Friday, 12 October 2007

Let He Who Is Without Singing Cast the First Stone

As a formulaic process, you can't really argue with it. Holiday Showdown did it, Wife Swap did it, and both always got the same hilarious results. What formula am I on about? Get two groups of people from different backgrounds and get them to live with each other with astonishing consequences as they attempt to get along with clashing beliefs via the handy method of shouting loudly.

BBC3 have a lovely new show which follows this formula accurately. Singing With the Enemy was an interesting watch. It didn't, as I assumed, give people the chance to Sing with The Enemy. Instead, it gave the chance for two bands with different views to live with each other for a week and then write, record and perform a song. This week showed the adventures of punk band Paparazzi Whore (which claimed to be 'ironic', but I found it to be quite fitting what with them jumping at the chance to appear on BBC3) and Christian rock band Dweeb. Now, I understand why the BBC want to film a week of Punks and Christians sharing a house: for filmed tense content and guaranteed arguments. However, what actually occured during the show was far from this.

The first thing the bands need to do is perform for each other. Firstly, Paparazzi Whore play. Dweeb like them. Then, Dweeb play. Paparazzi Whore like them. This clearly is not what the BBC are wanting. When they filmed a goth band and a boy band together, they started ripping the piss out of each other left right and centre.

So, when the expected conflict you wanted in your BBC show isn't occurring what do you do? You could take the typical BBC approach and fake it. But why not try and make it happen!

For no reason whatsoever, they ask the punk band to play again for the Christians to watch. Only this time, they've brought strippers on the stage! Strippers! With breasts! The punk lead female singer then confesses that not only is she married to her husband, but she's also sleeping with the female back-up singing of the band! Such controversy!

I was wondering if they were going to go the whole hog and just start poking the Christian band with sharp sticks. Sadly, this is television and emotional teasing is just so much better than physical teasing. Hilariously, the Christian band don't really raise an eyebrow. Some may say that this was dull television, but I was loving every failed moment that the producers of the show attempted to add controversy into their otherwise sub-par show.

So what do they do? Cause controversy within the punk band itself!

Over the course of the week spent together, the female back-up singer decided to look back on the punk life she had loved for 20-odd years and starts to lead a spiritual quest to find her true meaning on this planet. Obviously the punks are upset, and begin to blame the Christians for warping the back-up singer's mind.

But, despite all the differences, they were able to record a decent song. Well, half decent. The only decent part of it was when Dweeb were singing. Paparazzi Whore's lead singer couldn't hit a damn note.

Not only was this a very odd hour of television, but it contained one of my favourite snippets of dialogue between the two lead singers:

"I don't know why you can't accept that we are followers of Christ"
"Well, that's where you're wrong. I'm not a follower. I'm a leader. In fact, I'm the leader"
"Heh.. I don't think you're The Leader"
"Well I 'ave to be. If I'm not a follower, I'm The Leader."

You can't argue with odd punk ideology.

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