On my flight back from my recent trip to Europe I was excited to see that there was a LEGO documentary available on the in-flight entertainment system. I’m a mild fan of LEGO and a big fan of behind the scenes documentaries. Unfortunately, this one has all the trademarks of the crap that passes for documentaries on TV today.
Always has to have a time crunch. Will the shop open on time? Will the displays be done in time? Will the staff be trained in time? Will the equipment work in time? Will this shitty documentary be done in time? It’s like every home improvement show ever made: WILL THIS FUCKING BE DONE ON TIME?!
Always has to have some sort of human interest angle. Will this long-term unemployed guy get a job as a shop assistant? Will the mum of two get a job as a shop assistant? Will the designer of the photo-booth mosaic maker who moved his family from Mexico to Denmark get the job done in time (oops see the first category for this one, but inextricably linked to WHO CARES ABOUT HIS FLIPPING FAMILY?).
Always leaves the interesting questions unasked. Seriously, how about telling us something interesting about the mechanics of that machine, or how a design gets turned into a ginormous LEGO sculpture? Don’t just tantalize us with some shots of the factory in the Czech Republic where they built the gigantic LEGO Big Ben, tell us something about it FFS. It’s similar to the Great British Bake Off where they repeat the same lines endlessly (take the cake out too soon and it will be raw, leave it in too long and it will burnt) instead of telling us something we didn’t already know. YOU HAVE PLENTY OF TIME, TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING, YOU STUPID GIT.
Always has to be some sort of competition. Of course related to the first two points about time and the wannabe employees competing for a spot on the team, but I can’t forget the giant Tower Bridge replica clad in LEGO to support two Range Rovers and break a record for most boring LEGO sculpture. I CAN’T RELATE TO ANYTHING UNLESS IT IS PART OF A COMPETITION.
Always has to be some sort of moment of peril. Will the Big Ben replica get into the store without doing any damage? Oh, shit, no damage done. Wait, what about this heavy photo booth mosaic maker thingy? Will that make it in okay? Of course fucking not, drywall gouged just days away from the store opening. OH GOD, WILL THE DRYWALL BE PATCHED IN TIME, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN. Don’t even get me started on the fact that they could have removed two of the glass panels instead of only one.
Always have to hear from the dimwit on the street. The drywall is repaired, the store is going to open on schedule how in the world can we create drama? I know, let’s talk to the disgruntled whiners who crawled on their knees all the way from Yorkshire to London and have been waiting in line for 32 months only to find that people who arrived 32 seconds ago are ahead of them in line. IT’S UNFAIR, IT’S SO GODDAMN UNFAIR. FUCK LEGO AND FUCK THIS FUCKING STORE.
I find this particular approach to documentary making to be of British origin. Don’t get me wrong, American television “documentaries” have their own issues for sure (lack of any real content, 10 seconds of footage repeated 1400 times, screaming electric guitars, etc.), but the particular formula for this LEGO programme could have been written by David Walliams and Matt Lucas (cf. Come Fly with Me).
Please, hire a few more nerds next time.