Andrew Harrison channels Dan Ashcroft on the 10 year anniversary of the debut of Charlie Booker’s Nathan Barley:
From cereal cafes to breakfast raves to adult ball pools, from TV shows like Sex Box to newspaper features about the “meaning” of the Man Bun hairdo to inexplicable online phenomena like Ello, our world has been Barleyed. It is uncanny. Created as a comic figure, Nathan has become an insult and a signifier and maybe even – here’s the frightening part – a role model. At 10 years’ remove the show seems less a comedy and more a documentary about the future.
“Back when we were shooting it,” says the actor Nicholas Burns, who played Nathan, “I remember one producer saying, ‘This show will date terribly. In three or four years it’ll look awful.’ But watching it again, you see how prescient it was. It really is the world we live in now. A friend who lives in Dalston told me they saw someone riding a penny farthing the other day. It’s unbelievable really.”
Great piece, though I think the hipster hate angle is overplayed. However tiresome I find artisan mustache wax, I’m much more suspicious of the Banana Republic clad 30 and 40 somethings with inexplicably huge bar tab budgets now overrunning inner Portland than I am of the bearded hipster scene these days.