Above Their Station



  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 10:18am [Edited]
  • Cotswolds, England
  • 55 posts

Did anyone else catch this at 21:30 on BBC Three? I thought it was ok as a one off. A bit more zany than The Thin Blue Line, but same idea. Nice cast.

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Will Cam

  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 11:03am [Edited]
  • England
  • 7,975 posts

I thought there were a few funny lines in this but there were just too may characters to try and relate to. I found the stupid CSO to be quite likeable, his mate was non-descript and the female CSO was hardfaced and unlikeable. The bully, PC Preston I thought was Ok and could develop into a good character. There is scope, given the potential friction between Police Officers and CSOs, for some Blackadder-style scheming if the lead CSO (non-descript guy) had more (or any) edge to him. There were some very weak jokes, the bounty being offered as a result of finding the theif turning out to be a Bounty bar being the worst. I did laugh at the cleaner being hit by the stun gun though. The other issue I had with it was there was an element of crudeness that wasn't funny or necessary (waffle about big sausage/penis jokes). It beat Big Top though (not hard I know), and I would watch it again to give it a chance.


James Cotter

  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 11:42am [Edited]
  • Exeter, England
  • 1,590 posts

Not awful but not great. It was a cruder version of The Thin Blue Line without the talent of Rowan Atkinson and David Haig.

I'm not a big fan of Rhys Thomas as I think he plays himself on every occasion and some of the gags were a bit laboured. The suspended gag was okay the first time but the second time just made it too farfetched. There was too much unneeded rudeness in there like the writer had a certain target to meet, like he was told if it was going on BBC Three in need to have a certain amount of knob gags.

I liked certain aspects like the real bullying copper he was good and there's a certain amount of scope for more from him.

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  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 12:41pm [Edited]
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts

As I mentioned in another thread, I stoutly defended Lab Rats, Big Top and The Persuasionists, but even I have my limits. This was pap, devoid of original comic invention or anything resembling wit. And so sad to see the great Dudley Sutton reduced to appearing in such drivel, to say nothing of the waste of Andy Linden, Simon Day and Denis Lawson.



  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 2:29pm
  • SE London/Kent, England
  • 183 posts

I must be getting old and losing my sense of humour because I found this awful. No wonder Simon day had a long face.

Off-topic post by Andrew Dodds Comedy Guru on Tue 23rd Feb 2010, 15:23

This writing was slightly below par. Want to know why? All will be revealed in latest comedy lecture. Keep the proverbials peeled.

Keep writing!

Off-topic post by Marc P on Tue 23rd Feb 2010, 15:27

Can you at least try and write in sentences please Andrew.

Off-topic post by Andrew Dodds Comedy Guru on Tue 23rd Feb 2010, 15:43

Sorry brother but your sarcasm has slipped a millimetre or two wide of the marc (pun).

Off-topic post by Marc P on Tue 23rd Feb 2010, 15:50

It was just a pleasant enough request. I don't ask that you be funny.



  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 4:13pm [Edited]
  • Merseyside, England
  • 3,396 posts

I'm starting to realise that BBC Three probably insist their sitcoms be a bit shit, to appeal to their target demographic. Think about it, if a show was quite clever, e.g. something written by Chris Morris, the average BBC Three viewer wouldn't get it.

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  • Tuesday 23rd February 2010, 4:22pm [Edited]
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts

That argument might carry more weight if BBC Three actually had any viewers. It is more a case of the Beeb, in all its patronising superiority, holding its nose while churning out this shit on the basis that this is sort of thing that appeals 'people like that'. Then being baffled when no-one tunes in.



  • Wednesday 24th February 2010, 2:03am [Edited]
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,517 posts

Alas, I can't really disagree with much of the above. The premise was fine and I did laugh a couple of times, but it was all just a bit odd and didn't really work. Having said that, this was a pilot and as such half of that can be expected - if it were to get a series, I think it'd have a chance of being something good.


Damn His Duckpond

  • Wednesday 24th February 2010, 2:42pm
  • England
  • 109 posts

Congratulations to those who watched it; I saw the trailer and decided that The Persuasionists was brilliant after all.



  • Thursday 25th February 2010, 1:22am [Edited]
  • England
  • 5 posts

I managed to watch about 20 minutes of this before giving up. I thought it was uniformly awful. The whole programme gave the impression of a bunch of disillusioned writers and actors engaged in a project they hated and were ashamed to be involved in doing just enough to get by. Even the audience laughter seemed more than usually forced an apologetic. Maybe my standards have been scewed by watching series 1 of Spaced over the last few days, but I found this basically embarassing. It's a great shame, because community support officers are a great subject for comedy. But this programme basically functions as a sort of surrogate for bullying. The tone is set very early on when we see two of the main characters being bullied by kids. But this is depicted as an uncomplicatedly funny humiliation of outsiders. There's no engagement with the charaters at all. The premise of this programme's humour is "let's all laugh at those idiots".



  • Thursday 25th February 2010, 9:48am [Edited]
  • England
  • 30,067 posts
Quote: Aaron @ February 24 2010, 2:03 AM GMT

this was a pilot and as such half of that can be expected - if it were to get a series, I think it'd have a chance of being something good.

In an ideal world. But aside from How Not To Live Your Life, I've seen very little evidence over recent years that programme makers can watch their own programmes, see what's wrong with them, and fix the faults. Rather, a bunker mentality descends in which everybody who criticises the show is wrong and that nothing at all needs to change.