Before there was The Office, there was People Like Us. A mockumentary in the style of the "docusoap" British reality television shows popular at the time about regular people and their ...
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Before there was The Office, there was People Like Us. A mockumentary in the style of the "docusoap" British reality television shows popular at the time about regular people and their regular lives, People Like Us follows actors playing average citizens going about their days working (or failing to do so), with an inept interviewer in tow, frequently getting sidetracked or becoming haplessly involved with his subjects. It is perfectly droll and quintessentially British, with a slew of great deadpan actors, some of whom have gone on to gain larger fame. Written by
In recent years, the BBC's comedy output has been nothing short of shameful, so it was a pleasant surprise when this little gem happened along. Expanded from a radio series, People Like Us follows a shambling, incompetent, accident-prone reporter called Roy Mallard (brilliantly deadpan Chris Langham) as he tries to hide in the background whilst following various people through the course of their daily lives and jobs. Most of the people Roy meets are also pathetic or incapable in some way - for example, a police chief who thinks the fax machine is sending over blank paper from another office, or the working mother who blithely loads slices of toast into the dishwasher whilst trying to answer Roy's inane questions at the same time. If you're not used to the mock-documentary approach, it may take some time to get into the flow and style of humour of People Like Us, but if you stick with it, you'll get your reward. Here's hoping the BBC don't keep us waiting too long for a third series!
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