Kate Langbroek, Ryan Fitzgerald, Megan Gale

Dicko sacking himself was going to get attention simply for the absurdity of the concept. Casting to replace him was going to be key, and adding management stable mate Chrissie Swan was, in the end, an obvious choice – but would the selection draw viewers? Can Of Worms is back, and with Chrissie at the helm it’s delivering an extra helping of topical and intelligent TV.

Swan was at her relaxed best behind the CoW host’s desk and drove the show with a deft and gentle touch, belying the fact it was her first run doing so. Dan Ilic also returned though this time in a dual role – taking on the now absent Meshel Laurie’s ‘statistics and social media interaction’ tasks as well as his ‘guy on the street’ persona from the first season. I’m not convinced seating him at a special podium in front of the audience is the best way to include him (why not just give him a seat or set on the side?), but it’s where he sits for now.

It didn’t hurt that the first three guests are friends of Swan outside of the show – and warmth between the host and Kate Langbroek, Megan Gale and Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald was obvious and charming (the nicknames were a sweet touch). A great way to settle any first show nerves by having your mates along for the ride.

The kicker for a show like CoW is the guests being willing to honestly share their opinions and their being prepared to own/defend them when presented with the various conundrums/’worms’. The discussion during “Is 13 too young to be a model” was insightful and even more topical given Gale’s involvement and her long history as a model, and Langbroek’s obvious love and concern for her family shone through in the hypothetical situation put to her. All three guests and Swan offered good humour at appropriate times and were also able to remain sharp and on topic during the serious discussion.

No question it’s up against some big guns in the ratings (Underbelly on Ch9 and the back half of The X Factor Australia on Ch7) and while it can be considered to be “Q&A lite” it more regularly delivers interesting and engaging conversation than it’s stiff-collared ABC counterpart – though the on-screen publishing of tweets and facebook comments does offer the same level of competitive social media sport.

With Chrissie Swan as host it will connect with a broad audience who will easily be welcomed into the show and more likely to stay around for the conversation, and the quality of the conundrums will engage and be the talking points of the show for the following couple of days.

Welcome back, Can Of Worms – you’re looking mighty fine.

Can Of Worms – Mon 8:30pm, Ch10.