The Mockumentary, isn’t a new thing in television comedy (even if our spell checker wanted to fix it with its evil red lines!) When they are good they work really well. Case in point the short lived People Like Us and of course (to use an overused phrase) the Grand Daddy of them all The Office. The problem is it’s a format that we’ve now become too accustom to and because of that when one falls below par its far easier to dismiss it as a failure or a disappointment.
A Good example of this was shown on Monday night on BBC4 it was called Twenty Twelve and focused on the team preparing for the Olympics. The concept alone was an interesting slant on the mockumentary format but sadly this wasn’t enough to raise more than a smile. The mockumentary format works when you can suspend reality and believe just for that half hour that the people you are spending that time with, however zany are real people.
With Twenty Twelve though the illusion was instantly broken because of the amount of recognizable faces that paraded themselves throughout carrying giant clocks. One minute you were thinking oh wait there’s the bloke from Downton Abbey and there’s the small one from Green Wing, oh and there’s Olivia Coleman! Call us shallow but that ruined the format before the jokes had time to roll.
That aside, we were quite disappointed that what could have been another surprise hit turned out to be quite a slow laughter free half hour. It could be that we’ve enjoyed this style of comedy for so long that we’ve become too accustomed to how it’s supposed to work but even if this was the first of its kind we’re not sure Twenty Twelve is the kind of thing that anyone would be left raving about. Sad but true.