COMMENT: The more things change, the more they stay the same

David Oliver.
David Oliver.

Youtube, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Through the Xbox or on a tablet or phone.

What happened to balancing on a chair, proffering a twist of metal into an awkward corner of the room and trying to make out silhouettes in the ‘snow’ as the signal faded in and out? Television has changed and so have I – and I sound older than 33 (Yes, I probably look it too).

But while the ways and means of watching have changed quite a bit over the past two decades, the characters are the same as those I watched – only a little different.

Take Mr Bean. Comedy gold. A timeless character with an enduring comedy that is still funny now as it was then.

Son #2 loads up vintage Rowan Atkinson through Amazon and supplements the real-life Bean with the animated series on one of the kids’ channels.

He’s also working his way through all the Mr Men books and watching them on terrestrial TV – I remember my aunt handing down some of HER pocket-sized Roger Hargreaves books when I was wee.

Even the hyperactive plumber Mario (who is the same age as me by the way, only better with a spanner and with better facial hair) is still captivating a new generation – only they’re watching his escapades controlled by other experts on Youtube.

The characters are living on, and faring a lot better than the likes of me who watched them, and are dealing with the technology – and revelling in it, better than I am too.

For while one is sharing in the characters of my childhood, the other is rolling his eyes at my attempts on his Xbox. But I bet you there’s no Fortnite in 20 years time, and Mr Bean trying to escape a car park in his Mini will STILL be funny.