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I TALK People Just Do Nothing

Earlier on this year it was announced that BBC Three was to close and become an online only channel from Autumn 2015 (subject to BBC Trust approval).

I've always said that closing the only channel aimed at young people was a massive mistake and will do nothing for the way in which young people think of a corporation like the BBC. I still do very much think that but this week something happened which made me for the first time think that maybe this isn't such a bad idea. That something was a comedy called People Just Do Nothing, which BBC Three have put on iPlayer in its entirety, four months ahead of showing it on telly.

Which got me thinking... did I wait four months to watch it on telly or did I head straight to iPlayer and watch it all in one go? The answer was the latter, I headed straight to iPlayer to binge on the entire series. Did I prefer that to waiting a week in between episodes? Yes, yes I did, as watching it all in one go made me fall in love with the series and after a two hour binge I couldn't get enough of it.

People Just Do Nothing is a mockumentary following the lives of those running a West London pirate radio station called Kurupt FM. And let's just say that Kurupt FM are doing pretty well, getting "...up to eight texts per show." - we're talking the big time.

The series actually started life as an online only pilot back in 2012 as part of the Comedy Feeds strand and was the most shared programme on BBC iPlayer in July of that year. So what I guess shows like People Just Do Nothing prove, it's that just because a show is on the internet and not on the television, it doesn't mean it's any less good.

In fact, People Just Do Nothing is probably the funniest, laugh out loud comedy BBC Three have had in years, and that's not surprising, considering that the series is produced by Ash Atalla who brought us The Office and The IT Crowd.

What I love about People Just Do Nothing and I guess the same can be said about The Office, is how real it feels. Since The Office television comedy has been filled with mockumentaries, some feel natural and very real such as Derek and others, like Parks And Recreation (which I love), feel less real and much more produced.

When you see the cast just sat there drinking and smoking, this could easily be a Channel 4 documentary and you forget you're watching actors and are fully engrossed into that world.

I think the casting has a lot to do with why People Just Do Nothing works so well.  When it comes to mockumentaries, I feel you're more likely to believe it's real if the actors aren't ones you recognise so going down the unknown actors route for this was definitely a smart move.

So who are the cast of People Just Do Nothing? Well, there's MC Grindah (MC Sniper in the pilot) who is played by Allan Mustafa who is the self-proclaimed garage legend behind Kurupt FM. Grindah has a young daughter called Angel, only all the signs are there to tell us that she's not actually his.

Then there's his second in command, DJ Beats, played by Hugo Chegwin, and 'third wheel' Decoy played by Dan Sylvester. Together the three of them are pretty hopeless and during the course of the series share some secrets about running an illegal business and turning 'chasing your dreams' into a full time job.

And finally there's Chabuddy G, play by Asim Chaudhry, who hands down is my favourite character in People Just Do Nothing, because he's just so god damn funny.

You just know that when he's in a scene he's going to make you laugh. And whilst this might sound odd, making someone laugh out loud in a comedy isn't exactly a given these days.

In the first episode, Kurupt FM's secret location is threatened after complaints about noise from the neighbour, and who better to turn to for a soundproofing solution than Chabuddy G? He initially decides sticking egg boxes to the wall is the answer but ends up settling for several cardboard boxes piled high instead.

In the second episode, Kurupt FM run their weekly caller competition and MC Grindah has a special surprise in store for the winner.

Episode three is all about Angel's fifth birthday Grindah is preparing a special party to celebrate Angel's fifth birthday but doesn’t know where to start. As a somewhat last minute resort, Chabuddy is roped in to organise it, but having only organised hen parties, decides that it'd be appropriate to have chocolate willies and several condoms at a five year-old's birthday party.

All's well that ends well though, and when it comes down to it Chabuddy hasn't actually done that bad a job. The chocolate willies are quickly turned into bunnies and the condoms are used as balloons.

We also see Beats attend a job interview at Tie One, a local tie shop. Now I don't want to give away whether he gets the job or not, but let's just say he has a very unique interview technique.

And finally, the last episode (in my opinion) is the funniest out of the lot, as the Kurupt FM crew turn to Chabuddy G to create their website. "Sex sells" apparently so Chabuddy thinks it's appropriate to stick a nude picture of his wife Aliona on the homepage only, he's had to photoshop her head onto another woman's naked body.

So there you have it. BBC Three's move to online only may not be as bad as it seems, because as long as the quality of programming remains the same it doesn't really matter where we watch the content. As an experiment, People Just Do Nothing was a great series to start with and I'd be interested to see how many people watch it in the month it's up on iPlayer compared to those who will watch it in the more traditional way in September.

My only criticism of the show would be - why only four episodes? Surely it should be at least 6 episodes, in line with most UK comedies, especially those on BBC Three. Oh well, let's just hope a second series is commissioned because I just don't feel right leaving the show at just four episodes and in all honesty I feel short changed.

People Just Do Nothing is available now on BBC iPlayer and airs from 20th July on BBC Three


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