In the span of a few months, the first two seasons of Diddy TV came and went with 20 episodes between them. The show is broadcast by CBBC and is hosted by the children’s comedy show duo Dick (or Diddy Dick in full) and Dom, otherwise known as Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood, respectively. The series is a pastiche of various comedy skits spoofing popular British TV shows, especially in the vein of reality television.
Imitative satire is nothing new for children’s programming. Shows such as Animaniacs or, even further, the majority of animated comedy series before the 2010’s borrowed extensively from pop culture to make the backbones of their skits. It never mattered that few children recognized many of the references because they are memories hailing from decades past or part of that expansive majority of the media pie made primarily for adult audiences. As long as the characters were zany enough, the cartoons were popular. If anything, it broadened the appeal by drawing in adults who happened to be watching the programs alongside youngsters.
The Diddy Dick and Dom brand created by these show runners has turned in this parody style vigorously for their last few productions, starting this trend with Diddy Movies. Not only is it a fairly novel concept to create a whole series centered on what was once but a type of skit in the basket, the aesthetic style of these programs also appears to be endemic to the Dick and Dom shows on the CBBC. Live-action faces are superimposed onto frantically moving miniaturized puppet bodies. To say the least, it is far more eye-catching than live action for most children and it is certainly more interesting than repetitive CGI.
The duo’s newest venture promises to be as much of a success as their other works. They recently celebrated 20 years involved in children’s entertainment with CBBC, so their popularity and skill in the field is not in question. While DTV is fairly original in terms of wider children’s programming, it is not different from their other productions. The humor is still juvenile, based on the emotional extremes displayed by the histrionic actors’ faces, the squeaky voices, satirical situations and what has been sometimes dubbed “lavatorial” humor. This is their trademark style as skillfully executed as ever.
Audiences are all too happy to eat it up. The show enjoys a 7.2 out of 10 on IMDb, which means that it is considered quality programming by viewers. The duo has already won two of the somewhat prestigious BAFTA awards for programming of this same type, so they are well-liked in the industry. While Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes don’t rate the British show, clips do appear in YouTube and they are generally more popular than their peers on CBBC, frequently getting over 10,000 views. There is no doubt that they have maintained their 20-year run on the channel on the basis of their popularity and talent.
Yet all this has no bearing on season 3. The fact of the matter is that this comedy duo is afraid of commitment. Projects run for one or two years before they decide to go on to the next hit. Their style is so similar that this smattering of concepts looks like a very long run of the same show, but they have different titles all the same. It is possible, but unlikely, that #DiddyTV will see the light of another season. More probable is that it becomes Diddy Music Video or Diddy Netflix Series with the same and delivery but a different focus and title card.
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Do you like #DTV? What do you think of the use of puppets for bodies? Which has been your favorite spoof on the show so far? Do you think the pair should spoof US TV shows as well?