Mongrels: How to have a TV show broadcast and avoid counselling
Adam Miller, creator and director of Mongrels, writes...
What a long strange week it's been; having a TV show that you've poured your heart and soul into for five long years inserted into the living rooms of the country for the first time, it's quite a roller-coaster ride.
First come the previews the week before (aka "hooray, the Radio Times were lovely.")
Then come the Sunday papers (aka "hooray, The Guardian wasn't too mean.")
Then the previews the day before (aka "Yay, Metro seems to like us.")
Then finally the reviews (aka "oops, Metro doesn't like us.")
It's a bizarre process this, and a fascinating one. You're told by everyone in the business from the outset not to read reviews, but realistically, unless you plan a trip to the Gobi Desert over the broadcast, then curiosity will get the better of you. And my god are there a lot of reviews and websites you can beat yourself up with. Surfing the net for Mongrels now is akin to dipping your hand in a box for a particularly nasty I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here trial, where you don't know if it contains a warm handshake, or a four foot spider with a grievance.
On the plus side, I think we're coming out of the minefield in fairly good nick; there seems to be more than a hint of Marmite about the show: reviewers, even within the same publication, seem to either love us or hate us, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. It would have been a terrible waste to use puppetry and produce a programme that was bland, when I believe it's a medium that allows you so much more leeway in the stories you can tell.
But what an odd thing this exposure is. We've had some wonderful messages from people who truly love the show, some visceral attacks over the edgyness of the content and even some religious debates over a YouTube clip of this coming week's episode (look out for Kalis' "What Kind of God?" song). It's a strange world out there, but you only truly start to realise quite how strange when you pop your head over the parapet.
However, when the dust all settles, what I think I'll remember most from our first week is the good stuff. The lovely messages on Twitter, some of the kind comments on YouTube and our Facebook page, and the reviewers that liked us. As to the rest... well I suppose you just have to stick your hand in the box, and gently stroke the spider.
Watch Episode Two of Mongrels on Tuesday 29th June at 10.30pm on BBC Three. Here's a preview!