‘I’m with Stupid’ is a new BBC comedy series currently being broadcast on BBC3. The series is set in a residential unit for disabled adults and the disabled characters in the series are played by disabled actors.
Now, some people have criticised the show for being set in a residential unit, however my biggest problem with the series is that it s just not funny. You almost feel like you’ve gone back in time twenty years as it has a very dated feel to the writing and humour. If you were in hysterics over ‘George and Mildred’ or ‘Terry and June’, you may love ‘I’m with Stupid’. The cast are adequate but are just let down by the dull scripts .
The basic premise of the show is the friendship between a homeless man played by Mark Benton and a wheelchair user played by Paul Henshall. Both actors try hard to make the series work and I will admit that a few lines made me smile, but not enough to carry a 30 minute episode.
It is interesting to compare this show with Extras currently being shown on BBC2. Whilst Extras tackles stereotypes around disabled people head on, ‘I’m with Stupid’ thinks it’s cutting edge merely because it features disabled people in major roles. Some may be cynical and see this as the BBC’s tokenistic attempt at equal opportunities and to nurture ‘Disabled’ talent. Paul Henshall deserves better than this. He was much funnier in ‘A Thing Called Love’ which was on 2 years ago.
Not every comedy has to make a political point or reflect disabled people’s lives accurately but I do feel this was a missed opportunity. As a viewer, it didn’t challenge me and more importantly for a comedy, it didn’t make me laugh either.
Let us know what you think. All the episodes of ‘I’m with Stupid’ and ‘Extras’ are available to watch online on the BBC TV website.