You know how sometimes you can love something even though you don’t always understand it? That’s how I felt about the PBS show Alive From Off Center in the ’80s, and that’s how I feel about The Catherine Tate Show now. The half-hour comedy sketch show recently started airing on BBC America, and so far, I like it.
My favorite thus far is Lauren, the cheerleader who is “not bovvered.” The rapid-fire “Yeah, but no” exchanges make me gape and giggle.
I also like Derek Faye, the effeminate heterosexual who takes umbrage when people think he’s gay. His catchphrases are “How very dare you!” and “Who, dear? Me, dear? Gay, dear? No, dear!” (I referenced him in the L Word recap, so if you were wondering WTF I was talking about, watch this!)
Not everyone’s laughing, though. A couple of years ago, a viewer filed a complaint with the BBC, claiming that the Derek sketches are homophobic. The complaint said that the character invites people to “laugh at the character’s campness and ‘obvious’ gayness.”
Um, well, yeah.
That’s pretty much what the BBC said too, when they decided Derek “met the required editorial standards and did not demonstrate homophobia.” They also noted that “Derek was an extreme stereotype of a gay man but humour is often based on stereotypes. The purpose of the sketches was to be funny, not realistic.”
I’m not bovvered!
The Catherine Tate Show airs Fridays at 9:20 p.m. ET on BBC America.