In Defence of Series VIII?

In response to this, comes… this.

This is obviously a pretty specific response; to those of you who love both series, or indeed hate both series, there might not be much there for you. But I’ll be reviewing each ep of VII/VIII over the coming weeks over on Observation Dome, which might be more to your taste.

So, you may tell me why I’m talking bollocks here:

16 Responses to In Defence of Series VIII?

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  1. LISTER: I need some info. If the board of enquiry find us guilty tomorrow, what happens then?
    HOLLY: Well, they’ll probably have a pot of tea, a bit of a chat, and go home, I suppose.

    I do like this joke, except for what comes afterwards. But these two lines are perfectly delivered.

  2. Agreed with this piece. Then again I would, I loved Series 8

  3. Interesting. Wrong…but interesting. :)

    I agree with the main crux of the argument. If you were going to do a laughs-per-minute comparison between VII and VIII, then the balance would be firmly tipped towards the latter. Unfortunately, the laughs wouldn’t be coming from me. No doubt they’d be the banshee wails from the hysterical
    studio audience.

    VII, the way I see it, was an attempt to basically do the same kind of show as before. That mix you mention (‘Pure character stuff, or great plots, or interesting SF ideas, or drama’) is present an correct. The jokes seem to be coming from the characters and the situations…however, no one was that amused with VII and it’s often accused as being more “drama-based” (which is total balls, really).

    It seems clear that Doug reacted badly to the criticism that VII received and decided to take the show in a very different direction. He seems to be saying “You want laughs, do you? Well, HERE…” and so he throws in a horrible Reservoir Dogs skit (The studio audience laughed) and an excruciating Blue Midget dance (The Studio Audience whooped and cheered) both of which fail to fit in the episodes of which they’re a part.

    I can accept that you can enjoy a programme just for one aspect. Certainly, pure laughs and nothing more are why I watch many programmes, but I wouldn’t watch Red Dwarf VIII. And that?s presumably why I haven’t watched it for at least a few years. It offers nothing to me. Even the jokes you point as being okay, register as a ‘meh’ with me. . And I’d argue to the end of the Earth that “You’ve been Krytered’ is an abomination. Jeremy Beadle skits are great on Not The Nine O’Clock News…on Red Dwarf they’re just wrong. Rachel’s appearence at Rimmer’s funeral in ‘Stoke’ is funnier than anything in VIII.

    I wouldn’t show a newcomer to the programme an episode of Red Dwarf VIII for two reasons. 1)They wouldn’t laugh and it would be uncomfortable watching it with them, or 2) They might laugh and then I’d have to chuck them out of the house. Why? Because it’s infantile. If Red Dwarf VIII had come about when I was in my early teens, I’d probably have considered liking it…Runaway Penis! Jokes about Periods! Shitting Dinosaurs!…But then I’d realise that Red Dwarf VIII can’t even do stupid jokes particularly well and I’d watch Bottom, which is a damn sight funnier.

    I guess I’m saying that I’m rather precious about what I consider to be the Red Dwarf formula and even if you took the rest of the formula away from VII, I’d still find it funnier than VIII. Excuse the ramble.

  4. You see, part of it is just that I’m a sucker for infantile jokes.

    But I wish I found VII funnier. I agree – the Rachel joke in VII is funnier than anything in VIII. But there’s not nearly enough stuff like that to make it worth watching. At least with VIII I know there’s a silly joke round the corner. It does help if you don’t think of it as Dwarf at all, as you know the programme is capable of so much more, but still.

    Agreed about Bottom being a damn sight funnier, though. Which is part of the reason why I simply argue that VIII is better than VII, rather than arguing that it’s a great series in its own right.

  5. Sometimes I wish that Doug HAD set out to make VII more drama-based, cutting the laughter track altogether thus freeing up the need to have a ‘laugh’ every so often, most of them falling flat on their face. Obviously VII as it is doesn’t really work without the laughter track (Xtended), but I wish it had been written without the laughter in mind.

    People complain about VII being too much of a change, but I wish Doug had taken it further. Plus, there’s no getting away from the fact that VII & VIII should have been 6 episodes each. Imagine series VIII with 6 self-contained stories. I’m sure it would have been much much better.

  6. I’ve always like VIII (Then again I don’t HATE VII Even though It’s the worst in my veiw)

    I actually like the “Post” Joke too. but Then again I liked the “Missing Persons” and THe “Dibbly Family” too, *Is shot by G&T members*

    I liked the blue midget dance too but I didn’t find it that funny but I liked …Maybe because of the All too obvious Men in Black refrence…

  7. So in your opinion, series VIII is funnier than series VII, at least having *the occasional* moment that is funnier, but that VII has funny moments as well. And series VIII has some unfunny moments but come on, series VIII is just funnier, at least in your opinion.

    Nice article – well argued.

  8. Oh, I know there’s a bit of a gaping hole at the centre of the article. Which is: I can’t actually explain why I don’t find VII very funny. I did try, but I know I pretty much failed. It’s extremely difficult to argue stuff when it gets down to that level, though. “Not enough good jokes” is about the size of it, but it’s pretty poor.

    I think I made a reasonable stab at explaining why I find VIII funny, though.

  9. That’s the problem with articles on comedy; all very subjective and dependent on personal taste. Although I completely disagree with your viewpoint, I thought this was well-written and entertaining.

  10. >So in your opinion, series VIII is funnier than series VII, at least having *the occasional* moment that is funnier, but that VII has funny moments as well. And series VIII has some unfunny moments but come on, series VIII is just funnier, at least in your opinion.

    Yes, if that’s his opinion, what exactly is wrong with it? It’s what he thinks. Can’t he believe that VIII is funnier than VII, even though VII can make him laugh? And doesn’t he have the right to say so on his own website? I don’t really understand what you’re taking issue with here.

    It’s an opinion piece, he’s not trying to convert you.

    I’m with Pete. It seems many people feel that if an opinion piece can’t boil down to an irrefutable x, y, and z, then it’s a failure.

    Not so. Now, if John were trying to prove, mathematically, that Mrs. Rimmer could not be Arnold’s real mum, or some such thing, yes, it would need to boil down to an irrefutable fact.

    But it’s a question of taste, and John handles it well (I think).

    If you really feel you can write a better opinion piece that somehow corrects everything John did wrong, then by all means, do so. I should love to see it.

  11. I don’t think I could write the article you suggest simply because I wouldn’t want to give Red Dwarf that much of my consciousness. I’m beginning to realise that I grew out of the series quite a while ago. Perhaps it’s Red Dwarf itself that results in such vacuous essays being written, rather than it being the fault of the essay writers per-se?

    Anyway, I take your point.

  12. Well, cheers for wasting your time on this site, then.

  13. > I don’t think I could write the article you suggest simply because I wouldn’t want to give Red Dwarf that much of my consciousness. I’m beginning to realise that I grew out of the series quite a while ago.

    Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

  14. I’d quite like to know why you comment so much on this site as well, Mr. Todhunter.

    I mean, by all means feel free not to like the article, and say you don’t like the article – I appreciate feedback of all sorts. But if you’re “grew out of the series quite a while ago”, what the *hell* are you doing spending your time on this site, and bothering to comment? What’s the point? It can hardly be for any searing wit.

  15. Could be for some wearing shit, though.

    I kill me.

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