DIRECTED BY: Chris Morris
FEATURING: Chris Morris, Mark Heap, Amelia Bullmore, David Cann, Julia Davis, Kevin Eldon, Roz McCutcheon
PLOT: “Jam” was a six episode TV series that originally aired on UK TV Channel 4. Each 25
minute episode was aired without ad breaks or credits. The show featured various “sketches” and faux interviews dealing with suicide, murder, sexual abuse, rape, child death, and medical malpractice. The whole thing was backed by occasionally intrusive ambient music and some segments were filmed or dubbed in an out of synch fashion that made them even more awkward and disturbing than the subject matter would suggest.
The show was repeated at a later hour as “Jaaam!” This variation took the original sketches and remixed the visuals to make the viewing experience more tricky and surreal with shots sped up, fed through filters and replaced with stills. Many of the sketches were born in a BBC Radio 1 very late night/early morning show called “Blue Jam” which mixed vocal skits with ambient tracks. Some of the radio sketches were taken directly from the old soundtrack and then lip synched on TV, resulting in another layer in the onion of weird that was “Jam.”
COMMENTS: To mix preserves, “Jam” is like Marmite: you’ll either love it or hate it. Allow me to give you a taster.
A couple believes their young daughter is a 45 year old man trapped in a young girl’s body, so they have the genitals of a 45 year old man grafted to her body.
A woman calls a plumber to her house to fix her dead baby. He is aghast, but she explains the baby is only 3 weeks old and they’re meant to last longer than that, and after all “it’s just pipes really.” In a throwaway comment she reveals that the father has said he will leave if she doesn’t stop “going on about the pipes.” An offer of £1000/hour convinces the plumber to give it a try, and later he takes her up to the bedroom to see his work. He’s plumbed the baby’s corpse into the heating system to make it warm and added a little tap so it will gurgle.
A couple bargaining for a house negotiate a reduction in price in return for sex sessions with the seller. When he receives a better offer, he threatens to renege on the deal, so they offer the services of the husband’s mentally disabled sister.
Some folks will have already decided that “Jam” is not for them, and I can’t really blame them. Continue reading TV CAPSULE: JAM (UK, 2000)