It’s been a few days since The Wrong Door opened, so what was the reaction?
Well, pretty good really. There’s an article in Broadcast here about the ratings. The basic gist is the show got the highest ever ratings for a new comedy on BBC Three. The pertinent sentences are:
“BBC3′s new comedy sketch show ‘The Wrong Door’ attracted 546,000 (3.5%) at 10.30pm last night, the highest ever audience for the launch of a comedy on the channel.”
and, perhaps more importantly:
“The half hour programme peaked in the final 15 minutes on 564,000 (3.8%). The first episode of the six-part series was just behind the channel’s slot average of 558,000 (4.1%).”
To me, the fact it got high ratings for the first episode reflects the level of advertising beforehand, rather than an indication of how much people liked the show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get those kind of ratings; but if the audience comes back this week I’ll be much more impressed.
The fact the ratings went up as the show continued excites me more – I think that means people not only stuck with the show throughout but more people tuned in. Mind you, I have no idea how it all works and it could be we lost all of the original viewers and then inherited a totally new set in the last few minutes because something popular finished on another channel and there was nothing else on.
Who knows? Okay, so half a million viewers is not a significant proportion of the country; but it is when you consider how many people actually know BBC Three exists, can receive it and have the inclination to watch it. I’m sure someone will be along to correct my tenuous grasp of ratings and audience share; but it looks good to me.
The show got some very good reviews. True, there were a couple of bad ones; but the good far outweighed the bad – with the average review giving it 4 out of 5 stars. I only saw two bad reviews as opposed to a dozen or so positive ones so I’ll take that as a generally good sign.
Of particular interest to me was when Mandy took Alice to baby yoga the next day, the yoga teacher started telling her about this great sketch show she’d seen the night before. Being a proud wife, Mandy pointed out I’d written one of the sketches and after the usual blank look (seriously, people don’t seem to realise TV shows are written by someone. There’s always a pause while people try to work out what the hell you’re talking about: “do you write the words or just the story?”) she asked which one I’d written. Mandy told her and apparently there was another pause, followed by a quiet “Yeah, that one was … okay.”
If you were to trawl the Internet for opinions, you’ll find quite a lot of negative comments; but that’s to be expected and mostly comes from frustrated writers who believe they can shit better sketches in their sleep than anything anyone else writes. Strangely, their prodigious talents go unrecognised by the powers that be because, obviously, there’s a massive conspiracy designed to keep them down. Presumably because they shit themselves whilst sleeping.
There’s a simple rule here: sane people change the channel if they don’t like something. Anyone who watches a show to the end and then makes the effort to write a scathing review online has far too much spare time, presumably down to not having enough friends. Let’s be honest, if anyone listened to them in real life they wouldn’t need to express their opinions via the Internet.
Um … obviously, this blog is different and provides a vital service which would severely damage the world should I ever stop. Everyone else though is mental.
A brand of insanity I find particularly amusing is the people who’ve gone to the effort of finding this blog and slagging off The Wrong Door in the comments*. I mean, what were they hoping to achieve? Bearing in mind I only wrote a tiny portion of the show and have nothing to do with commissioning, filming or casting, what response are they looking for? Do they think I’m going to realise the error of my ways and break down in tears?
I was toying with editing some of the negative posts so they’re much more positive, you know, something like:
I realise now I was totally incorrect when I was rude about The Wrong Door. The truth is I love the show and am extremely jealous. Sadly, I was born with a small cock and feel the need to bring others down in a pathetic attempt to make myself feel even slightly superior. I apologise whole heartedly and unreservedly.
PS I love you, please adopt me”
But in the end I decided I quite like the fruit loops raving about the show on my blog. Their constant checking for responses drives up my blog stats and the repeated mentions of The Wrong Door list this blog higher in Google’s search results which only generates more publicity for me. So I say, keep it up, you mental weirdos and God bless you. I get paid the same whether a handful of random loons like it or not. In fact, given these people will probably watch every episode in seething resentment, just so they can bitch about it with authority the next day, I should probably thank them – they’ll drive up the ratings and guarantee a second series.
The bottom line is nothing is universally loved or hated; people like different things and have different senses of humour. I don’t like every sketch in The Wrong Door – but then I don’t like every Monty Python sketch and still love that show. Funny is a subjective term, it’s not a fact or a definitive property. You can’t measure funny on any scale and just because you don’t find something funny doesn’t mean it’s shit - it just means you don’t like it. I didn’t find the Royale Family funny; but that doesn’t make it shit, because I know it was exceptionally well thought of by thousands of people. I may be a raving ego-maniac; but even I know my opinions don’t define the world.
I love the majority of Wrong Door sketches and I’m proud to be part of it. It makes me laugh and that’s good enough. The fact it had good ratings and reviews is just the icing on the cake.
I think the reviews in The Times sum it up for me. On Thursday, the four star review mentioned:
“… the hilarious X FACTOR rip-off, Superhero Tryouts.”
Which is the sketch I wrote.
The next day, the same paper gave another four star review and singled out the same sketch as an example of a ‘miss’, saying it was:
“… laboured and directionless.”
Which just goes to prove you can’t please all of The Times all of the time. I can’t wait to find out what people think of the next episode.