nme.com gets stuck into Chris Morris' new TV series Jam...
‘JAM’, the new television show created by the UK’s most rock’n’roll comedy maverick CHRIS MORRIS aired for the first time on Channel Four last night (March 23).
The programme, structured in a simliar manner to his cult BBC Radio One show ‘Blue Jam’, featured a series of sketches, loosely bound by a continuous semi-ambient soundtrack.
Reclusive genius Morris himself featured little in the programme, having only one spoken role as narrator of a sketch about a suicide jumper – a man who leapt forty times from a first floor balcony rather than once from a 40th floor in case he changed his mind.
As anticipated, the material skirted around the edges of what is considered televisual comedy with skits employing time lapse photography and distorted vocals that frequently seemed to meander plotlessly and finish nowhere.
However, the reaction from viewers seems at present to be much tamer than that provoked by ‘Brasseye’, his previous television series also on Channel Four.
Less than ten complaints have been registered on Channel Four‘s duty log, most relating to a sketch with echoes of recently jailed serial killer Dr Harold Shipman.
A doctor is seen diagnosing patients with a fictious disease – symptomless coma – before being pictured as if caught on security camera beating up heathly patients to bring about their death.
A spokesperson for Channel Four told nme.com that a few complaints were standard with every show.
“In fact ‘Countdown’ and the News get more complaints,” he said, “And ‘Queer As Folk’ got hundreds. Besides, I don’t think the sketch was related to the Shipman case. The medical profession comes in for a rough ride generally on Chris Morris’ shows.”
In contrast, following ‘Brasseye’ a flood of complaints about the content and nature of the show were upheld by broadcasting watchdog, the ITC forcing the station to issue apologies. Morris also famously flashed the message, ‘Michael Grade is a c-‘ on the screen for less than one second during the last show of Brasseye’s run. He claimed to have made the statement because Grade, then Channel Four controller, had insisted on a number of cuts to the programmes. At the time Grade was said to be outraged and insisted Morris would never appear on the station again. Grade has since left Channel Four.
‘Jam’ returns next Thursday (March 30) at 10.30pm on Channel Four.