First shown in 1997. Chris Morris turns his laser eye to the subject of crime. Highlights include shocking revelations of how elephants are being used to disperse rioters, and Vanessa Feltz's message...
When the show first aired in 1997, some of the more controversial sketches were cut on the orders of the then-head of Channel 4 programming Michael Grade, most notably a piece concerning a musical based on the life of and starring the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe. The edition of the show in which the sketch would have featured was allegedly broadcast containing a onscreen subliminal message lasting 1/25 of a second that read "Grade is a cunt". The series was repeated in 2001 with the Sutcliffe sketch and some other material shown uncut, and with the subliminal message removed. See more »
Brass Eye is a quite awesome achievement. As I write this review, most of Britain's press is up in arms over the recent one-off episode which satirised the particularly sensitive subject of paedophilia. The majority of people claim that it is simply sick to even attempt to make a comedy based on such a theme. However, while not for the easily offended, Chris Morris' style has always been to approach serious issues using interesting methods. This particular episode managed to make some very interesting points, often highlighting the gross inconsistencies in the way in which crime and taboo subjects are dealt with.
A great deal of the humour comes from Morris managing to get celebrities to say the stupidest things. The fact that they are so easily convinced to speak such nonsense, highlights the ignorance and paranoia surrounding the whole subject. Amongst other things, we are told that paedophiles can feel children's faces via computer screens, that they occupy an area of internet the size of Ireland, that they can make toxic fumes rise from keyboards to make children more suggestible, that, genetically, they have more in common with crabs than people. At one stage, Kate Thornton tells us with utter seriousness that HOECS games are used by paedophiles to interact with children. It is quite incredible to see these people saying such things with such belief.
Other highlights include the Eminem spoof, JL B8; a story about a cheeky cockney ex-paedophile who does bus tours of his 'old haunts' - a brilliant spoof of the way the press treats the old east-end London gangsters these days; and an on-going news report showing a crowd lynching a paedophile when released from prison and burning him in a wicker phallus: scarily reminiscent of the mobs that ran wild in Britain in summer 2000.
To dismiss this or any other episode in the '97 series as sick and utterly unamusing, is to display an ignorance or unwillingness to address the very serious issues being dealt with. Just because there is humour involved, does not mean the issues are being sanitised - it actually makes them more poignant.
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