hen every episode of Friends was made available on Netflix last year the reaction from our newest generation of media consumers was utter outrage. They criticised the popular sitcom’s storylines, describing it as transphobic, homophobic and sexist.
I remember, when I studied Media in 2004 looking at excerpts from Love Thy Neighbour, we were livid at the racist dialogue and the situations portrayed. Britain’s history of less-than-wholesome comedies is no secret and has often had issues crossing the pond. The bad reaction in other countries was often explained away as our unique British understanding of irony and everyone else’s lack of understanding but maybe, sometimes, it just isn’t that funny.
I think we must look at some programmes from way back when and not see comments such as ‘it was a different time’ as a way of granting forgiveness but treating it more like an understanding that even just a few years ago we were horrible people. We still are quite horrible people. Huge advances have been made in recent years towards inclusion and diversity, especially in the law, but we still have a long way go. Our openness and inclusion may never travel into out comedy. In 50 years I expect my grandchildren to look at me crazy when I say I loved Rick and Morty, Family Guy and indeed, Monty Python.
Values change. So how will our youngest generation react to the comedy stylings of Monty Python when almost all their titles drop on Netflix? It would be a sad shame if their absurd brand of comedy was not appreciated for what it was. A unique dive into some crazy minds, a critique of many issues of the time, and just a good bit of silliness.
The following Monty Python titles will be available on 15th April 2018:
Monty Python & the Holy Grail
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus
Monty Python’s Personal Best
Monty Python Best Bits (mostly)
Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down, Five to Go
Monty Python Conquers America
The Meaning of Monty Python
Monty Python: The Meaning of Life
Eric Idle’s What About Dick?