DVD: Plebs (2013 – )
Plebs was first broadcast on ITV2 from March 2013, and COMPLETELY passed us by at 60MW Towers. I’d seen the odd advert for it, but just never seemed to catch it when it was on. Normally when we get offered full series of TV shows I am quite hesitant, as unless I’ve actually followed it on TV, it’s very difficult to watch a full – sometimes 4 series, of one show and give it a just and fair review. So I was slightly worried about Plebs.
Starring Tom Rosenthal, Joel Fry, Jonathan Pointing (from series 4) and Ryan Sampson, this could possibly be compared to The Inbetweeners, via Up Pompeii…’OEER MISSUS!’ With the backdrop of ancient Rome and a soundtrack consisting of old Ska songs, we (in series 1 – 3) follow Marcus (Tom), Stylax (Joel), and their slave Grumio (a wonderful Ryan), as they go through daily life in ancient Rome. Marcus and Stylax work for ‘cougar’ Flavia (Down Mackichan), and continually take the piss out of the water-carrier Aurelius (Tom Basden, who also co-writes Plebs).
It’s knockabout, vulgar humour, based on Grumio being hopeless, Marcus being a twat and Stylax shagging anything with a hole. Not exactly sophisticated but VERY funny. As a side note; since watching Plebs, Grumio’s catchphrase of ‘Alright Landlord’ has been said many MANY times by us, to the point of embarrassing ourselves while looking around the Roman Baths in Bath just the other week. Oops.
I love Plebs. It’s easy to watch and it’s just so funny…then I started to watch series 4.
The fourth series begins with the lads running a bar in a renovated (still smelly) toilet, and replaces Stylax (killed in the opening scene) with a new character; Jason, played by Jonathan Pointing (and gives Aurelius a bigger role as well).
And God knows I tried, but…I hate Jason.
Now all successful TV shows undergo cast changes, and that’s fine. But this one doesn’t work for me, though I suspect that Jason will probably become THE most popular character in time.
You see my problem is, “Reality TV”. I don’t like it, I don’t watch it. As I write this (July 2018) in the throws of the World Cup, there is something even more popular on TV – Love Island. Jason could be a contestant on that programme, or ANY ‘reality’ show where all the men are ‘gorgeous’ and all the girls are ‘thick as shit’ and we, the British public LOVE them. But Jason, that character REALLY gets on my tits. He has none of Stylax’s charm. None of his ‘Oops I may have shagged the wrong person’. Nope, Jason is confident, blonde, muscular and mean spirited. One episode ‘Marathon’ sees him give laxatives to Aurelius so he can win the race they’ve both entered. On Jason failing at the last moment, Aurelius helps him, only for Jason to push him over and win. It really struck me that this wasn’t what Plebs was about, and – well in short, I didn’t like it. But that’s just me. It’s genius casting from the Plebs crew though, getting a Love Island contestant-type to take over the empty part, and I’m sure he’ll be a really popular character.
Having said that, we WILL continue to watch, as Grumio is unmissable. Hands on hips, thrust out, amazing fringe…and a gob full of meat. Why he’s as godlike as Ron fricking Swanson.
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