September 24, 2023

Miranda IS funny and so is @tomellis17 et al: BBC comedy

The first two episodes of the third series of Miranda have had some bizarre reviews that have claimed, wait for it, Miranda isn’t funny. This says more about the critics than it does about the show. These scribes are akin to elderly colonels who have lost their sense of taste sitting in a curry house and eating ever hotter vindaloos whilst claiming ‘they don’t make curries like they used to’.

To not find Miranda personally funny is fair enough. The philosophical expression we should turn to in this situation is I believe ‘Horses for courses’. But to extrapolate from your experience that therefore Miranda is not funny is peculiar. Given the huge number of people who tune in to the show it is almost wilfully perverse.

One of the top rated TV programmes over the festive period, Miranda does come perilously close to the cringe comedy of programmes such as The Office, or films like Borat. But it never over-reaches itself, never forgets that its raison d’etre is to make people laugh. There is usually more comedy to be wrung from perceived failure than success – as I am finding out as I struggle to write my sitcom about a polite hotelier and the way he cares for his staff and loves his wife.

Rather than lacking sophistication Miranda Hart has created a knowing comedy based on a character close to her heart. If she had not named the character after herself then some of the backlash against might have been avoided. I think people believe that she has just written up what happened to her last week and put it on TV. They are annoyed at the seeming ease of the comedy. Tom Ellis, Patricia Hodge and the rest of the cast are clearly loving their roles and to some people it all looks too much fun.

As ring-leader Miranda has become a target. Of course she’s not really like that. But part of the fun is imagining she is like that in real life. Even if she isn’t. Though I like to think she is. At least some of the time.

Please tweet “Three cheers for Miranda” and let’s get it trending!

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