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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



Is It OK to Laugh at 'Retarded Policeman'?

August 6, 2008 10:51 AM

One of the most popular Web series these days is “Retarded Policeman,” which has been racking up the views over on YouTube.

But some viewers and Web watchers have expressed concern that the show is exploitative. That’s because the titular character is a retarded policeman who says shocking things, things that are all the more shocking because he is retarded. Because of the show’s popularity, some critics have asked if the show is making fun of retarded people.

But the lead actor, Josh Perry, has Down Syndrome and expressed his feelings about the part in this quite funny video post.

I, for one, think it’s terrific that the show’s creator, Mediocre Films, hired a retarded actor rather than just an actor to play a retarded character.

So I decided to solicit community feedback on the show. I posted a Twitter update earlier this week asking for feedback on the show and I have amassed it here.

“Enjoyed it but found it a little all over the map. From reference humour to zany slapstick to outright nonsense.”

“It's kinda like an aristocrats joke... a few seconds of laughter resulting in a few days of on and off guilt.”

“Wow...that's messed up on several levels...”

“Weak gimmick. Josh is actually a good actor. But, this is a one-shot funny, not a series.”

“The vid was funny, irreverent and very un pc! If Josh was cool with it, everyone else should be too. I loved his response...”

“Truly surprised how funny I found it.”

“It is one of my husband's favorite shows. At first he has cautious bc he was not sure of the intent—were they making fun of him?? Then he saw the star's parents were on it and the actor did some video responses etc explaining that he was an actor, his parents and sibling supported him and were protective of what he did. Once he figured out it was not done to humiliate the lead actor, he could enjoy it.”


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Comments (8)

This video is the dumbest thing I have ever seen. How can you say people like it?

riggarob:


I like the series. It sometimes makes no sense, but I suppose that's the point. I'm a 60 year old WM (just to show that this appeals to a wide audience), and have seen much worse on the net. Also, I grew up w/ the word "retarded" as the way to address people w/ a mental disability. All of the PC crowd out there must CRINGE at this series. I'm glad the kid is so kool about it. Kudos to him.

Sheesh, @Red Blanchard, she can "say people like it" because she elicited feedback from said people, some of whom apparently liked it. And if it's the "dumbest thing" you've ever seen, you don't know the internets very well.

I think Daisy's post is thoughtful and interesting.
Thanks, Daisy!

Thomas B.:

I loved Josh's video response, which is linked above. Red, everything done by Mediocre Films--Retarded Policeman, Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show, Two Hot Girls in the Shower--is hilarious precisely because each is so RANDOM. If you don't get random, you won't get their humor.

Dickface Mcslapnuts:

I have an uncle that has down syndrome and i love him. It is just good that this kid enjoys something. And are just lucky enough that we get to laugh at him.

F. Arseneault:

We should be so lucky. Josh is doing what HE wants to do, nothing more, nothing less. How fortunate is he? More so than so many of us. Good on you Josh! May you have fun and be successful.

Keith:

I found out about this show from the Philie D show on YouTube where he does the news. He plugged the show I watched it and loved it, I am very seriously contimplating buying this DVD because in all hoensty I like some of the stuff on YouTube much better then what's being put on cable.

Other Internet shows I hope end up getting a DVD

Rhett & Link
Barats & Bereta
Mallahan

I think those 3 plus Medicore Films are the best shows on the net

ben:

he is not really retarded he is just acting

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