After publishing a rant about 'idiots' - frantically hip, ignorant scenesters - Dan Ashcroft finds these same people embracing him as his idol and his nerves constantly tested by his biggest fan, moronic scene personality Nathan Barley.
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Dan Ashcroft, a bad-tempered and chaotic journalist working for hip magazine 'Sugar Ape', believes that he is surrounded by what he calls 'idiots': hedonistic scenesters who care about nothing but the latest trend. Nathan Barley is a prime example of this species, so logically he and his website 'trashbat.co.ck' are a hit with Dan's dim-witted workmates. No matter how much Dan tries to avoid him, Nathan keeps causing awkward situations for both Dan and his sister, earnest film-maker Claire. Can the rise of the idiot be stopped? Written by
A lot of people will argue that Chris Morris has gone off the boil. Perhaps he has, but his sense of satire is still sharper than anyone. Before he had great success spoofing media sensationalism of current affairs with the groundbreaking BrassEye and years before that The Day Today (with Steve Coogan). Here he takes it a step further and spoofs London journo scenesters, always trying to stay ahead of the pack with the next trend and fad.
It follows the career of struggling columnist Dan Ashcroft, a semi-intellectual trapped between the idiots he works with and a more astute crowd and a man who epitomises everything that Dan hates about his life - his biggest disciple - Nathan Barley. From the first episode it lays out Dan's dilemma and as the series unfolds shows us why he isn't so very different from the people he hates and is surrounded by, perhaps that he is in some way responsible for them. A philosophical tale that everyone can relate to on some level.
Whether this is an accurate spoof I can't tell, as I don't know anyone of the crowd Morris pokes fun at here so mercilessly. On my third and fourth viewings I still try to decide whether the writing is minimalist genius or just lazy. But for some reason it is humorous and believable... you can imagine tabloid writers sitting round a meeting table surrounded by office toys, desperately trying to "outcool" the next paper by spawning meaningless catchphrases and reviewing supposed artists who are nothing more than shameless fools. Whether it's happened yet, or it's a prediction of the sort of culture we're heading towards, it certainly entertains and forces questions about the way we perceive and are led by mass media. 8/10
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