After skewering YouTubers, the comic’s quick-witted mockumentary returns to take aim at the ecosystem around online celebrities
Pls Like (BBC Three) has a problem: how do you spoof the unspoofable? The quick and quick-witted mockumentary, written by and starring Liam Williams, spent two series teasing YouTubers and the like, but now, in the age of TikTok, you have to wonder how it will manage to make comedy out of something with such a rapid turnover. To spend 10 minutes on TikTok is to be bombarded with gags and jokes and memes and viral trends that either refuse to make sense as a point of principle, or only make sense if you know the galaxy of stuff that went before it.
Williams has made a smart choice here, by focusing on the influencer industry – with the emphasis on industry – as much as he does on the surreal, rapid-fire humour of the influencers themselves, although he does have plenty of fun with that, too. After the first two series, “greying millennial” Williams (the Pls Like character, not the real one) has decided to reinvent himself, moving away from documenting vlogging culture into the more demanding field of political films, with the ultimate goal of making a feature film called Squad Coals. However, there is not quite the audience he anticipated for his no doubt visceral work on John Prescott, so he attempts to figure out how he himself can become an influencer and get people to pay attention to his serious art.