London, our nation’s proud capital, will be hosting the Olympics next year. For some Brits this constitutes fantastic news, others just couldn’t care less. Whatever your thoughts on the event, BBC Four’s new spoof documentary (Monday 14, 10pm) hopes to unite you through comedy.
Twenty Twelve stars two of Britain’s most talented comedy actresses (Peep Show's Olivia Colman and Spaced star Jessica Hynes) and covers the run-up to the Olympics in a way that appeals to the masses—much the way that The Thick of It entertains more than just politics students—by revelling in the characters' mistakes and mocking our flawed society.
While the thought of Peter Andre as our official torch bearer is laughable, it's not a decision we'd be particularly surprised by. After all, the musician's never far from the limelight, despite not having released a hit song since the late 1990s. The clueless professionals in Twenty Twelve have a whiff of Nathan Barley about them—they all think they know best, but in reality they're morons. The exceptions are Hugh Bonneville's character Ian Fletcher and his helpful but often neglected personal assistant Sally Owen (Colman).
Ian, head of deliverance, tries tirelessly to control his incompetent staff but with some employees unable to even spell Olympics he's got more chance of building the stadium himself. The show does at times lean more towards the ridiculous than the realistic. This is particularly true when, while trying to find a permanent use for the Taekwon-Do arena, the government’s head of sustainability contacts a travelling circus before any sporting association. This was so far-fetched we struggled to find it funny.
Despite its flaws Twenty Twelve deserves better than BBC Four. We can appreciate why Auntie wouldn’t give it precedence over the news on BBC1, but a Never Mind the Buzzcocks repeat on BBC2? We know what we'd rather watch.