil.
The internet collapsed briefly under the strain.

Ambient Sheep

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2021, 03:53:48 PM »
There's the episode where they try to revitalise South African tourism - and black up for most of the episode. It was meant to be satirical but it's a tough watch. Apart from that, I reckon it happened about twice, maybe.

Yup.  TBH it was probably a bit more than twice apart from that; they did seem over-fond of the minstrel trope.  Maybe if I ever get round to wading through the box-set I'll start counting.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2021, 03:55:35 PM »

Endicott

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2021, 04:00:10 PM »
4 (maybe 5) counts in that article. I was 1 (or 2) out.

Ambient Sheep

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2021, 04:13:18 PM »
https://www.chortle.co.uk/features/2018/09/17/41257/were_the_goodies_offensive?

Discussed a bit here.

Yeah, this is one of the ones I was thinking of:

Quote
Kung Fu Kapers, their most famous episode featuring the Yorkshire martial art of Ecky Thump, Garden does a Muhammad Ali routine that morphs into an Al Jolson impression. And it's not the only time over the run that he does the impersonation.

Although anybody who describes Kung Fu Capers as "their most famous episode" has clearly forgotten Kitten Kong, The Goodies and the Beanstalk, Goodies Rule OK! (giant Dougal), etc... even if a bloke did die of laughter while watching it.


4 (maybe 5) counts in that article. I was 1 (or 2) out.

That article paints a pretty bleak picture, and certainly I wouldn't want to defend much (if any) of it, but it's worth bearing in mind that they did 76 episodes in total over ten years.  It's not like it's 5 out of 12 or something.

notjosh

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2021, 05:18:36 PM »
Don't know much about this Jane Root character, but I do know that BBC Two from 1999-2004 looks like a golden era for comedy when viewed from the present.

The Office, I Am Not An Animal, Marion & Geoff, Look Around You, The League of Gentlemen, People Like Us, Coupling[1], Big Train...

There was plenty of crap too, but at least you knew that every Monday and Friday (and Thursday?) night you'd have a couple of brand new comedies at 10pm.

Not to mention the classic 6pm slot, with The Simpsons, Robot Wars, Malcolm in the Middle and various flavours of Star Trek.

Am I seriously supposed to believe that the person that commissioned all that is some kind of a silly twat?
 1. the Friends comparison is a red herring, it's brilliant

pigamus

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2021, 05:50:32 PM »
If it wasn’t her it would have been somebody else

That’s my deep insight for you there

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2021, 05:57:02 PM »
anne robinson was a needlessly horrible nasty cunt

https://twitter.com/A_Hess/status/1361326309117411331

never liked it because basically it was just a quiz show hosted by a cunt. that was its gimmick

Exactly right. Was getting annoyed at that very clip the other day and all, and talking with my partner about how that could have been the only reason it was popular, since, as an actual gameshow, it was needlessly convoluted, and ridiculously stacked against the contestants.

You could say the same about, say, the Crystal Maze, but at least that had nice sets.

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2021, 05:58:58 PM »
Don't know much about this Jane Root character, but I do know that BBC Two from 1999-2004 looks like a golden era for comedy when viewed from the present.

The Office, I Am Not An Animal, Marion & Geoff, Look Around You, The League of Gentlemen, People Like Us, Coupling[1], Big Train...

There was plenty of crap too, but at least you knew that every Monday and Friday (and Thursday?) night you'd have a couple of brand new comedies at 10pm.

Not to mention the classic 6pm slot, with The Simpsons, Robot Wars, Malcolm in the Middle and various flavours of Star Trek.

Am I seriously supposed to believe that the person that commissioned all that is some kind of a silly twat?
 1. the Friends comparison is a red herring, it's brilliant

Jane Root was the controller of BBC2, rather than a commissioner, so the question posed at the end of your post doesn’t quite relate to them entirely.

Also, at least three of those shows were commissioned before Root took over the channel - for example, the first series of League of Gentleman had been commissioned, made and broadcast; BBC started showing the Simpsons a few years before; People Like Us was commissioned under the previous controller. Am pretty sure Big Train was also first shown earlier, as well.

*edit* One of the criticisms aimed at the period is that the channel lost its identity and a fair a bit of the arts programming was binned/shunted off to BBC 4 in favour of programmes that could easily have come under the BBC One banner.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2021, 06:03:21 PM »
I can't tell if the problem with the BBC lies with the commissioners and chiefs or with the pressure they were put under to provide ratings winners and compete with entertainment guff on the other channels. Often this failed on both counts and just pissed money up the wall. There still seems to be a capability to make good programs here and there, but it simply doesn't seem to be the priority anymore. I think both are probably to blame but maybe the ones put in charge were a result of said pressure. That's not to mention the decline of their news coverage to the current pathetic state it's in. It should either be allowed to run freely and independently without any requirement to get ratings and with the original aims of the BBC in mind, or just got rid of at this point and all their archives put online for free.

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BlodwynPig

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2021, 06:05:24 PM »
Never even heard of Attention Scum. Episode 1 is on youtube, let's have a look at what Cunt Root destroyed

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2021, 06:08:04 PM »
Reece Shearsmith has a pop at an individual that’s almost certainly Jane Root on the LoG series 3 commentary, to the delight of the others. From what I can glean, I think the character Judith Buckle is his version of Root.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2021, 06:19:30 PM »

Re: Jane Root - was she so bad?
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2021, 10:24:49 PM »
Depends what you mean by 'much'. Got a lot of repeats on UK Gold in the 90s, one episode on C5 in about 2004, another on BBC in 2006, eight episodes on BBC in 2010, and a further one on BBC in 2014. So, while not a massive amount, it's not been completely ignored.

Not that it matters much now when the whole lot have been brought out on DVD anyway.

Virgin also had the first series on demand for a while.

With UK Gold, episodes were trimmed to accommodate the ad breaks so ngt an ideal to watch the series - and at that time, the reach of UK Gold was rather limited.

The 2010 repeats were scheduled very late night - maybe not completely ignored, but it rather smacks of avoiding eye contact and not wanting to be in the same room.

…No, The Goodies haven't been shown much on terrestrial TV in years and years but then neither has the Q series or Monty Python and most other comedy shows when you think about it. It's only OFAH, Dad's Army and a handful of others that have never been off our screens.

Although I was going to make a similar point to you, the more I thought about it, I can remember shows being repeated to some extent (sometimes) on terrestrial - e.g. Sykes has just been on Forces TV, it was on Gold quite a while ago but was repeated on BBC 2 in the 1990s and I’m (pretty) sure in the 1980s. Q has been repeated (albeit in compilation form) on the Beeb and Monty Python, going from memory, was repeated in the 1980s and early 1990s, followed by BBC 4. BBC 4 showing all the remaining episodes of Till Death Do Us Part, means that series has had considerably more repeats than The Goodies on a BBC-branded channel in the last 41 years, which I feel puts into context how little comparatively the latter has been shown.

A better comparison for The Goodies would be Dick Emery; massively successful and a big hit with viewers, but after his death, his programmes have only been repeated on UK Gold. That it took the BBC 26 years after they left to repeat a single Goodies episode is unusual compared to how its repeated other successful shows that still had audiences (the 2010 episodes had excellent figures for the time slot). The dealings that Network had with the Beeb over the first two DVD releases sounded like a complete nightmare that I’m amazed that the complete collection came out - although I understand that the BBC aren’t obstructive over licensing as they were.

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