Join 3,441 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


People Like Us -- the documentary series about people, like us.
August 9, 2009 8:55 PM   Subscribe

In 1999 and 2000, and again from 1995 to 1997, the BBC's Roy Mallard travelled across Britain documenting the everyday lives of ordinary citizens--people like us--for a documentary series with the odd title People Like Us, to show that these everyday peoples' ordinary lives are indeed just like ours, or us, and we, like theirs, or them.
Sample episodes in the series: Actors 1234 / a Vicar 123 / Freelance Photographer 123 / The Pilot Episode, which turned out to be the final episode 123 / [Wikipedia]

Bonus footage: The Bank Lender / The Solicitor

Unfortunately, Roy Mallard's subsequent real life turned out much more uncomfortable than his on(off)-screen persona.
posted by not_on_display (20 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, wow. I love love LOVED this show when it was on BBC America a few years ago.

Okay, I should restate that. I had no idea what I was watching the first 3 times I watched it. The already dry British humor is taken to its extreme with this series, and with the television on in the background, this sounds and looks like any profile show. But then the little oddnesses creep in.

"What, you're married? Really???"

Thanks for this. I haven't something to watch tonight! Sleep be damned!
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on August 9, 2009


> In 1999 and 2000, and again from 1995 to 1997...

For a moment there, I thought this post was about Dr. Who.

Thanks for the links all the same. I'd heard about this show but never seen it.
posted by ardgedee at 9:10 PM on August 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, wonderful. From the Wikipedia page: The series is expected to be released on DVD in the United States on September 1, 2009.

*toddles off to Amazon*
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on August 9, 2009


I thought this post would be about or connected to People Like Us, the sound & video collage project of Vicki Bennett. I had heard that there was also a TV program(me) of the same name, and thought she had taken her name from it, but apparently her work pre-dates the show. Not sure if there's any connection.

Regardless, her stuff is pretty nifty, and almost all of it is available for free online.
posted by Barking Frog at 9:52 PM on August 9, 2009


Previously: People Like Us (Vicki Bennett)
posted by Barking Frog at 9:57 PM on August 9, 2009


If there is any connection between the two, Barking Frog, it would be that they both have a "witty and dark view of popular culture with a surrealistic edge".

Otherwise, I'm pretty certain that they are as unrelated as this series and Ms. Bennett's work are to the Aaron Tippin CD, The Mamas & The Papas album, etc.

Still, thanks for that other link. I'll be investigating that later, too!
posted by hippybear at 9:58 PM on August 9, 2009


People Like Us was indeed a brilliant program. I watched only the TV series, but I enjoyed the way the humor works so subtley. You can easily miss a good chunk of the jokes if you're not tuned, and it repays close attention. The cannyness with which they capture the bad documentary feel is amazing, it's like the early 90s all over again.

"Will has come to see photography as a vocation, and not a way of making any money at all."
posted by Sova at 10:38 PM on August 9, 2009


"Gone are the days of the smoke-filled briefing room, with the wing commander standing in front of the blackboard on wooden legs."

Great, great post, I've never of this hilarious show before but I can't wait to watch all the episodes.
posted by exhilaration at 10:49 PM on August 9, 2009


Oh, manomanoman... The comments in the YouTube pages are priceless! Some people watching this really haven't figured it out, even after watching an entire episode. Wow.

I know the humor is low-key, but wow.

Or perhaps the sense of humor on the posters is even MORE subtle... oh, wait, this is YouTube.
posted by hippybear at 11:13 PM on August 9, 2009


Truly a bit of telly genius - though like a lot of these things, began as a radio programme, didn't it?
posted by Abiezer at 11:20 PM on August 9, 2009


this is great, thanks!
posted by stray at 11:58 PM on August 9, 2009


"This is the "ops" room"

"And that's short for?"

"Convenience"


ROFL ROFL ROFL!!!!
posted by lattiboy at 12:13 AM on August 10, 2009


Err, should've been 'ops' room. That just looks messy.
posted by lattiboy at 12:13 AM on August 10, 2009


What a coincidence, I just started rewatching these on DVD for about the tenth time last night. Truly brilliant stuff.

You may also enjoy Look Around You.
posted by turgid dahlia at 12:29 AM on August 10, 2009


Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely to ever be repeated. I do have a copy of the DVD at home somewhere, thankfully. The radio series was great.
posted by mippy at 6:14 AM on August 10, 2009


though like a lot of these things, began as a radio programme, didn't it?

Right, The radio show ran from 1995 to 1997. The TV episodes were adaptations of the radio shows with one original ("The Actor") and the series ran from 1991 to 2001.

I'm a big fan. It's a great example of that understated British sense of humor that relies on the listener's ability to "get" the joke; very nearly a hundred and eighty degrees from the dumbed-down American sit-coms that require no level of intelligence in order to find the humor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:33 AM on August 10, 2009


Accck (edit button, STAT!)

and the (TV) series ran from 1991 1999 to 2001.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:36 AM on August 10, 2009


> I thought this post would be about or connected to People Like Us
posted by Barking Frog


Originally, I was looking to post something about Vicki Bennett, too (she has plenty of video work to accompany her sound collages), when I stumbled upon this. It totally reminded me of Look Around You.

Also, torrents of both seasons and all the radio episodes are available out there.
posted by not_on_display at 7:17 AM on August 10, 2009


I love how uncomfortable the relationship with the filmmaker is. This bit from the Vicar about married sex life is pretty astonishing, particularly if you're not in on the joke.
posted by Nelson at 7:59 AM on August 10, 2009


I'd not heard of this before. Excellent stuff. Truly, truly witty.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:24 AM on August 10, 2009


« Older URL shortening service trim is closing its doors...  |  Costumed patriots channel fore... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments