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 conversations within the team as the baiting between teams. Denton is smart enough to hold court but let them all go at it while keeping the show on track. The competition isn’t just contained within the episodes – each team’s score stands over the series and the winner of the series is the team with the highest cumulative score throughout, so it’s about each team’s long game, not just the gags they can offer in this episode.
Those that choose to dismiss Randling as a poor imitation of Spicks and Specks (which it’s very clearly not) have missed the point. Not all television is about disengaging your mental state and vegetating in front of the glowing screen for half an hour. Some TV, like Randling, demands your attention and you benefit so much more from watching with your brain in first gear. Invest in Randling and it won’t let you down.
Welcome back Andrew Denton. We missed you.