Gimme a Break From These Damn Kids

When I was young children’s TV occasionally dealt with the theme of children getting revenge on their parents. The gunge-happy Get Your Own Back was probably the most memorable, where disgusting brats who felt their parents had irreversibly wronged them - for trivial crimes like wearing a Wallace and Gromit tie to work - could deal sticky gungy punishment upon their birthgivers, whilst host Dave Benson Phillips ran around with his arms flailing, and screaming like a banshee.

Well this is the twenty-first century and children today have tired of gunge, (aside from a brief revival during the dark times of Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow) so instead the spoilt gnomes have decided to ruin the family holiday instead of dunking their parents in gruel. Gimme A Break, fronted by Jake Humphry, is the result.

The format works like this: The kids moan about what they don’t like about family holidays, so get to pick the rules for the next one. Not only that, but they also get to chose the destination too from a selection offered by the show. Along the way inevitable tiffs occur, when the parents contravene the quite silly rules and there is a quiz element seemingly bolted to the end. Also the kids are in charge of the budget, which was met with dismay by the parents during the episode I watched who claimed “Well we’ll have no money after the first day when you blow it all on burgers etc,” to which the kid replied: “take a chill pill mum” like a sarky precocious twat with no real idea about budgeting except that it isn’t cool. It began to sound increasingly like a chat between the Bank of England and the banking sector.

On one level the premise seems like an excuse for a cheap holiday, although inevitably one where you’re followed around by cameras every step of the way and - from the parents’ perspective – where they are subjugated to very kid friendly activities, which I’m pretty sure is what family holidays are normally geared to anyway. I know for certain me and my brother were nightmares on holiday during the disproportionately small allocated adult time. At the end of the discussion I just don’t get why parents put themselves up for these shows.

I would rather see a version of this show format where things get way out of hand, and the children start abusing their new found power, maybe by using the holiday money to buy alcohol, with their hapless parents unable to stop them. Or perhaps another situation where the kids insist on going on holiday in a war hit country like Iraq or Afghanistan. At least in this scenario the brats may realise they are lucky to go on holiday in the first place, instead of griping that their parents enjoy boring holiday activities like walking and visiting local landmarks.


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