At work the tv series "Lead Balloon" keeps cropping up on the x-box in the staff room. If you haven't seen it, it's a comedy series starring Jack Dee as a character pretty much like himself, only less successful. He has a wife, an agent that he regularly meets up with and a cleaner he has problems with. It's about his life and attempts at just getting on with things (professional engagements, general life itself, etc). Now, I've seen a few episodes and it's pretty bland and inoffensive on the face of it, but still there was always something that bothered me about it that I couldn't quite put my finger on, that made me really not like it. The other day I finally managed to work it out.
"Lead Balloon" is a complete, total and utter rip off of "Curb Your Enthusiasm".
The realisation dawned on me during an episode in which Jack Dee is going to be doing some fundraising appearance at a library, which he also has an overdue book from. He tries to argue that he should be let off the fine because he is going to be making them a lot more money than the £6 he owes. The librarian doesn't waive the fine. They have a bit of a face off before Jack Dee eventually gives up and walks away still with the book having not paid the fine. At home he tells his wife who says "Why didn't you just pay the fine?" to which Jack Dee says "It's about the principal.". Later or the next day he goes for lunch with his agent and they get a waiter who is rude to them. Turns out this is because the canteen they're in is in the same building as the library and the waiter is pissed off with Jack coz he upset the librarian, who said he was very aggressive even tho he wasn't really aggressive at all. Larry, sorry Jack, then finds out that he's not appearing at the library benefit anymore OH MY GOD HOW CURB IS IT?! Everyone involved in this program has basically just gone "Hey, you know that amazing 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' programme? Well, relatively very few people in the UK know about it. Let's do a budget UK version and no-one will realise we're just completely ripping them off!"