Badults review – Episode One – BBC Three

Badults BBC ThreeBadults is the type of show people will describe as ‘fun’, before claiming that anyone who doesn’t like it doesn’t like ‘fun’. It’s the television equivalent of people doing Gangnam Style at parties, which makes me the equivalent of the guy who sits immovable at a pub table and refuses to take part.

And I’m okay with that. Because Badults is…not very good. It is not terrible, and has some decent ideas and an admirable willingness to weave call-backs through the script, but it is just not particularly good. It is a show in which the audience start laughing literally two seconds into the episode, at the sight of a man singing a song. It is, to put it mildly, broad.

Episode one introduced the three main characters – a straight man, an idiot and, er, another idiot – who accidentally withdrew thousands of pounds from the bank, before spending a few days trying not to lose it, failing, and then struggling to make the money back using whacky business ideas.

If the show has a major strong suit it is a willingness to play with the TV format, at one point adding a woman signing for the deaf at the bottom of the screen, at another breaking the fourth wall and referencing their own flashbacks. The episode also built into farce in an enjoyable way, starting with the characters playing board games and referencing Les Miserables, and ending with one character enslaving the other two before a revolution and an execution at a makeshift guillotine.

The problem is that the jokes are really lame. Double meanings and puns; jokes confusing financial stocks with gravy stock or a character awkwardly describing a murder-mystery as ‘period’ so another can make a weak menstrual joke. And the audience laughing over the top at every. single. line. is incredibly annoying. I’m not completely against live TV audiences – it works in Father Ted for instance – but when a hundred people laugh uproariously at a bad joke it makes that bad joke ten times worse.

The main characters are also pretty clichéd, the straight man and the fool, and the sensible woman who cleans up after all the fun hijinks of the boys.

I read that the three comedians who star in and wrote Badults used to perform this material as a stage show – Pappy’s – and I can kind of see how all this nonsense would work in that environment. It’s live, and this type of thing can be great fun if you see it live. That’s why panto is so successful, or a Punch and Judy show at the beach. But on TV? Surely we should be striving for something better, and spending the limited pool of BBC cash on something cleverer than slapstick and funnier than jokes confusing Oxo Cubes with the stock market.

Some people will love it though, I’m sure. Maybe I’m just miserable. Feel free to leave me here at the table with my drink, and go do Gangnam Style.

Choice lines:

  • ‘Moldy Chop sink unblocker – More powerful than an eagle fucking the world.’
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14 thoughts on “Badults review – Episode One – BBC Three

  1. To be fair I didn’t actually watch it but I seen the adverts and when I seen the advert I actually thought about turning my TV off (or burning it, although I though the prior would be safer, also I didn’t actually turn it off I just thought about it). Again I didn’t watch it but Badults looked like something that made the Miranda show look cutting edge and funny (when it is neither of these things).

    It sounds and looks really bad and the reviews have been awful, I can only ask what the BBC was thinking, I’m sure they’ll recommission for another series because it is questionable if the BBC know what they are doing with BBC3 and they don’t seem to know what is funny.

    • Yeah well I did watch it and it was utter rubbish. The Wright Way was appalling but made you want to see the next episode to marvel at how terrible it was. Badults, on the other hand, just made you want BBC3 to be axed within the next ten minutes because if this is what they’re spending money on, comedy on the BBC is utterly doomed. It’s like We Are Klang made by people who are even less funny (and one of the actors has even copied Greg Davies’ faces – badly, which is pretty depressing in itself since Davies has only really been consistently funny in the Inbetweeners, and he was still far funnier in We Are Klang than this bellend was in Badults.).

      Count yourself lucky you didn’t see it, and don’t make the mistake of tuning in next week.

  2. I’m just glad someone else said this! I hated it! Never doubt your reviewing knowledge. I love bbc3, with family guy and american dad, but this show just put it to shame. I was embarrassed I watched it.

    • Cheers, thanks for reading. As bm23reviews said above, the adverts made the show look utterly awful so my expectations were really low. The show itself though was a little better, which might explain my qualified praise above. But yeah, you and Alfie are right, it is very poor (and agreed about American Dad – it is a surprisingly good show, consistently funny and intelligent. Not really a fan of Family Guy though.)

  3. If I have one criticism of your criticism, it’s that it’s not what I’d called overly critical. Everything you’ve said about this pitiful excuse for a show, endorsed by the other commenters, has been entirely coherent, objective and, if anything, somewhat restrained. Not having found my way here before, the OCR title rather emboldened me to hope for unrestrained personal abuse and sadistic inverted-crucifixion fantasies against everyone in it, their parents and the suppurating tool who green-lit it. Badults is a crime at least as bad as leaving your dog locked in a car on a hot day; let’s not pretend otherwise.

  4. Aaargh… I had a half hour to spare and just watched this on catch up – That’s half an hour that I’ll not get back and a mistake I won’t be repeating. This was the most puerile thing I have seen in a very long time – strike that – ever! I did not crack a smile, let alone laugh out loud (what on earth had the warm-up act been like to encourage the ‘live’ audience to cackle in such a manner – bring him/her on instead – PLEASE).
    Some may not fully support Three for buying in American cartoons and crowd-pleasers but at least I can see the value delivered for my licence fee.
    I’m guessing this series wasn’t big budget but whatever they spent on it was wasted in my opinion as it will not endure, having none of the crafted surrealism of The Young Ones or the practiced slapstick of Bottom. If it weren’t for the bad language I would suggest that this is shoved straight over to CBBC as ‘wallpaper’ to keep the toddlers amused.
    If they’re brave enough Three will cancel the series without broadcasting any more.

  5. I managed 8 minutes of the second episode and couldn’t beleive how rubbish this programme is. Shameful. Not funny. Total sh*tballs

  6. I’ve been forced to sit through three episodes by my son and can honestly say that apart from a couple of chuckles, it’s generally very very poor low grade humour. The part of “the boss”, the name of whom escapes me right now, is actually just unpleasant.
    I’m of an age that enjoyed “The Young Ones” when it first aired and sort of see this as “The Young Ones With Jobs”, but with the comedy down graded.

  7. Hardly laugh at any scripted comedy and such, not that I don’t get it, simpler tastes I guess. But this show, while I get the the humour, its just boring, simple and a bit pushy.
    Its trying too hard.
    BBC Three is commissioning odd stuff. Boomtown is just pointless, maybe that’s the idea, its just weird. The Call Centre, not a comedy, but I bet the boss is a dick behind closed doors really, and who gives a crap about that place, those people ring us all day about PPI, and other crap, maybe its because most young people work in such places these days. I certainly did not long ago, but can’t relate, whole thing seems fake in some way, probably just not shown after editing.
    Conspiracy Roadtrip, sort of okay, but they had the worst people on them, kids who only fed on what they read on the internet, then thinking they knew the whole subject and were ‘right’. Joe Swash I believe in ghost and the Danny Dyer one on aliens, appeals to the audience of the channel perhaps, but were just wrong to be shown. The subjects are hard to take serious for most people because of these shows, as well the likes of Most Haunted and such.
    But yeah, Badults, I doubt it’ll keep going, I don’t think they writers etc are likely bad, just that they have a few wrong expectations of the audience it was meant to target. Its not clever in any way. Have to wait and see what comes out in future.

  8. I thought it couldn’t get any worse than pramface, mrs brown boys and Miranda but I was wrong. Badults is easily the worse “comedy” ever. I despair at the state of comedy now. When we used to have things like Bottom, Green Wing, Father Ted, Spaced, Mongrels etc etc look at it now. The only exception recently has been Bad education and Fresh meat but they are few and far between. that bbc 3 head that came in cancelled Ideal and Mongrels then commissioned Pramface and White van man needs to get the biggest sack ever as he is terrible at his job.

  9. Are you joking??
    Everyone who critices it simply doesnt ‘get it’ it’s a comedy, an absurd comedy not to be taken overly seriously. It’s a very British type of comedy, and so if your expecting family guy or American dad, ofcourse your going to miss the point, wheras if you were brought up on Allo Allo, Only Fools and Horses, Bottom and many other British tv comedies then it’s much easier to find it funny! I think what people are put off by is the somewhat homemade aspect of the show, e.g the special effects, just because everything mainstream now has a cinematic Hollywood effect to it, it means anything less is rubbish, well that’s bullshit, that’s another reason why this show is good! That homemade aspect can be seen in the mighty boosh, it’s deliberate, and it’s great.

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