01/09/2014

ABC3 brings the Smackdown (Games)

ABC3 Smackdown Games - Kayne Tremills & Paul Verhoven

Again ABC3 have done something incredibly entertaining that, unless you've got young kids, will have gone largely unappreciated - the ABC3 Smackdown Games. For the fourth time ABC3 presenter Kayne Tremills invited a bunch of his mates over for an Australia Day BBQ that involves a bit of fun that inevitably leads to a bit of sport getting out of hand... This year being a series of games instead of the usual tennis or beach cricket or soccer. Sure, they're competitive, but they're also caricatures of themselves that allow the assembled throng to turn it up for their audience. And somehow something is always blown up. Studio 3 regulars James Elmer, Amberley Lobo, Joel Phillips, Olivia Phyland, Scott Tweedie and Tremills, along with Good Game SP's Stephanie "Hex" Bendixen and Stephen "Bajo" O'Donnell have proven the scripted chaos of … [Read more...]

Shaun Micallef’s Funny As Hell (#MadAsHell @MadAsHellTV)

Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell

WARNING: May contain rampant fanboyism. Shaun Micallef is back, and reinforcing the popular view that he deserves a much more regular spot on our screens than once a week. Mad As Hell is entertaining, insightful, distractingly hilarious, obtuse and everything we've come to expect from the man who's been anointed as "Australia's own Jon Stewart". The writing team have delivered Micallef the perfect platform for his absurdist humour, while allowing political commentary and news opinion in rapid fire succession. From making statement about both sides of politics to his turn as Kevin Rudd in a fake ABC ad during the show, to his one on one "interviews" with other cast members including Roz Hammond, Emily Taheny and oft-included sparring partner Francis Greenslade, Micallef drops gags like most of us drop the soap in the shower. The … [Read more...]

Something to Randling about (#Randling @RandlingHQ)

Randling

Randle. n. “A nonsensical poem recited by Irish schoolboys as an apology for farting at a friend.” Andrew Denton was never going to return to our screens for "just some show". It had to be special, it had to be different. Randling is certainly special and different - it's just not a show you can sit down and mentally switch off to watch. The best parts of the show are that it makes you think. An intelligent host, intelligent guests and parlour games based around words - let's face it, it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. But for those that choose to hang in and be entertained there's some comedy gold in both the games and the asides from all concerned. The first episode pitched the West Coast Odd Sox (Merrick Watts & Annabel Crabb) against the Southern Furies (Julia Zemiro & Michael Williams) and much of the fun was in the … [Read more...]

Farewell Good News Week (#GNW @realGNW)

Good News Week

And so, it has come to this... Good News Week has come and gone before. It's even flipped networks from ABC1 (back then, just the plain old ABC) to Channel 10 (who axed it, then brought it back when the US writer's strike did havoc with their schedule). It's appeared in differing formats - Good News Weekend, GNW Night Lite, & Good News World - and saw hundreds of local and overseas comedic and music acts, as well as actors and politicians, sit behind it's various desks and partake in some of the most bizzare parlour games on TV. Given the support it offered many comedians (for some like Wil Anderson it was the first regular TV gig he got before scoring the hosting role on The Glass House) it was fitting that the final show was taped in front of a live audience at the Melbourne Town Hall as a part of the 2012 Melbourne International … [Read more...]

The Hamster Wheel

The Hamster Wheel

As expected it was fast-paced, uncompromising in it's shredding of it's targets, and full of bizarre phony twitter references. Above all it was funny and a delivered cold, hard truth across a much deserving Australian political landscape. Welcome back to The Chaser and thank you for The Hamster Wheel. Hosted by the usual 5 we see on screen - Chris, Craig, Julian, Chas & Andrew - many described the show as "what media watch should be", admittedly with a few more sketches and laughs. The usual suspects were set for their special brand of scathing attacks: Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott (including a sketch "Go Back To Where Tony Abbott Came From" parodying the earlier refugee series on SBS), Andrew Bolt, Channel 9, Channel 10, Rupert Murcoch, et al. Delivering some very quick comment on many of the issues we've seen covered at length over … [Read more...]

The joy of the Joy of Sets (#JoyOfSets)

Ed Kavalee & Tony Martin - The Joy Of Sets

In the middle of "Chuck Lorre appreciation night" on Channel 9, a new show surfaced heralding the long-awaited return of it's two hosts to television. Yet still it managed to include Warwick Capper. Finally released to the public, the new Tony Martin/Ed Kavalee vehicle The Joy Of Sets slid onto television screens last night and into 2011's collective pop-culture references by filling the show with it's own. The show was suitably light-hearted with just the right amount of pisstake and self-deprication while still rolling gags and progressing the show's storyline. Each week Ed and Tony will take viewers through the various mechanisims required to make a good TV show, starting in the first ep with the opening credits. All manner of shows were digested and parodied while still discussing the various forms of openers and the methods and … [Read more...]

At Home With Julia

At Home With Julia

I worried about At Home With Julia when I first read the press release. The premise sounded naff. I need not have worried, as in seeing the first episode - it's actually quite good. While Amanda Bishop's Prime Minister Julia Gillard was a little over played, it was the subtlety of Phil Lloyd's Tim Mathieson that stole the show. Entirely underplayed, an innocent amidst a world of political posturing and a man oft forgotten in the process. He longs for some time with his special woman, and too much gets in the way. This is his story much more than it is the PM's. In the first episode, we were introduced to the Independents - Bob Katter (Drew Forsythe), Tony Windsor (Peter Carmody) & Rob Oakeshott (Jim Russell) - all three portrayed in a manner so freakishly true to public perception it's disturbing (Forsythe's Katter especially). I'm … [Read more...]

#HamishAndAndy start their #GapYear

Hamish and Andy start their Gap Year

Channel 9 have been playing the promos ad nauseum, and I'm pretty sure we'd all heard enough of Hamish's poor rendition of "New York, New York". Finally tonight we saw the start of what Hamish and Andy are spending all the reported money on, as the first and 10th last episode of Hamish and Andy's Gap Year hit our collective small screens. For the badly sung intro to the 'shabby shabby' set (there wasn't anything chic about it), it was pure Hamish and Andy cheekiness, Traxedos included. Light, inoffensive fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. Firmly in the nature of all their recent TV work and entirely reflective of their once a week radio show. How did first time viewers know they have a radio show? They mentioned it at least 6 times across the hour. Tough habit to break I guess. The show was unapologetically their schtick and … [Read more...]

@ChrisLilley’s very #AngryBoys delivers

Angry Boys Delivers

I've felt of late that Angry Boys went on for a couple more episodes than I thought it should have. Particularly through the middle I thought that some of the story for the many characters played by Chris Lilley didn't seem congrous or even necessary to progress the over-arching narrative. Boy, did that sound wanky. SPOILER ALERT - the following dicusses the final episode of Angry Boys, so if you've not seen it and don't want to know, stop reading now and come back later. The final episodes of a Lilley series are always special. There's always a distinct resolution, even if it's the one you weren't expecting. From the outset there was no way - NO WAY - the legends were ever coming to a little South Australian dot on the map called Dunt. The opening scene with Daniel lamenting as much to camera was expected, but importantly the party … [Read more...]

Losers in weight loss, winners in love

110218-MikeAndMolly-Title

From the makers of Two and a Half Men - this phrase sends me on a hunt for the remote to change channel away from the show as if my life depended on it (and in the case of TAAHM, it does). However Mike & Molly is something a little bit more special. It's actually funny. It is your standard US two camera sitcom. 3-4 sets per show, a total speaking cast of no more than 8 with two central characters and their respective 'teams'. That it is built on the fact that Mike and Molly are obese means it could go into some very dangerous gag territory (and sometimes it does), yet the show's writers manage to balance a very fine line ensuring the audience empathise and want to support the leads is what makes it work. Fat people aren't popular, least of all on television - unless they are the comedic relief. Perhaps it's recognition that the … [Read more...]