You’ve Been Framed is the British variant of the popular US television series America’s Funniest Home Videos, postdating the latter by a few months. In much the same way as its North American counterpart, it presents humorous or interesting (the studio appears to select either funny videos or “cute” animal videos) clips of people getting injured or babies and animals behaving erratically submitted by users. For their public humiliation, the senders are rewarded with a few hundred pounds.
Over the course of its 27 years on the air, the British comedy show has changed more than the international variants. Not only has it gone through several hosts, but the style has also tried to come closer to the US show in recent times. Earlier in its run, for example, the program was a lot more subdued. Clips would play with nothing more than the audio of the original stream and audience laughter. In order to keep pace with the international brotherhood of home video compilation shows, a snarky commentator now makes quips of varying degrees of cleverness and humor.
While some fans complain about this “new” format (the show has actually employed this style for probably over a decade), it might be the one thing that keeps these long-running clip reels still alive. It is surprising that funny home video programs still exist in television in an age of the proliferation of just this type of video on websites such as YouTube. Since the wide adoption of broadband internet, the proportion of funny cat videos to humans has skyrocketed. Yet not only do shows of the ilk of #YouBeenFramed manage to stay on the air for decades, but the next generation, such as Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon, is also doing well. Even Latin American Cámara Loca, which is just a dubbing and re-broadcast of a minor English-language funny home video show, has managed to keep running re-runs of the original for over a decade.
#YBF is currently airing new episodes on ITV, nearing the 500-episode mark. It has a healthy number of adherents online, with a moderately active forum community and a decent rating of 5.7 out of 10 on IMBD. Considering this is just a batch of clips of people getting kicked in the bread basket with a corny narrator laughing at their misfortunes, this is a decent rating. Apparently, people have warm memories of the show, lamenting that television has become not only more controversial, but more compartmentalized to subcultures and there is little viewing which families can appropriately watch together.
#YBF isn’t as popular as it was in times past, but it’s still got enough charm to survive into its 30th season, which will probably premiere sometime in 2017, seeing as new seasons of the show generally don’t appear this late in the year. It is also cheap to produce and has little formal requirements for entertaining. Some seasons have lasted only six episodes, while others have surpassed 30. We will probably continue to see more of #YouBeenFramed for years to come.
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