Do you ever look at something and think ‘how the fuck did anyone persuade anyone else that was a good idea?’
Like genital piercing, for instance. Some caveman mooching around his cave with a hammer and a nail thinks ‘I bet I can drive this through my cock’. And he does. Not only that, he somehow convinces other people to follow suit. Millions of years of evolution later and the same species who stood on the moon and watched the Earth rise are still hammering bits of metal into their balls. For fun.
Similarly, some TV shows defy explanation. Not their existence, I’m not complaining about quality, but they literally can’t be explained as a concept to anyone else.
Take ‘In The Night Garden …’ for example.
Have you seen it? If you haven’t got teeny kiddies then probably not, but I urge you to seek it out. On first viewing, you’ll wonder what the fuck is going on and why you’re watching this shit … but one day, after forced and repeated viewings, you’ll suddenly realise it’s a work of utter genius.
And completely unpitchable.
I mean, how did anyone walk into anyone else’s office and explain the show?
“Well, there’s this baby, right? And he, or sometimes she, is falling asleep while his or her parent strokes his or her hand and Derek Jacobi sings him or her a lullaby. Then there’s this boat with a puppet thing made out of blue towels who takes the sail down, only it’s not a sail, it’s a blanket and he puts a light up and goes to sleep. Then all the stars turn into flowers and bloom until the sky turns into a garden. Oh, then there’s this train thing, only it’s not a train it’s like a string of kids toys only one of them is like a flying saucer or something and another one is a detached house. And this train, right, this train thing – sometimes it’s knee high and sometimes it’s big enough to climb onboard. Oh yeah, and it can go up trees and upside down and stuff. So the blue towel thing who’s got a bell in his head or maybe his hand or maybe it’s a rattle and he falls over a lot, this blue towel thing has got a girlfriend who likes to dance and sing through a megaphone and if you pull a string on her waist then her skirt inflates and rises up so you can see her pants, only she hasn’t really got any on, and then she dances and sings. Did I mention her bed follows her around the garden? And there’s this other person/thing who’s slightly smaller than the others and likes to clean stones and blow his trumpet. Then there’s this hedge/house thing with three androgynous people in who fall over a lot and play the drums really, really badly and they’ve got this ‘no trousers’ rule in their house. Or hedge, depending on your point of view. Oh and there’s an airship which farts and changes size too. And these big pillows with eyes who float around and sigh in satisfaction. And blink. Sometimes they blink. And there’s these peg dolls. Ten of them. A daddy with a porn star moustache and a mummy with a pair of binoculars and eight kids and they all dance around their garden. Did I mention they live in a semi-detached house at the bottom of a tree? Oh, well they do. And they’ve got some next door neighbours called the Wottingers. They’re exactly the same, except they’re blue instead of red. And they all fart a little bit and play hide and seek and dance and go on picnics. Sometimes on the weird scale changing train/toy thing. Which is sentient. Did I mention the train thing is sentient? So’s the airship thing. And there’s these birds who sing a song. One of them makes a noise like a trombone.”
“I see. And do they have adventures with morals for the kids to learn?”
“No, not really. They just fuck about on the train a bit. Sometimes there’s a big ball which bounces around the garden. Did I mention it’s set in a garden? Sometimes they might get on the farting airship. Other times they don’t. That’s about it, really.”
To which, of course, the only sane reply is:
“Fuck me, that’s utter genius! Here’s enough money for a hundred episodes.”
A hundred fucking episodes of randomly getting on and off an inconsistently sized toy/train thing and polishing some stones.
How the fuck did that happen?
I’ve thought about this long and hard and the only explanation I can come up with is drugs. Lots of drugs. Of industrial strength.
I’d love to meet whoever commissioned it and find out how mind fucked he is. And then shake his hand, because it’s fucking awesome.