The Security Men was an hour-long, one-off comedy drama written by Caroline Aherne and Jeff Pope, and it was Aherne’s name on the writing credits and Ben Ryan Davies from Waterloo Road in the cast list that made me watch it.
The plot revolved around a robbery that had taken place while the security men were occupied watching a boxing match on telly. To save their jobs, they had to re-stage the robbery for the benefit of CCTV and add themselves doing their best to apprehend the villains, with the help of the aforementioned geeky nephew (Ben Ryan Davies) who had to hack into the security systems. This was an excuse for some slapstick comedy and some comedy riding around on mobility vehicles.
It wasn’t big on belly laughs. There were a couple of risque (somewhat sexist) jokes, mainly about the wife of the character played by Bobby Ball (yes, of Cannon & Ball fame), who was never seen but could be assumed to be “a bit of a goer.” Excuse the 70s terminology, but in a lot of ways this was a very old-school piece of work. It could have been a pilot for a character-driven sitcom of the dinnerladies type, although the characterisation was nowhere near as acute as it could have been. This was disappointing coming from the writer of The Royle Family, and given some of the acting talent present. The characters were very broad-brush (the over-zealous boss, the work-shy team, the geeky somebody’s-nephew computer expert etc) and some of the jokes were crude and over-used. On hearing that one of the characters had had to sack his mother’s carer, one of the others (Brendan O’Carroll) asked anyone he came across if he would “wash his mammy – if she was lightly soiled.” It wasn’t very funny in the first place, but it was repeated at least fifteen times. This was presumably supposed to heighten the hilarity, but it was just distasteful. The only woman in the whole thing was a briefly-glimpsed cleaner, who was so lazy she hadn’t changed the water in her mop bucket since February. Most of the references to women were disparaging and unfunny unless you were a character in a 70s sitcom yourself.
Not Caroline Aherne’s finest TV hour.
Posted by PLA