The subject matter is nothing we haven’t seen before: Brits getting drunk and puking; Brits getting drunk and jumping off balconies and Brits getting drunk and losing their passports/minds.
But with unprecedented access to British consulates in a number of popular holiday destinations, this Channel 4 series does not allow the embarrassing actions of our countrymen to echo without due consideration of the consequences.
This first episode gets a prying lens behind the scenes at consulates in Ibiza and Majorca to show us exactly what happens when disaster comes a-knocking and there is no one else for stranded holidaymakers to turn to.
The pace is somewhat slower than the non-stop vomathons featured on the likes of Sun, Sea and A &E or Boozed Up Brits Abroad and, whilst its methodical approach to each case takes some getting used to, ultimately it works to the show’s advantage. Taking the time to track a case from the beginning to its end back in Blighty, the show succeeds in injecting a touch of dignity into proceedings and resists the urge to cram as much OMG-ness as possible into its one hour slot.
Top of the priority list for workers is the arrival of a mystery pink pill on the recreational drug scene. We meet one young man who had spent several days scavenging his way round the island in a drug-induced state of amnesia – a result of taking the “pink devil”. Having already caused the death of one young girl and the hospitalisation of several others, officers are constantly engaging themselves in a battle to seek out the drug’s creators and distributors.
Our Man In…is the latest in a string of career-based reality programmes which show just how incredible it is that some people find the strength to continue getting out of bed for work. But with such tired subject matter as flailing teens and vomiting stags, this fly on the wall slant provides a welcome insight into the breadth of a consulate officer’s duties instead of focusing merely on inane antics.
Thankfully, however, the programme makers have also remembered that what we secretly want from this kind of programme is a bit of a giggle.
Several passport-in-washing-machine scenarios and the occasional daft drunkard are set to a soaring soundtrack of classical British violins to brilliant comedic effect. All the time a faded photograph of the Queen oversees proceedings from a dark corner. These incidents may be light relief from the serious issues which give this programme its USP, but at least they give us something to guffaw about in our Friday lunch breaks.