G&TV: A Prince Among Men Quickies Posted by Ian Symes on 31st August 2020, 12:57 Prompted by a question from listener Si Bromley, our most recent edition of Waffle Men, as featured on the DwarfCast commentary for Samsara, included a discussion on the not-fondly-remembered Chris Barrie sitcom A Prince Among Men. Having grown tired of playing comedy prats like Arnold Rimmer and Gordon Brittas, Chris teamed up with The Brittas Empire producer and director Mike Stephens to bring us Gary Prince, a comedy prat who differed from his previous comedy prats by lacking any charm, depth or originality. Gary was a retired footballer turned entrepreneur, and also a self-centered egotist, who spent his time annoying his German wife Lisel, belittling his loyal staff, insulting his closest friends and making terrible business decisions. The show ran for two series on BBC One, the first one and a half of which were shown in prime time during the week, before the last few episodes were quietly relegated to Sunday afternoons. It was not very good. See for yourself, here’s the first episode: Part of the problem is that Gary is just a deeply unpleasant character. Rimmer works because we know his motivations and ambitions, and so we understand the frustration and self-loathing that drives much of his behaviour. Brittas works because he’s a decent person at heart who’s always trying to do the right thing, and it’s only through a combination of poor decisions, a lack of people skills and sheer bad luck that those around him get hurt. None of this applies to Gary, who’s just an obnoxious prick. And despite a semi-decent pedigree of supporting cast and a handful of mildly amusing moments (the business with the remote is good, and I like Chris Barrie’s face during the pay-off of the This Is Your Life plot), there’s nothing about the story to compensate for such a shallow central character. No big problem in Gary’s life to be solved, no long term ambition to strive for, no major event to build up to, no sense of any potential character development. Basically no reason to tune in beyond the first episode, because you’re just going to get more of the same odious nonsense. However, if you’re morbidly curious or a masochist, the rest of the first series is also on YouTube in this playlist. Note that there were only six episodes in series one despite there being seven here – the one labelled Episode 6 is actually the second of series two according to Wikipedia.