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|Show Name:||Yes Administrator / |
The title card of Yes Administrator
|Show Length:||30 minutes|
|Creator(s):|| Antony Jay|
|Starring:|| Paul Eddington|
|Opening Theme written by:||Ronnie Hazlehurst|
|Original Country:||United Kingdom|
|First shown:||25 February 2003|
|Number of Episodes:||198|
|This article or section may be Overly British. Americans may not understand humour, only humor. Canadians and Australians may not understand anything at all. Don't change a thing to remedy this.|
“I got caught in a quango once. Terrible business”
Yes, Administrator is a long running satirical British e-politics show, that was first transmitted by UBC TV, radio, email and text message in 2003, running up to 2005. It was then succeeded by the equally long running Yes, Bureaucrat, which continues to run up to the present day. All episodes last for half an hour each, except for the annual christmas specials, totalling 198 episodes.
Set in the harsh politcal environment of the Internet, the Series revolves around the tormentuous lives of three characters on the Administrative Affairs wikia: James (Jimmy) H4xorz, a registered user often trying to bring unusal and bright ideas to the wikia, (Sir) Humble Pie, an administrator on the Wiki, who blocks most attempts by JH to get anything done by reverting, blocking or deleting anything he considers upsetting to the status quo and Bernardo W00ly, a more amicable administrator who often finds himself torn between obeying his more senior colleague Humble Pie, who has his ear in the stewards' office, and assisting his friend Jimmy.
The original series, although relatively popular with the masses, has met little critical success, having received a paltry 8 LAFTA awards. This is most probably due to the fact that it violently attacks in its satire its target audience. It became even less popular when incumbent British Prime Administrator, Tony Blair, announced that it was his favourite program. As a consequence, the producers threatened to melt their LAFTA trophies, declaring "they're not worth the gold they're hand-crafted from!". This thinly veiled publicy stunt brought about the end of the first series. Ironically, this brought about the much more popular Yes, Bureaucrat series. The reason that the second series is more popular is heatedly debated amongst pundits, although it may be down to the naked dancing girls in the opening credits. All though a rampant urban legend, the phrase "Yes, Administrator" does not feature once in any episodes.
Through out all the episodes, the main theme is the struggle between the establishment and the new-comer, portrayed well as the clash in forums, discussion pages, user spaces and even the Administrative Affairs Wikia IRC chat room between Jimmy H4xorz and (Sir) Humble Pie. Jimmy is a mere registered user, with big ideas, whilst Humble Pie is a senior administrator on the wikia, with years of experience. Bernardo W00ly, an junior administrator, comparatively inexperienced to Humble Pie, is originally dispatched to welcome Jimmy, and ends up becoming a good friend of his. Throughout the series, Bernardo has to mediate between the two parties and ultimately strikes the balance; deciding in the outcome of each episode.
A frequent contrast between the two parties is the differing ideals and self-interested motivations. Jimmy approaches any issue from a sense of idealism and a desire to make things for the better, although ultimately he sees public confidence, popularity and recognition as his ultimate goal. One episode in particular sees Jimmy's arm twisted by Humble Pie by the offering of the User of the Month award to him. In order to achieve his objectives, he must appear as effective and responsive to trends and fashions. On the other hand, Humble Pie takes the opinion that it is the Administrators' CABAL that knows what is best for the wikia; this normally boils down to what is best for the CABAL. Humble Pie strives to maintain the position he and a privileged few enjoy.
Therefore, Jimmy feels he is tasked with the breaking down and reformation of the CABAL and Wikia, respectively, attempting to reduce bureaucracy and increasing efficiency. If he can pull this off, he will look better in front of his peers, and could be recognised as a powerful member of the community. Humble Pie, henceforth, tries to keep this publicity driven campaign as far under wraps as possible, so as to eliminate all accountability from the governance of the wikia, and to ensure the luxuries of the CABAL are not only retained but expanded.
Most of the humour found in the show (which is mainly scarce) comes from the arrising situation: The Users believe they live in a stable democracy, whilst the CABAL really runs the show. More often than not, Jimmy's 'public' announcements are wiped off the face of the wikia, never to be seen again, and Jimmy is often incarcerated in the editing Gulag for "unsound" comments.
Bernardo initially believes that he should assist Jimmy, although as his antics become more out of hand, he feels vulnerable to Humble Pie's iron fist.
Occasionally, we see Humble Pie's home life interrupt his frantic work schedule, often used to comic effect. For example, at the crucial moment when Humble Pie is about to block Jimmy for yet another "unsound" edit, his wife rings up to ask about dinner tonight - in the time it takes to book a table for two, sort out the Lobster Thermadore and find that expensive cava on the wine list, Jimmy has gotten the word out about the CABAL's latest plot. Ironically, neither Humble Pie's wife or daughter agree with his politics, often being sarcastic about his current designs. In one episode, his daughter organises a series of vandal attacks using anon IPs from Humble Pie's own home - causing much embarrassment when the checkuser results were leaked.
Humble Pie often will use long, complicated and dreary sentences, entirely unfitting with his surroundings, usually with the most cynical opinions possible. Jimmy on the contrary, tends to go on with page long speeches (or rants, depending on your POV), whilst Bernardo is quiet and succinct.
From the #Administrative_Affairs IRC Channel:
<Humble_Pie> Well it was a conversation to the effect that, in view of the somewhat nebulous and inexplicit nature of your remit, and the arguably marginal and peripheral nature of your influence on the central deliberations and decisions within the political process, there could be a case for restructuring their action priorities in such a way as to eliminate your liquidation from their immediate agenda.
<Jimmy_H4xorz> They said that?
<Humble_Pie> Well, that was the gist of it.
<Jimmy_H4xorz> Tiny mistake? 75,000 pounds wasted on unnecessary equipment! Give me an example of a big mistake." <Humble_Pie> Letting people find out about it.
The Creators placed H4xorz at the centre of the political compass, so he was not associated with any elements of the West or East parties. Nor does H4xorz show any northerly leanings, although towards the end of the second series, a sharp area of high pressure sends H4xorz displaying distinctly southerly political views. This all clears up with a sharp breeze in the afternoon anyway.
The series is clearly intended to poke fun at policies and guidelines in general, and care is taken to avoid mentioning any rule in particular. However, one notable exception is when Humble Pie explains to Bernardo in private about the retainment of the Ignore all rules policy, where he uses differing arguments respective to the mood of CABAL.
In spite of all this, the overall thrust of the episodes was in an anarchist direction, and throughout the series this worsens. The picture is painted to often show H4xorz being on the moral high ground overall, but often his antics are portrayed as questionable.
In typical Trollopian Style, certain minor, puny and unimportant characters are supposedly drawn from identifiable real world users, although this is controversial.
The original episode was produced earlier than 2003, but was released later for fear of influencing the Wikimedia Board of Trustees Election.
At this moment in the time 198 episodes have been produced, all lasting 30 minutes (in audio form) except for the annual Christmas specials, broadcasted around the easter period, which last approximately 1 hour. The episodes themselves were originally conceived to be presented in an innovative style, mimicking the format of forums and discussion pages on the internet, however, due to a lack of ratings, it was decided that a more conservative style was required. Consequently, an audio form was produced, and the show was released as a radio play. The second format, as hoped, proved to be more popular.
Yes, Administrator ran for exactly 100 episodes, crammed into one compact series. After the Christmas 2005 special, entitled "The People's Party", the series ended. A second series, called Yes, Bureaucrat immediately picked up from where the previous series ended, the only real difference being that, through a remarkable oversight, H4xorz has been promoted to an administrator, whilst Humble Pie is now a bureaucrat.
One particularly notable episode, entitled "A Musical Conundrum" surrounds the issue over the article feature process. As it December 2, Humble Pie's birthday, he decides, perhaps rather egoistically, that he will circumvent the system and place an article of his liking as the featured article. Instead of the (seemingly mundane) topic of "Pig Farming in Western Germany, and how it affects us", featuring in its place the article "Referential Promotional Marketing Systems in the Musical Industry". The latter was viewed to be of inferior quality, and had previously failed to gain community approval. The subsequent outrage convinced Jimmy H4xorz that this was a matter of serious public concern, and as a consequence, wasted time rallying for a pointless and insignificant cause, earning him both fame and the permanent mis-trust of the CABAL.
As with any dramatic production, the cast also featured a number of recurring characters, mainly from the CABAL. These included Mescaline, the CABAL Recruitment officer, Visitor, the CABALITERN Chairman, responsible for the expansion of the CABAL into other wikias and The Czar, in charge of The Department of Misinformation.
Due its particularly scathing satire, the series received little or no critical support, and out of spite, the series was only awarded 8 LAFTA awards, despite being a British production with an extremely large and unaudited expenses account.
Yes, Administrator had very little impact as no-one really listened to it, despite what this article purports to the contrary. However, it was enough to get the UBC to release the entire series onto CDs, and publish the scripts.