Security Men, 12 April at 2100 on ITV
Some things in life amaze you because of their brilliance. For me that has included the first real, naked boobs I encountered; finally seeing the Pixies live after nearly 20 years of live Pixies virginity; the first time I received the special endorphins that are released into the brain during long distance running and the birth of my child.
Well not the last one, I don’t actually have any but I am hoping that my reaction is going to be nearer to the condition of amazement than that of my own Father’s to the news of my birth, which was to grunt and carry on watching television.
There are also feelings of amazement that come with being out and about in nature. A gorgeous view from a hill, the feelings of awe sent down from the heavens during a thunderstorm. I even once caught site of a Golden Eagle swooping down on some prey before it launched back up into the sky, all from 20 feet away.
You can also be amazed at human athletic prowess, like Usain Bolt’s magical 100 metres in Beijing, the scuttling skill of Lionel Messi or the grace of Roger Federer swiping at tennis balls on a grass court.
Basically, what I am trying to say there are lots of positive ways to be amazed. There are of course horrible ways to be amazed, but I want to keep this thing I am writing light hearted so I won’t go in to into those.
And then there is ‘Security Guards’, a new one off comedy commissioned by ITV from the pen of award winning writer and performer Caroline Aherne and it is amazingly shit.
I am not that into Aherne, she was great in ‘The Fast Show’ and ‘Mrs Merton’ had some moments but I hated ‘The Royle Family’ as it was too middle brow, stylised and frankly too northern for my tastes.
However I do appreciate it was well written and understood its popularity but with my poncey southern outlook and feverish addiction to the new and the novel it just wasn’t for me.
But WOW, Caroline, WOW. Security Men is disgraceful.
You have taken your remit of writing populist rubbish to levels of such sheer redundant mediocrity that I had to keep slicing into the skin between my toes with a vinegar soaked Stanley knife to keep myself from completely flat lining.
Described as “comedy drama”, you would expect some laughs and if not actual tears then at least a bit of tension to provide that knot of discomfort in your chest that even an episode of the drabbest game show is able to rustle up.
But no, none of that. The only way I knew at what point I was supposed to laugh was through the laughter of the characters themselves.
Drama should have conflict but this just had the titular Security Men encounter a potentially disastrous problem and then immediately come up with a rather smart plan and hey presto! Problem solved.
If any suspense could have been rinsed from this pathetic and unimaginative plotting, it would have all been scuppered by the running time. When there is only 4 minutes left of a show and only then it decides to finally throw the most un-curvy of curve balls, you know it ain’t going to make a jot of difference to the shiny happy outcome that has been signposted throughout.
Sorry Miss Aherne, without the gags and without any conflict of character or story a COMedy draMA becomes a…COMA