Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Is Newzoids a Dead Spit?

by Sophie Parekh

Surprisingly, I actually did my research for this one (even if it did involve many hours on the youtubes…) and I have come to a conclusion, which I shall explain in a wee while. But first, the opening statements, m’lord! 

I was very much looking forward to Newzoids before it came out two weeks ago, and I did think, that it would be another Spitting Image. But, to be fair, Spitting Image was fantastic. Youtube now recommends about forty episodes to me every time I log on. I still vouch that ‘You’ll never meet a nice South African’ should have been number one, hands down.  I have been told, many a time, by my parents that Spitting Image was so grotesquely controversial, and I can see why. Comparing old Maggie Thatcher to Hitler isn’t exactly the Teletubbies. Although rude, it was very clever, all those subtle references and snide little offsides I think made it so memorable, because it was what everyone wanted to hear. I.e. that the people running their country were as useful as an underwater toaster. 

But moving swiftly back to Newzoids. People were bound to compare it to Spitting Image, and yes some people were disappointed that it isn’t quite as controversial, but I think they're missing the point. When Spitting Image came into being, there wasn’t really much topical comedy around at the time, so this was one of the only sources of political mick taking. And being what it is, people were shocked, because they hadn’t seen anything like it. But nowadays, we’ve got so much in the way of topical amusement. Twitter, for starters (#milifandom being my personal fave at the mo) and things like Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You etc. have the same aim as Spitting Image did. To destroy the reputation of all politicians and influential figures in the most horrific way possible. Gosh, I’m rambling a bit. Anyway, I think that’s why some people may say that Newzoids isn’t as gruesome; because we’ve become desensitised, effectively. 

I am glad, though, that Newzoids is here, there was a gap in the market. And it couldn’t have come at a better time #GE2015. My absolute favourite thing about Newzoids is the way they have portrayed Ed Milliband as a happy-go-lucky, buck-toothed scamp, with an impressive speech impediment, who took a wrong turn or seven in life. “B-b-b-but Ed B-b-b-balls”, “I’m a happy warrior” and “At least I tried” are now my catchphrases. And the great thing is, even if Milibae does get elected, I don’t think anyone will forget his juddery alien-headed puppet. I’m fond of good old Jezza and the Karaoke Korner feat. Sturgeon and Salmond, doing the pretenders proud.  I think what I like most about Newzoids, is that we are experiencing it now, rather watching something that was topical 30 years ago, and that’s quite exciting. So, I think you all know what I’ll be doing Wednesday at 9 o’clock on ITV.

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