Money For Nothing: this show was unsalvageable

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Money For Nothing: this show was unsalvageable

July 20, 2016 - 13:20
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Creative recycling expert Sarah Moore cherry picks the items that people throw away at the local dump and transforms them into something valuable. And the donators are given the money.

Money For Nothing

Submitted by OhThisBloodyPC on Wed, 20/07/2016 - 12:26

By Nick Booth

Creative recycling expert Sarah Moore cherry picks the items that people throw away at the local dump and transforms them into something valuable. And the donators are given the money.

That’s what we were promised. For a hoarder like myself - whose most frequently used phrase is “We can’t just chuck this away!” - this is a magnificent prospect. They hooked me with Money for Nothing but by the time they’d followed up with the hard sell about a Creative Recycling Expert, I was smitten.

So in love with the idea that I actually dared to stand up to Her, the one who goes out to work (I work from home you see) and made my case for us to watch this programme. That doesn’t happen often (the hand that rocks the channel changer, and all that) but in this case I was confident enough to make a case that, Come On This Could Be Interesting.

It could have been too.

But having created a tempting proposition, they padded the programme out with the sport of dross we could all dump without any feelings of guilt whatsoever.

For a show aiming to appeal to people like me, who hate to see waste, they had some weird priorities.

For a start, they could have saved a fortune by not having a voice over by massively over-rated, mockney ‘comedian’ Arthur Smith, an outdated relic whose views haven’t been refreshing for 20 years.

My enthusiasm started wilting from that moment on. Then, instead of showing us the story - like good film makers should do - they insulted our intelligence by telling us what was happening. As if we couldn’t already see it!

This has the dual effect of insulting the viewer and making the narrative ploddingly slow. Showing us a sign saying “Council Tip” would have taken half a second and the audience’s minds are stimulated to work out the rest. Instead, the programme maker spends 30 seconds telling us what we can already see. A story they could have told in five seconds ends up taking five minutes, including many exchanges that could have been left to the imagination. Along the lines of “Hello, I understand you are an expert in welding.” “Yes, I’m passionate expert about welding.”

For ‘expert’ Sarah Moore read snob. She visibly shuddered when a plumber offered to give her his email address, even the premise of the programme involved tracking him down later to give him the money made from his junk. But the middle class types paid to transform his water tank into something arty didn’t make her recoil at all - and they were sweating like blacksmiths!

For some reason, the BBC makes programmes that feel like suburban small talk. They dance around, not really saying anything interesting, until you feel so awkward you find an excuse to leave.

This could have been a great programme, but my interest was utterly destroyed by the insulting conceit that everything has to be presented to we plebs….. very….. slowly. That deference gap (between the plumber and the plummy) was quite revealing. When we started flicking channels I discovered we’d been watching for 7 minutes. If only they’d got to the point quicker and been a bit punchier. Then again, this was a programme made by the Condescentii.

This programme had a rock sold premise that would have mass appeal and - unlike Arthur Smith - pass the test of time. But they managed to ruin it and this piece was unsalvageable. What a disappointment.