Another bit of character study for Brian


Colin Hunt-Officer Joker from ‘The Fast Show’

I was inspired by a shop keeper that i came into contact with today, the sheer awkwardness in his attempt to make me laugh produced a tense atmosphere. I felt as if he was desperately searching for a way to bond with me in the short cashier-consumer scenario. A small pity smirk crossed my face…in the end, I’ve been on the other side of that scenario and i know what it’s like trying desperately to

1-Entertain yourself and

2-Engage with someone who is simply in contact with you for the shortest time possible, in order to make a purchase.

Thinking about it, It’s a very unnatural scenario.

often forced pleasantries are passed around between consumer and cashier in a fain attempt aimed to soften the implicit exchange of power between both parties, no REAL conversation is ever made, no TRUE exchange of ideas

it’s close to a non-event. Both parties know that the exchange will happen, it’s just a case of going through the motions. there’s no real negotiation, it’s not a ‘deal’ (other than in an abstract exchange of monetary value for consumerable goods) each parties roles are predetermined. One Provides…the other, Takes.

Psychologically, the characters in this story are Dominant/Subordinate. Does the sense of awkwardness derive from the dynamics of their relevant positions?.

Does the Subordinate character appear desperate because he/she is attempting to level the playing field?, are they trying to adjust the balance of power?,  but do they end up overreacting and by revealing how hard they are trying and actually end up project a sensation of weakness and desperation. In contrast does the Dominater present an aura of power by underplaying their involvement ( even though they must initiate the interaction)

I like the idea of improvising in this scenario, i think i can get more out of it than simple seaside town panto entertainment. I do want Brian to be more than that.

I feel that there’s something already quite bizarre about this scenario and i want to highlight it.

I guess the question I’m left with is:

Can I encourage ‘Shop’s viewers to think about the role they play next time they go shopping?

I’ll leave with this last video of Colin Hunt being superseded by Keith Uckyourself


2 Responses to “Brian is the office joker…in Shop”

  1. jackhoneysett says:

    it is a ‘deal’, just one with pre-defined parameters. the price tag dictates this before the transaction has taken place. the awkwardness of the situation maybe comes from this gap, where by selling you the item is worth nothing to the person selling it, it does not directly link to their livelyhood.
    so in answer to your questions:no,no,no, unlikely (one of your questions didnt have a question mark, so i discounted it)

    i would really like to see you having a REAL conversation and a TRUE exchange of ideas with someone at a checkout, get back to the questioning martin we once knew, its nice to see he is still in there.

    or it would be nice for a ’shop’ worker to be confusing the customers further by attempting a TRUE exchange of ideas.

  2. Dadz Blingham says:

    Congratulations, it has opened and more!. I’ve been watching via the CCTV / web cams – looked like a long hard day with a steady flow of customers. Saturday next & a Bank Holiday one to boot; loads more people about. Again – well done.

    What happens to Brian after Monday? Stuffed & mounted?