But today…well…even I’m a bit sheepish about admitting my fondness for today’s great thing. How do I talk about it without completely humiliating myself? Alright. I’ll just go ahead and say it. It’s:
Gah! There, I did it. Whew.
If you’re reading this blog from outside of Britain, those words won’t mean anything to you. So, I’m afraid I’m going to have to find the inner strength to explain this to you. Urgh…this is harder than I thought. Baaaasicallly….You’ve Been Framed is a British version of America’s Funniest Home Videos. There, it’s out there. Essentially, what today’s great thing is is a stupid home video show with hacky jokey narration and an endless parade of clips of people being hit in the groin. Look at the logo up there…with it’s zany font and it’s wacky text-boxes…just looking all played out and unfunny. Look at that exclamation point. The nerve.
I just can’t help myself. The format works for me on so many levels.
Firstly, it caters to my short attention span. Nothing lasts longer than two minutes. Sure, many of the gags are, in essence, the same thing over and over again. Guy gets hit in the nuts or Grandma falls off of trampoline or baby sneezes or Dad falls into the pool or, bride’s gown catches fire, or whatever…but they mix them up enough that I can never get tired of them. Once a week, I can sit down for a half an hour of this garbage (right before X-Factor) and actually find myself enjoying the format and the treasures within.
Secondly, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a more joyful or socially acceptable way to celebrate what is basically thirty minutes of pure schadenfreude. Watching people bite it is hil-frickin’-larious. Check out this montage:
Right? Come on, admit it–you laughed a couple of times.
For my entertainment dollar, the animal bits are always the best. Animals are less predictable and much more adorable. Also, because I don’t have any pets, their televised antics help fill the gaping whole in my heart where my own pet should be.
My third line of defense for You’ve Been Framed, is that the format for these home video shows has been streamlined and improved since their inception. Nowadays there’s no Bob Saget, no studio audience, no annoying bits of non-entertainment to stand in the way of unbridled video mayhem. There’s still a narrator, but we never have to see or get to know or pretend to laugh at him. It’s all canned, baby! This incarnation of the show employs comedian Harry Hill currently. Here’s a pic:
So, yeah…we don’t have to deal with him on a very interactive level. This voice from behind the curtain type relationship works out just fine for me.
A fourth reason to extol the virtues of the show is this: The You’ve Been Framed producers have a kind of cultural exchange of buffoonery going with other nations. The format of a a home video show is used world wide and the producers are happy to swap clips with each other. So, sometimes when you’re watching the program, you’ll hear an Aussie accent or something. It turns out that America isn’t the only nation with clumsy idiots who’ve been caught on camera. It only feels that way sometimes! Watching this show reminds you that stupidity is a worldwide phenomenon and something that can bring us all together if we let it!
My fifth and final line of defense for my love of You’ve Been Framed is that it does the work of hours of youtube viewing for you. You’ve Been Framed (and shows like it world-wide) save millions of people from having to scour the Internet for ‘silly cat videos’, or ‘dramatic gopher’. It’s all packaged up for you nicely and broadcast during a family friendly and convenient 6 P.M. or 7 P.M. slot. They’re making it easy for us. Now put down your remote, come out of the closet, and admit that you like it just as much as I do.
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