A lesson in mocking the afflicted

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
The Nineties so far have seen an enormous growth in the business of meta-television - TV that's about TV and nothing else. And here comes Peter Richardson's The Glam Metal Detectives (9pm BBC2). About 20 minutes of each show is a channel-hopping parody of satellite TV, sandwiched around instalments in the adventures of the Glam Metal Detectives themselves.

The first story begins with a female voice telling the Glammers: "Your mission is to save this planet's ecology with your top hit records." But before they can even begin, their lead guitarist, Sara, is cunningly replaced with a robot controlled by the evil Rolston Brocade, in a bid to break up the band.

This is all very funny and stupid. The band play ridiculous perspex guitars, and it goes down like a cross between Spinal Tap and Batman. But all too soon it's gone, to make way for more telly satire.

The first thing you think is that satellite TV is a pointlessly easy target. Unlike the news media's self-important blusterings, so brilliantly pricked by The Day Today, satellite knows it's rubbish. The best joke on offer here is a voice-over from the Nature channel: "This is a close- up beaver shot."

Listen: it's the sound of someone cracking a nut with a five-megaton thermonuclear device. The Glam Metallers themselves are great, it's just a shame they have to keep such witless company.