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I’m Spazticus Series 2 Episode 1 Review

August 15, 2013

When I heard that I’m Spazticus was returning for a second series, I was very disappointed. I watched one episode of series 1 and frankly, I found it disablist.

Series 2 started last night, and it wasn’t much different. The first scene was pointless-a blind man asking a sighted woman what was wrong with his new guide dog, which turned out to be a pig. He made out that he didn’t know this, but this just made him look stupid- in the words of my mum: “couldn’t he hear the oinking? He’s blind not deaf!”

The second sketch was a dwarf in a cafe punching an able bodied woman’s cupcakes- while she watched in shock and a song called Dwarf Punch Cupcake played in the background. So a real disabled person was shown destroying real cooked food- and once again, made to look stupid, insensitive and childish.

The ‘charity’ sketch this time was even worse than the Guide Dwarves Association which featured in the one previous episode I have watched. Before tonight, I didn’t think it was possible to see anything worse than that, but this proved me wrong.  It was an advert for an organisation called Limbs Made From Animal Origin, that told how amputees are being given monkey limbs instead of prosthetic human limbs because they are cheaper. The advert described this as a barbaric practice- it highlighted monkeys being slaughtered for their limbs before the fact that humans were being given monkey limbs. Just like with the Guide Dwarves Association, the idea was to show real disabled people being treated like animals, left with dirty smelly monkey parts rather than more expensive prosthetic human limbs.

By the way it was not lost on me that the charity’s initials were LMFAO- which is usually Internet language for ‘laughing my f***ing a** off.’ Problem was, I don’t think there was one single thing about that sketch that was funny.

As for the next sketch of the man being interviewed by Hitler- yet again, completely pointless.

Then came  a scene of a girlfriend and boyfriend, one blind, one deaf. They have their ups and downs, we heard. He never tells her how beautiful she looks and she never listens to a word he says! That was the funniest line in the show. Theirs is, we were told, a story of how love is blind and deaf.

He took her to the place where they first met- where a band she couldn’t hear was singing- to propose, which she couldn’t hear. When told that she had walked away, he called her a cow! I suppose this was trying to show that disabled people can be insensitive to access needs, too, but if it was intended to be funny, I didn’t get the joke.

Then we saw six dwarves asking a man of average height for help to carry a coffin because “Happy was a fat git!” We were shown Happy’s funeral, in a church, at which a great deal was made of the fact that he had a ‘short’ life and would now have a ‘short’ eulogy.  Again, this was pointless and insensitive.

In the next sketch, a dwarf drove a minicab that was much too small to fit the passenger, who was of average height and had to follow on foot. I suppose this would have made some people smile, but to my mother and I it just looked like disabled people were being made fun of, with the impression being given that we can’t drive the same cars as everyone else (which we can, if we are able to have a driving license.) Yes, our cars are adapted, but not that much.

We later learnt that the blind man’s deaf girlfriend was transsexual and had only been a woman for a year. He didn’t seem bothered and to me, this made less sense than the rest of the programme.

Then there was the classic scene- almost exactly a repeat from the last episode I saw- in which a sighted man told a talking guide dog called Alan what was on sale in a pet shop, rather than speaking to his owner, who actually asked the sighted man to speak to the dog. Sadly, this was not satire- it often happens to blind people in real life, and few of them find it funny.

Then came a dwarf who was trying to sell his tiny house to a man of average height who would never have fitted in it. This might have been funny, if we had been watching Snow White.

Then there was a sketch of a news report on Spaz News, showing the competitors in the UK Disability Freestyle Dance Championships- a guy with CP who beat his non disabled competitor, who he asked to act like he had CP, to make the challenge easier. I think this was what the programme was originally intended to be about, but, to us, it was not funny in the slightest.

When I sat down to watch the programme, a part of me hoped this series might be better than the last one. Unfortunately for those who put a lot of hard work into the latest episode, among them Kelly Knox and Warwick Davis, I couldn’t see any improvements. I doubt I’ll be watching any more episodes.

Before you tell me I can’t laugh at or about disability, I can and I very often do. However, some things never change, and I’m Spazticus is one of those things.  In my personal opinion, it’s still disablist, and in my personal opinion, disablism is never funny- even when disabled people are doing it.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon Green permalink
    August 15, 2013 1:58 am

    I totally agree with the majority of your comments, but the most frustrating thing to me is the the use of the word spaz, especially when used in the “Spaz News” sketch.

    I do a lot of work trying to raise awareness about Disability Hate Crime and the effects it has and how words can do so much damage. So how now do I persuade people the use of that word in everyday life and when refering to a disabled person is wrong when disabled people themselves are using it.

    Im all for laughing at myself and love programmes like Channel 4s “The Last Leg” but dont find Im Spasticus at all funny and at times slightly offensive.

    • August 19, 2013 2:31 am

      So it is okay to laugh with ‘the last leg’ because thats people looking normal, but people with cerebral palsy are not allowed an identity on TV which is fun?! Because you are uncomfortable and wish us only to be seen as victims? These shows the different level of prejudices between impairments and I think maybe you find it offensive because of your own hang ups?

      • Simon Green permalink
        November 6, 2013 2:06 am

        its lighthearted humour in the Last Leg, they dont use word like Spaz & Cripple.

        has nothing to do with anyone looking “normal”, such a stupid comment

  2. Jamie permalink
    August 15, 2013 7:06 am

    Hi – your review is unfair and inaccurate – Warwick had nothing to do with SpaZticus – of course the rest is subjective – would you mind changing as seems unfair on Mr Davis. Thanks

  3. KatL permalink
    August 15, 2013 8:05 am

    This was the first episode of this that I saw. I turned it off after less than 10 minutes – it wasn’t funny in the slightest.

  4. August 15, 2013 9:11 am

    you need the right sort of cast and writing like Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant is normally very funny if you haven’t seen it you should

  5. samedifference1 permalink*
    August 15, 2013 9:13 am

    Jamie- wasn’t Warwick Davis playing one of the dwarves? It looked and sounded just like him.

    • Jamie permalink
      August 15, 2013 10:56 am

      Warwick Davis is not a cast member of I’m SpaZticus.

    • August 15, 2013 1:28 pm

      i know Warwick Davis is not a cast member of I’m SpaZticus. i was just highlighting that you need creative writing for a successful tv program with a cast like warwick and co
      the tv series Derek was very good i felt and was well written with the lead roles played by Ricky Gervais, and Karl Pilkington who i could relate to very well

      • Jamie permalink
        August 15, 2013 2:54 pm

        Nick You have misunderstood please see the thread of exchanges above re Warwick. Thanks

      • August 15, 2013 4:30 pm

        point taken Jamie i have not misunderstood at all what i am saying is that any programme or film that has disabled people in it has to be of a creative style and to be believable otherwise no one going to watch it and if they do there’ll just criticize those involved

  6. samedifference1 permalink*
    August 15, 2013 12:46 pm

    Okay, thank you for pointing that out, my mistake, I have now crossed out his name.

  7. August 15, 2013 4:59 pm

    Agree – it just wasn’t funny and didn’t challenge anything, so not sure what the point is.

    • August 15, 2013 5:44 pm

      i have just looked through some of the series and it’s in the same mould as off your rockers in which elderly actors play pranks on the public

      personally i found Spazticus funny in parts which is to be expected the same with off your rockers
      like any comedy whatever takes your fancy

  8. January 3, 2019 10:33 am

    Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.

    • simonstevens74 permalink
      January 3, 2019 11:53 am

      Why after 6 years? The victims were the public, not the impaired actors like myself

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