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Ideal: Not just about drugs

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Jaine Sykes Jaine Sykes | 10:51 UK time, Thursday, 2 June 2011

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Creator Graham Duff writes...

If you were to listen to received wisdom, IDEAL is simply "a show about drugs". In reality, of course, IDEAL is no more a show about drugs than Only Fools And Horses was a show about stolen goods.

For example as tonight's episode would suggest, most of our storylines don't revolve around drugs. Moz (Johnny Vegas) finds himself down to his last fifty pounds and so sets about the hopeless task of calling in all his debts. His step-dad Keith (Mick Miller) and blind girlfriend Carol (Jo Enright) prepare to move into a warden assisted flat, whilst avant garde American fashion designer Tilly (Janeane Garofalo) deals with the unwanted attentions of a stalker.

Sure, Moz has spent long periods of his life working as a hash dealer, and we've sometimes seen characters take coke, acid, ketamine and so on. But I like to think that in general, we present a fairly even-handed view of drug use.

In fact, it's very rare indeed that the drugs themselves are the source of the comedy. To be honest, I've always had nothing but contempt for the 'Cheech and Chong' school of drug comedy. You know the kind of thing - people build cars out of hashish, uptight authority figures take a couple of puffs on a joint and suddenly they're dancing around semi-naked and talking about going for sitar lessons. Sophomoric* nonsense.

I think what sets IDEAL apart, is that it simply includes drug use in the natural ebb and flow of people's lives, rather than using it as a device to make social points or deliver moral messages. To counterfeit a phrase; we're not advocating it, we're just saying it happens.

Ideal continues every Thursday at 10.30pm on BBC Three.

More from Ideal:

*Don't tell us we never teach you something new.


  • Comment number 1.

    When Ideal first hit the screens, I used to tell my mates that it was a comedy about a drug dealer. After watching the first couple of series and each character became more familiar, I realised it is much more than that and exactly what you're saying above Graham. It's an honest (albeit with weird and wonderfully twisted humour) account of every day life in 21st century sub culture Britain. There is nothing I look forward to watching more. Pure genius.


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