Green Wing has sold as many copies in the few days since its release as Mighty Boosh has since its release a month ago. Why? Why?

I tried watching a little bit of Green Wing last year and it just annoyed me. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and assumed that this was because I hadn’t watched it ‘from the beginning’. Because ‘the beginning’ would give the characters the necessary establishment for me to understand their ‘complex dynamics and interactions’.

Now I’ve seen the first episode (except for the last ten minutes which I couldn’t be bothered with) and I still have no idea what the appeal is. Are people so shallow that all they can see is the slick, stylised, commercial-like editing? That’s what I couldn’t stand the first time I tried watching the show – it isn’t given a second to breathe in between the speed-ups, the slow-downs and the music they jam into every three second gap where no one is talking.

I assumed until now that there must be some pretty fabulous characterisation and dialogue if you’re able to look past the editing. Um… no. There isn’t. The characters are so flat that you could roll them up and fit them through a keyhole. The dialogue sounds like something that was written by someone who has just read Writing Humour For Dummies and now thinks they have the necessary life experience to write comedy for the BBC. Take this conversation for example, between two doctors walking down a corridor, talking about the response of some interns to a new nurse:

“…they’re all like bees around a honey pot.”
“No. No, bees make honey, don’t they.”
“Yeah, so.”
“Yeah, so. So why are bees bothering with a pot of honey? Yeah? Why not stay back at the hive where there’s as much honey as they can have, yeah? Yeah? Why flap all the way to the supermarket or somebody else’s house or wherever this honey pot is when there’s plenty of honey at home?”
“Yeah, well flies around a honey pot then.”
“Flies prefer shit.”
“Well, wasps. The point is, etc.”

It’s like someone had writers block and tried writing ‘banter’ off the top of their head. Anyone can write ‘banter’ at this level. It doesn’t involve effort whatsoever.

“I was at the supermarket the other day.”
“Why do they call it a supermarket? It doesn’t even have any super powers.”
“Maybe at night it puts on a spandex outfit at night and flies around the place beating up evil superwarehouses.”
“Wouldn’t people notice a bit building flying around the place?”
“Maybe it’s a like a transformer that can become a radically different size when it transforms.”
“Oh, so it’s a transformer now. Why don’t they call them transmarkets, then?”

…and so on and so on. Like I said, no effort. Seriously, if you take away all the slick editing bullshit there’s nothing. If you filmed it like an ordinary sitcom it would be an instant flop.

I wonder if that really is the reason GW sells better than MB. The former looks and feels like an expensive commercial. The latter looks and feels cheap. Now I’m wondering what would have happened if Welcome To Paradise had been filmed in GW style. Cult success, perhaps? Isn’t that a scary thought?

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