Hidden Gem: People Just Do Nothing

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Set in not-quite-London London, BBC mockumentary-sitcom hybrid People Just Do Nothing and finds the humour in the mundanity of words while following Kurupt FM running their pirate radio station. Rooted in deluded confidence and garage music, MC Grindah, and DJ Beats hang out with friends and try to navigate their problems (think weed droughts and rival pirate stations).

People Just Do Nothing started as a series of shorts published on Youtube, until the BBC gave them a pilot episode, propelling them into a five series success and a British Academy Television for Best Scripted Comedy in 2017, and subsequent ending of the series in 2018.

The show is based on the characters’ delusional tendencies and an inflated sense of importance. MC Grindah constantly reassures of global prowess, despite the station only reaching five miles away from Brentford. Yet, somehow the characters are hopelessly endearing due to their levels of arrogance. Chabuddy G resonates empathy in the unrequited love for his wife, failed business ventures and exploitation through self-proclaimed genius MC Grindah. DJ Beats allows himself to be bossed around by best friend Grindah, much to his wife’s dismay. ‘Steves’ the sweetest character of all: constantly under influence and lost without his nan, Steves’ absence of inhibitions and unwavering loyalty will make you aww throughout.

In the mockumentary, we are also invited to meet the partners. Lily Brazier as Grindah’s girlfriend ‘Miche’ is a girly-girl with the aims of becoming a star. Ruth Bratt as ‘Roche’, is averse to Beats’ shenanigans at Kurupt FM and crucially is the straight woman to the group.

Adorably, People Just Do Nothing was magicked up as a result of an already long-standing friendship between some of the main actors. Smoking loads of weed, playing garage music and watching The Office. This snowballed into making a “fake garage crew”, conjuring up hilarious characters and filming them. Chabuddy has been coined as an “Asian del boy” and Grindah teetering on “full David Brent”. Alluringly, the characters are so well-known that by the end of the third series, the content was 70/30 improvisation, allowing rare freedom and realism into the series.

Despite all these strengths, it appears People Just Do Nothing has slipped under the radar when it should be among British classics such as Peep Show. Similarly to these cornerstones of British comedy, you do indeed feel like if you were to go to Haverfield Estate, you could run into this gang. If dead-pan, deviant characters with a (seemingly) mundane setting are your shtick:

People Just Do Nothing is available to watch on both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

 

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