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10 Items or Less a Review

10 Items Or Less poster

Written by : published Thursday 25th November 2010

10 Items or Less a Review main image

The hit satire show known as "10 Items of Less" falls under the aptly named genre of "Mockumentaries". These are series which take every day events and use them to satirize the inconsistencies of modern life. It is a diversion of the standard documentary for purposes of humour. Nancy Hower is the creative genius behind the series. The star of the show is John Lehr but there are other roles for Kim Coles, Bob Clendenin, Greg Davis Jr., Jennifer Elise Cox and Christopher Liam Moore.

A scripted view of "10 Items of Less"


There is a mixture of improvisation and script when executing this comedy. John Lehr is the businessman without the "bon vivre" to make it big. He returns home to run the long suffering Greens & Grains Company after the death of his father. His chaotic approach provides wonderful opportunities for biting satire. Unfortunately the series run into problems because the humour was rather too challenging for the junk television industry. It would probably have made a great impact in the UK, where "Little Britain" was a spectacular success.
The operating method is to provide actors with an outline and then they are expected to improvise the rest. This can lead to a semi-natural look such as the one that was absolutely stunning in the Australian masterpiece of "Summer Heights High". On the other hand there can be awkward moments if the actors are not of the highest calibre. The subtlety of the show is for the true connoisseurs of comedy. Those people that are looking for canned laughter need not apply. I particularly like the fact that they have refused to go commercial on this one. This is perhaps the reason why no one has come out to commission the series.
Small town grocery stores and even large scale supermarkets provide plenty of opportunities for the ludicrous. A clever satirist need not write any script to bring out the ironies and downright silliness of our lives. In this case the removal of scripting is of the utmost importance. The actors and actresses have to possess impeccable timing in order to elicit laughter.
The incompetent but ultimately nice manager is a classic of these comedies. Likewise the clueless checking-out clerk is crucial to the story. In its fundamental outlook

"10 Items of Less"

is a successful comedy. I am not entirely sure that they pitched it to the right audience. Perhaps they could launch it in the United Kingdom for good measure. I am sure it would be well received.


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Hi my name is  Chris Ramsden, I am the creator of TheTVKing. I don't write that often but every now and again I dust off the keyboard. I tweet as @TheTVKing

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