This is a post about DVD commentaries. I don’t know if this is firmly in the “obvious” category. I think three or four years ago, these commentaries were universally derided. Yet you rarely see any DVDs released without one, and I have seen people spitting tacks (of the cyber variety, on the internet) when a DVD was released without a commentary.
I got a couple of DVDs recently, series 2 of Look Around You and The Mighty Boosh. I noticed that the two Mighty Boosh discs had different certificates. Then I saw this message on both DVDs in tiny writing on the back of the packaging:
Certificate 15 (Overall category raised to 15 due to additional material being classified at a higher certificate than the main feature — 12)
It occured to me that it is some poor bloke’s job to sit there in some BBFC office and listen carefully to the commentary in case somebody utters the word “fuck”.
Whenever I listen to these commentaries, the first quarter of the commentary everybody is really rusty, and apologising because the commentary is rubbish. They clearly don’t want to be there. Sometimes they get into the swing of things, but before long they start to get really bored. And then the whole commentary can begin to be about how bored they all are. Or they’ll start making up songs to pass the time. Or telling really crap jokes.
Peter Serafinowicz yawns at one point in the Look Around You 2 commentary and says, “I’m sorry. I’m not tired, I’m just bored.” That was pretty much the highlight of the entire commentary.
Commentaries are universally dire. So why the hell to I always listen to these commentaries? I don’t know. If you’re lucky, you will find out some interesting information, but at the expense of the loss of three hours of your life. I think instead of giving these commentaries age certificates, the BBFC should have a traffic light system indicating how interesting the commentary is. They’ll all be black, indicating “coma inducing”.