Dogs Bollox


Game On



Lead singer Matthew Malone doesn’t sing, he sobs. He screams. He gibbers. He enacts all the pain, poverty, deprivation and utter lack of meaning in a postmodern, ethnically cleansed, terminally infected universe.

It must be said from the off that Game On hasn’t aged particularly well. Even at the time, it was a clear nod to Men Behaving Badly’s 90s Lad Mag generation, involving a normal(ish) woman and sex-obsessed menchildren. That’s not to say that it’s a total write off. I mean, it’s not 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. There are odd funny bits, but there’s a whole stack of misogyny, homophobia and casual racism to contend with.

To be fair, pre-Womack, post-EuroVision Samantha Janus does a half decent job of not coming across as a brainless nymphomaniac given what she’s got to work with. And despite their obvious boorish nature, the men are at least portrayed as deeply flawed and insecure. This is the Ben Chaplin years, btw. Anything beyond that is probably a bit too much for anyone to stomach.

In this episode, agoraphobic orphan landlord Matt finally ventures out of his flat and somehow joins a band. Not only that, the band get a gig and he ends up having to perform at very short notice. Said performance is pretty much just a cacophonous meltdown that the Spotted Dog pub patrons don’t take kindly to.

However, a journo likes it and the band ends up with a feature in Dogs Bollox magazine. No apostrophe, apparently. It’s visible briefly in the show and looks to me like a pastiche of those 90s entertainment magazines you used to see. Remember Select (last print run 2001)? Or this one (last print run 2004)?

Very much of their time. Very much like Game On was.

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