Nathan Barley - Thoughts in retrospect?

Nathan Barley. Nathan Barley (Nicholas Burns). Copyright: TalkbackThames.

Nathan Barley

Comedy series which mercilessly parodies the lifestyles of young London media types

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Maurice Moss

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:26am [Edited]
  • England
  • 120 posts

When Nathan Barley came out, it slipped totally under my radar - as I was no massive Chris Morris fan at the time, and hadn't heard of Brooker at all. Later on, I just randomly gave it a shot since Richard Ayoade and Julian Barratt were in it. And liked it at the first viewing, and was truly able to appreciate it much more in the second and third viewings. But looking back at some of the opinions (in forums mostly), it seems like most people hated it back then - but it seems to be much more appreciated now.

For me, although the Shoreditch quasi-hipster(?) culture it seems to target is very specific, a lot of parts very well fell in place, being familiar with many "idiots" like that. You know, the "holy shit, how true is this?" feel. And a lot of lines and the feel in general, I found pretty funny keeping aside all that. And I was surprised to hear that at the time it was considered pretty dated by many - has this become more relevant now?

I would love to hear some thoughts of people who like the show and why Nathan Barley is much more appreciated now than when it got released.

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shaggy292

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 7:09am [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 1,736 posts

When I sat down to watch the first episode when it was on, the only people I had heard of or seen before were Chris Morris and Oliver Chris. Never saw the Boosh, Ayoade or Nicholas Burns before. I watched up until the ad break and gave up when I realised I wasn't laughing. I think I just wasn't very aware of the world that it was lampooning, so nothing really clicked with me.

A couple of years later, after becoming more familiar with the actors (and Charlie Brooker), I gave it another go. This time I loved it. I did lend my DVD to a friend and they weren't overly impressed, so I guess it's still something that divides people.

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Godot Taxis

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 12:04pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 5,243 posts
Quote: Maurice Moss @ July 27 2013, 5:26 AM BST

I would love to hear some thoughts of people who like the show and why Nathan Barley is much more appreciated now than when it got released.

There's a Nathan Barley thread which you might want to look at/revive.

This is what I said in it, which is still my opinion. I would also add that Nicholas Burns is totally miscast as Barley.

Quote: Godot Taxis @ January 8 2010, 4:46 AM GMT

At least three things stopped Nathan Barley being a big hit. The first was the title, which as Brooker fans will know should have been 'C**t'. Even I can understand why they didn't use that - although I'm not happy about it, obviously.

The second problem with the show is that Morris directed it and he's not a very good director.

The third reason is it had awful grading - presumably some sort of reflexive joke but it was still unpleasant and alienating.

I felt sorry for Brooker at the time - they f**ked up his great idea.

Quote: Godot Taxis @ February 10 2010, 5:17 AM GMT

The problem with Morris's show is that he's almost Nathan Barley himself. Everyone in TV who isn't making the weather or the Antiques roadshow is. You can't take the rise out of Barley in a 'cool' or 'alternative' TV programme. Extra content on the Red Button after the show's finished? That's exactly what Barley would have done!

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Maurice Moss

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:11pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 120 posts
Quote: Godot Taxis @ July 27 2013, 12:04 PM BST

There's a Nathan Barley thread which you might want to look at/revive.

This is what I said in it, which is still my opinion. I would also add that Nicholas Burns is totally miscast as Barley.

Ah come on, the name is hardly a fair criticism though, is it?
As for grading, I personally prefer it to be honest - although I can't say if it's just me liking the show and accepting it as it is. But I can see why some would hate it though. As for Chris Morris, why is he an Idiot himself? Even if I grant your premise somewhat and say that he has to bend the rules a bit - doesn't make them an Idiot. Dan Ashcroft had to toss off a builder and attempt to write about 15Peter20 as well right? Even Claire had to compromise, albeit reluctantly. Doesn't make them Idiots though.

And I disagree regarding everyone else except weathermen etc. being idiots, could you elaborate?

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Raymond Terrific

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:21pm
  • England
  • 956 posts

It's fair to say it would have got more attention if it had been called "C**t" though.

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chipolata

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:31pm
  • England
  • 29,293 posts

Re the me thing. If you want to kill a project stone dead have its title somebody's full name (ie both Christian and surname). Jack Reacher, John Carter etc. I'm struggling to think of a succesful film or TV show with a full name for a title.

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zooo

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:39pm
  • England
  • 69,138 posts

Harry Potter?

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chipolata

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:40pm
  • England
  • 29,293 posts
Quote: zooo @ July 27 2013, 5:39 PM BST

Harry Potter?

Wasn't it always "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Wand" etc? It wasn't just a standalone name.

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Raymond Terrific

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:42pm
  • England
  • 956 posts

Yes so the rest of the title gives you an idea of what it's about.

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KM378

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:43pm
  • London, England
  • 5,615 posts

Mary Poppins?

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chipolata

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:45pm
  • England
  • 29,293 posts
Quote: Kevin Murphy @ July 27 2013, 5:43 PM BST

Mary Poppins?

Meh. Every rule has a few exceptions.

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zooo

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:51pm
  • England
  • 69,138 posts

Every rule chip makes up...

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chipolata

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 5:57pm
  • England
  • 29,293 posts
Quote: zooo @ July 27 2013, 5:51 PM BST

Every rule chip makes up...

Pff. Considering I just thought of it it's a pretty good rule.

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Lee

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 6:25pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 36,332 posts

Father Ted?

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Raymond Terrific

  • Saturday 27th July 2013, 6:28pm
  • England
  • 956 posts

It's got a title in it which makes it obvious it's about priests.