18. Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service

Postman Pat, like Scooby Doo, is one of those programmes that people remember fondly despite it never actually being any good. Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service was an attempt to sex up the original format of ‘man delivers some letters’ with helicopters and boats and jet packs and whatever other shit a bunch of middle management dickheads wrote on a whiteboard, some time in 2008, under the heading, ‘Things Children Think Are Cool’.

Along with a profusion of new hardware, Pencaster also receives an influx of new characters, each with a different regional accent. Now, I don’t want to be rude, but Pencaster is clearly a bit of a dump, so there must be a reason for this migration to the town beyond the normal, ‘it is nice/it has good transport links/the schools are good’ scenarios. My best guess is that it is something to do with witness protection, as almost everyone we meet seems to be one of life’s natural victims, but I haven’t ruled out it being a religious cult, or a comment on the practices of London councils who offer social housing to people but only if they are prepared to move to Kidderminster.

The one thing there isn’t an increase of in Pencaster, is excitement. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Pat still does little more than deliver stuff, Jess remains the source of some of fiction’s least interesting subplots. It is just boring in a different, more complicated way.

Watching Postman Pat wang envelopes through letterboxes like a ninja throwing shuriken stars, I experienced a, ‘what the fuck am I watching?’ moment so pure, and so perfect, it was almost transformative. I realised that there was a depth, a richness, to watching grass grow that I had never fully appreciated before. I realised that paint changes hue as it dries, and that there is a wisdom to be gained from watching the change occur. I realised that boredom, true boredom, the zen of boredom, is only available in five minute portions, via the medium of an animated village, possibly situated in Cumbria, and a man who just delivers random shit to random people. A man who owns a black and white cat.

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