One of the major criticisms of the show from it’s first episode last week was that it didn’t seem to know what it was doing, or what the guests were supposed to do. Dropping the ‘warm up’ game from the format and entering pretty much straight into the first worm helped – particularly as the promos tend to warm the audience up by prepping them for the controversy. That everyone knew what to expect made it a much easier launching pad, and the selection of guests in Don Burke, Jessica Rowe and Tom Ballard really helped the conversation (though all three agreeing on the first topic may have stalled any other show, save the amazingly complex contradiction that is Burke).
The infographics stayed, the inclusion of Dan Ilic working the general public staying was very funny (who would you perfer to hug: a Wilderness Society Koala, Darth Vader, or a person in a Burqa?), the Moral Minefield jostled along well adding plenty of lively conversation.
That the team this week included tweets and facebook statements live over the broadcast helped with the interactivity (I still think running CoW live would be the a great adrenaline rush for a Monday night) even though the show was recorded on Sunday afternoon. It showed the production team aren’t declaring CoW a finished product, rather a fluid work in progress that, for mine, has well hit it’s mark and is delivering even stronger now after only two shows.
I liked that they kept the “what have you learnt” at the end of the show, but understandably dropped the CoW medal, leaving Jason Akermanis as the sole recipient. Probably fair enough. The opinions of the guests are where it works – opening up their heads and having them share what they think (and really think, if they’re game) is the gold we’re all seeking. Don Burke will have curled many toes of any ladies over 60 who may have been watching with his language, however he proved to be an insight into Australian culture. And all over the place. And bloody funny. As was Ballard, and Rowe. And that’s why tonight worked – all the guests shared, jeered, laughed, delivered opinion and stepped up to their respective marks.
Australia, we need to talk. Regularly. Every Monday night. It’s worth it. Can Of Worms is well on it’s way to locking itself into the psyche of TV watching Aussies in a way that it can help shift and shape thought on many a public debate, and could very quickly surpass Q & A and the mortgage it used to have on that.
Just so long as Ch10 don’t “rest” the show to drop The Renovators in… that’ll not be good for anyone.