Wednesday, 11 August 2010

How Simon Amstell hurt my head

Simon Amstell used to present the panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He was entertainingly mean towards the music types that sat around him, who just seemed to come on the show to be mocked. Apparently he wasn't enjoying it though. In a new sitcom, Grandma's House, he plays himself, telling his family that he's going to leave his show. This is where it starts to confuse me. He's not acting a character, he's pretending to be himself. He uses the same sarcastic, embarrassed tone that became familiar on Buzzcocks, like he's just walked off one set and on to the next. It's reality presented as fiction, but it doesn't make the sitcom seem realistic, it makes his previous 'real' show seem fictional. Maybe it's self-indulgent, but he's still funny, and backed up by a nice script with a few actors from The Thick of It. It would be nice if I could watch it without wondering things like: is it possible to act as yourself? Why didn't he just do a documentary? Why is it so strange to watch a 'real' person surrounded by actors? It's like he's trapped in some strange Truman Show world, and it makes the whole thing a bit uncomfortable.

You could say that I was playing myself in how to be god, but that was just a character that sounded like me. I'm not an actor, so I just said the lines. Somebody else would have done it differently. I may have engineered some lines towards myself to make it easier to play, but I don't have an ambiguous illness, and I don't want to start a religion, and I'm not called Wash. Simon Amstell is playing Simon, who is him. But with a script. I've never seen Curb Your Enthusiasm, so this sort of thing is new to me. I hope it doesn't catch on. It's confusing.

1 comment:

  1. But Curb is great.

    Although it does help, in appreciating it, to be middle-aged.

    Dare you not laugh at this, though