Nathan Barley played by Nicholas Burns is a webmaster, guerrilla filmmaker, screenwriter, DJ and in his own words, a "self-facilitating media node". He is convinced he is the epitome of urban cool, and therefore secretly terrified he might not be, which is why he reads Sugar Ape magazine, his bible of cool. Sugar Ape has been described as a spoof of Dazed & Confused and Vice, although Brooker has stated that "the SugarApe "Vice" issue from Ep5 wasn't an assault on Vice magazine — I think it just (understandably) ended up looking that way".
The website consists of stupid pranks caught on camera, photos of him with attractive women and famous figures (some of them digitally edited to insert himself), and photos of him standing on street corners in major cities around the world.
The humour derives from the rapid rise of both the Internet and digital television, and the assumption by publishers and broadcasters that almost any such work is worthy of attention. Barley and his peers are often hired ahead of actual journalists and talented writers trying to make intelligent points, such as the earnest documentary film maker Claire Ashcroft, and her brother Dan Ashcroft, a jaded, opinionated and apathetic hack who, having written an article for Sugar Ape entitled "The Rise of the Idiots", is appalled to find that "the idiots" in question – Nathan and his contemporaries – have adopted him as their spiritual leader, failing to see that they are the very people he was criticising.
My Wrongs #8245–8249 & 117 is the first film by Chris Morris, starring Paddy Considine as a mentally disturbed man taking care of a friend's Doberman Pinscher (named Rothko, and voiced by Morris) while she's away. The dog talks to him and convinces the nameless protagonist that he is on trial for everything he's done wrong in his life, and the dog is his lawyer. Unfortunately, the dog tends to make things worse for him, and the man's life falls further into disrepair.
This was the first film by Warp Films, an imprint of popular Britishrecord labelWarp Records. It was released on DVD in 2003, on a region 0, PAL disc. The disc featured a false commentary track, among other bonuses. The packaging included a handwritten list of various wrongs committed by the protagonist, although one would have to destroy the case to read them all. The title comes from this tendency of the protagonist to record his sins: the film depicts numbers 8245–8249 in the timeline, and number 117, which was an unguarded comment made as a small boy, in a flashback.
In 2003, the film won a BAFTA for best short film.
The short film was based on a monologue from Chris Morris' earlier radio programme Blue Jam, and was attempted as a sketch in the television adaptation Jam. The sketch didn't work for undisclosed reasons in Jam, but very short clips were edited into the TV series (there are small sections before the last sketches in episodes 1 and 6, showing the man running after the dog, with the leash around his neck).
Network Awesome - Tue, Sep 8 Let's spend a day with Chris Morris!