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Nathan Barley

Chris Morris' most recent project, Nathan Barley is a straightforward sitcom created with Charlie Brooker. The two main characters are Dan Ashcroft, a bitter writer who pens an article called "Rise of the Idiots" for a magazine called "SugarApe" (whose logo is modified to read SugaRAPE), which is run solely by the type of idiot from the article. Nathan Barley is a webmaster for, and is even more of an Idiot than the SugarApe staff. Dan's sister, a documentary filmmaker, has hooked up with Nathan, who's providing her lots of video equipment so she can work on her various projects (and also to score with her). Nathan loves Dan and his articles and seems to think they're very close friends, not realizing that he's clearly one of the Idiots, and as such, Dan clearly loathes him.

The structure of the series is interesting – as it goes on, it gets darker, though it never completely falls apart – merely comes close to it. All the way through, it clearly stays a sitcom, though one that shows itself and its creators reflected in its characters. A DVD is in the works, along with a second series, even though its ratings were remarkably bad. Although, I thought it was very good.

Chris Morris doesn't appear in it, aside from a cameo where he gives a voice-over at the beginning of one of the episodes. Morris does direct, and the style is a mix between his work on Jam and a more documentary style. Direction-wise, it's closest in style to My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117. As with all of Morris' work, there're many background gags and lots of wordplay, though there isn't nearly as much wordplay in the dialogue as there is in his other projects; most of it manifests in background gags and the like.

Not Chris Morris' best project, but very definitely underrated.