Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Reworded: "The Scandal that Rocked Britain" by Wonka was a one-hour TV review focusing solely on the viral chocolate disaster.
Culture TV and Radio

Reworded: “The Scandal that Rocked Britain” by Wonka was a one-hour TV review focusing solely on the viral chocolate disaster.

This is a real documentary. I point this out because it sounds like a spoof TV listing. If you’ve glanced at the internet recently, and I mean recently, you will have seen the TikToks and Reels and memes documenting a world of less-than pure imagination (or “imagnation”, as one of the posters for the event had it), for which punters in Glasgow paid £35 a ticket. They were promised a “Willy’s chocolate factory”, but what transpired was internet infamy. They found sad Oompa Loompa-type figures, in a too-big, melancholy, cavernous old factory space, hung with limp decorations and a cardboard chocolate river, adrift in all that vastness, and the whole thing became notorious in an instant. “I am the viral Oompa Loompa,” began one of the viral videos, with hilarious solemnity.

Five minutes ago, there was a rare moment when internet users were united by something. It was so bad that it was actually funny and it quickly became a classic. The British people have always been fans of a questionable Winter Wonderland story, and the fake Wonka scandal brought joy to the world. Even American talk show hosts and news anchors were talking about it. Actress Karen Gillan even expressed interest in being part of an adaptation of the story, although she may want to think twice since there are already plans for a stage musical. Keir Starmer, a British politician, even brought it up during a parliamentary session. One would think that this would be the end of it, but Channel 5 has decided to milk it even more by creating a one-hour documentary. However, it seems to be trying too hard to explain the joke. With this trend, will we soon see a 12-episode series by Ken Burns about the Distracted Boyfriend meme?

Wonka: The Shocking Scandal in Britain treats the situation with a sense of gravity and respectability, evident from its title – were you impacted? I certainly was – to the intense music accompanying aerial shots of Glasgow, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a manhunt for a notorious villain. The sit-down interviews add to the dramatic feel, as if every person is about to confess to dark and heinous deeds. The fact that the show is stretched to an hour is a remarkable achievement, even more impressive than the original Willy Wonka. Several parents reveal that they purchased tickets for their children, taking up precious air time. A technology journalist reveals that the promotional posters are “obviously computer-generated images”. I mean, have you seen them? It’s no secret that these trippy images are not actual footage. A entertainment reporter speculates that the actors featured in the show, now gaining viral attention, could potentially profit greatly. An expert in consumer affairs discusses whether or not people were deceived and/or deceived by the event. We also hear from and about disgruntled children and frustrated parents, though some of them seem to find the situation somewhat amusing.

bypass the advertising for the newsletter

We learn about the impoverished schoolgirl who played The Unknown – a character who wore a silver mask and terrorized children from behind a mirror. We also meet an architecture student who took on the role of Willy, describing it as a place where “dreams went to die.” Despite their efforts, like the viral Oompa Loompa, they were not given much to work with. The only treat in this dismal chocolate factory was a single jelly bean, given to the perplexed children. Needless to say, it wasn’t enough to ease their disappointment. The only noteworthy aspect of this event is an exclusive interview with the organizer, Billy Coull, from the enigmatic company called House of Illuminati. He seems completely out of his depth and it’s a wonder how this event even got off the ground. “I believe people deserve an explanation,” he states gravely. We are also informed that he is not being paid for this appearance, but he doesn’t really offer any substantial information.

The documentary lacks original content without the Coull interview. It mostly features parents discussing their online videos and jokes about Instagram Reels being for outdated TikTok content. However, what does it mean for a rushed television documentary to use a lot of footage from TikTok, a platform that has already gone viral? To put it mildly, this documentary seems to exaggerate a mediocre chocolate factory experience into a major crisis, which could be seen as television’s own downfall. Watching this makes one question why they didn’t just stay online and see a young woman seriously claim to be the viral Oompa Loompa.

  • Wonka: The Scandal That Rocked Britain aired on Channel 5.

Source: theguardian.com