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EDITIONS
Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
The Osbournes
The Osbournes

(Edited highlights of the panel's review)


MARK LAWSON:
Allison, there have been grandiose comparisons tonight. I say it's the hard-rock version of the 'Partridge Family' really.

ALLISON PEARSON:
It is fantastic. I'm with George Bush, it may be the greatest programme in the entire history of television.

It's 'King Lear' meets 'I Love Lucy' meets 'The Flintstones' meets 'The Simpsons' meets the 'Beverley Hillbillies', remember them? A family, a rural family stuck in Beverley Hills.

I actually cried with laughter. I watched it twice. I wanted to watch it all the time. I think real life is such a bore in comparison. You have got Ozzy Osbourne, this self-styled anti-Christ, Prince of Darkness, who can't operate his own TV remote.

When his teenage daughter tells him off for kissing his wife, he says, "When you get to my age," and he says to his wife, "How old am I?" It's like being there. It's completely inept. A bullet through all kind of rock icons.

MARK LAWSON:
There is a funny cut-away, I hope it is genuine and they didn't set it up for the documentary, in where they are moving into a house and you see a packing saying, "Dead Things".

TIM LOTT:
After "Linen" and "China", "Dead Things!"

ALLISON PEARSON:
And "Devil Heads".

MARK LAWSON:
Tim Lott.

TIM LOTT:
The star is unquestionably Ozzy.

ALLISON PEARSON:
The kids are great as well.

TIM LOTT:
In an odd way, there is an extraordinary lack of cynicism about it, that's how you get away with it. I can't imagine Big Macca or Jagger doing it, because he just doesn't care.

I just believe it, I might be being na´ve, but I totally believed in him and his family. You couldn't look at him without loving him. He is so gormless and funny. He is Homer Simpson brought to flesh.

MARK LAWSON:
And touchingly Brummie still.

TIM LOTT:
Totally Brummie. The accent is 50% of the humour. You can't really hear it without bursting out laughing, but there is a lot of love in the whole thing.

And again, I may be na´ve but it seems entirely sincere. It makes me feel a better parent, because from one perspective, this is the family from hell, but also a wonderful family.

TOM PAULIN:
I loved it. I thought it was extraordinary. The shooting of it is very clunk-click and annoying and self-conscious, but it was amazing.

I hope the kids will be all right, but they seem a very robust family with that great Brummie address to the world. They can't give a damn about anything. It's fantastic television.

MARK LAWSON:
As you can't see it for a while, the basic joke is that the self-styled 'Wild Man - Prince of Darkness' is coping with parental problems. Here is another clip.

CLIP: THE OSBOURNES

MARK LAWSON:
Tim Lott, I became fascinated if George Bush really does like this. My theory is that he sees the connection psychologically, that he walks out of the White House, bands play helicopters land, and he thinks, 'But I'm just this bloke from Texas who wasn't very good in oil', and I think he sees this connection between the gap between the public and the private?

TIM LOTT:
That is kind of convincing, and I think George Bush is a nominal Brummie in many ways. He would be very at home there. That is quite patronising, and I apologise.

ALLISON PEARSON:
That's the whole Brummie viewership gone.

MARK LAWSON:
Now we have praised it very highly, and all sorts of TV companies are fighting to show it in Britain, so it is going to turn up here soon. I assume it's not as foul-mouthed in the American version, because it is odd that a Republican American President elected by fundamentalists...

ALLISON PEARSON:
The politest thing they say is "bugger off", that's sort of tea party talk as far as they are concerned.

I think what I love about it, is that if it was in this country, it might have a Louis Theroux or Daisy Donovan looking at the camera, sort of implying that these people are very low-life , but it's nakedly revealing and as Tim says, completely affectionate.

You don't think they are dysfunctional. You think they are the most functional family you have ever seen. They love each other. They are marvellous.

MARK LAWSON:
We will leave it there.

See also:

05 Apr 02 | Panel
17 May 02 | Panel
17 May 02 | Panel
18 Apr 02 | Panel
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