Australian TV has a new 'comedy' about a man with CFS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by becc, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. becc

    becc New Member

    Did anyone in Australia see 'Very Small Business' on the ABC tonight?

    It's a new 30 minute comedy series about a man who runs a series of local papers/magazines and his new (and only) employee, a journalist who hasn't worked for 6 years due to CFS and depression.

    At the beginning of the show, the boss asked him why he hadn't worked for 6 years. He said he'd been ill, to which the boss said "bit of a cold, then?" He said he'd had 'chronic fatigue' and the boss said "Yuppie flu! Close enough".

    'Jokes' abound about disability pensions, including one in which the boss asks him how much his sickness benefit is ($530-odd per fortnight) and then says something to the effect of "that's pretty good. I've been feeling a bit fatigued lately."

    To be fair, I believe the writers were trying to make a point - the boss was portrayed throughout the entire show as a loud-mouthed fool - but I'm not at all sure that people who know nothing about 'CFS' will pick up on the irony.

    My stomach sank when I first heard about this show - we've not come anywhere near far enough to be able to write a comedy about CFS. It was always going to be offensive, regardless of the writers' intentions.

  2. binxi

    binxi New Member

    i hadn't heard of it- i'll have to try to remember to watch it next week. or maybe see if i can watch tonights episode online.

    *ok, they are replaying it tomorrow night at 9pm on abc2.[This Message was Edited on 09/03/2008]
  3. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    Imagine if they made fun of a different disability, the public outcry would be world wide. I don't think this is right that they can make fun of us.
  4. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member

    I think it is in such poor taste to joke about a sad, very, very sad..Will not watch that show.....
  5. slowdreamer

    slowdreamer New Member

    Thanks for the alert Becc.It sounds like its just what we need, not..

    I might have to muster the energy and write a grumpy letter to someone..
    I have great faith in letters..if they are well argued.

    On the subject of disability has anyone seen the movie
    "The Diving Bell Jar and the Butterfly"
    Its about a man who has Locked in syndrome...more paralysed than us but there are some parallels. It seems to have created great interest.
    I heard there is a Disability Film Festival in Melbourne at the moment which I believe originated in Europe..

    One day someone will make a great movie about this DD. I dream of that.It would be so original.[This Message was Edited on 09/04/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/04/2008]
  6. binxi

    binxi New Member

    tonight and thought it was fine!
    its not taking the piss out of cfs, its taking it out of the other guy and how ignorant he is.
    i actually think that this show could potentially raise awareness for cfs in a positive way.
  7. becc

    becc New Member

    Hi Binxi,

    I agree - I think that's what the writers intended. But I don't think that's how people with no knowledge of CFS beyond its ridiculous name will see it.

    Personally, I've had too many people respond to the knowledge that I receive a disability pension with "I've been feeling a bit tired lately" to just brush it off. That sort of person will most likely watch 'Very Small Business' and just agree with the boss, without recognising the intended irony of the statement.

    Anyway, I won't be watching it again - beyond the comments about CFS, it's just bad television, IMO. Which is sad for the ABC.....
  8. binxi

    binxi New Member

    nobody will agree with the boss because his character is so unlikable. i actually found it amusing because it was so close to the truth.
    i can see where you're coming from, but i think (or hope!) that viewers are smarter than that.