Right on Adam and Hannah

Daryl’s been Facebooking again

There is a chance of something happening in the second half of the year but sadly nothing definitive. And if we did return it would probably not be on a Saturday as according to Nine the “economics” don’t stack up: not enough people watching TV generally on a weekend compared to mid week viewing, therefore revenue verses the cost of mounting a two hour variety show like ours does not work. They can make more profit with a cheaper program.

…and none of it’s exactly news. Clearly if Live From Planet Earth keeps sucking Nine will need a replacement, but as Daryl should be only too aware, that replacement may not be Hey Hey It’s Saturday (or any of those shows he’s got “in development”). Nor should it be. His Facebook fans might have been watching but everyone else turned-off in droves.

Meanwhile, a show not so dissimilar to Hey Hey made its debut a few nights ago and did pretty well. In Gordon Street Tonight combined all those magic ingredients that Daryl Somers said we all wanted to see on our screens: live music, international and local guests, comedy, stunts, audience interaction, and social media as part of the show. The main difference between IGST and Hey Hey is that the newcomer did it a million times better.

Adam Hills is a likeable, funny guy and a solid host. His sidekick, Hannah Gadsby, was allowed to be funny, not just cut to whenever they needed some live tweets read out (although she did a good job there too). The show’s use of social media was clever and worthwhile, and those who joined in, whether they were Ross Noble mucking around on Skype or Adam Hill’s Twitter followers sending-in TwitPics, came up with some funny stuff.

The In Gordon Street Tonight team also realised the fatal flaw with a lot of variety shows – that if the show’s too reliant on the mix of guests people won’t tune in if the guests don’t interest them – so they created a format and an atmosphere where the guests weren’t the focus of the show, they just had to join in the fun. And that idea of researching the studio audience and involving them in some lo-fi Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush-esque stuff was quite fun too.

What was most exciting about the show, though, was that it reworked a grab-bag of tried and tested TV and online elements and gave them a genuinely fresh spin. You also get the sense that there’s plenty more to come – the show’s so open that anything could happen (although hopefully they won’t introduce a serial about pop stars living together any time soon). This is the complete opposite to Daryl Somer’s approach to television, where everything follows a predictable formula and looks about a billion years old. Somers should keep that in mind as his production company slaves away on those ideas in development.

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5 Comments

  • jd says:

    what gets me about this blog is not what the writer dislikes which I largely concur with, but what he/she likes.

    I watched the same show and nodded off so safe, mediocre and been there done that was the format. The host is similarly inoffensive, not usually a good recipe for laughter.

    Ditto to the reviews for Whatever happened to that Guy, the general veneration for Shaun Micallef and a litany of other sins.

    I think the problems lays in trying to find something positive to say about Australian TV humour. It’s a forlorn task I’m afraid.

  • jd says:

    seems like you can dish it but you can’t take it

  • Bean Is A Carrot says:

    No, we’re just a bit slow to approve comments some times.

    Anything positive we say on this blog we mean. The same applies to anything negative we say. We also explain as best we can why we’ve said what we’ve said. If you disagree with what we’ve said about any particular show or comedian feel free to leave a comment on the appropriate post.

    The point of this particular piece is that Daryl Somers is right that people want a funny, entertaining variety show, but wrong that Hey Hey is that show. Watching IGST it occured to me that it’s quite similar to Hey Hey, but done heaps better – largely because it doesn’t feel like something from the 70s. I genuinely found IGST it to be a good light entertainment programme. Groundbreaking it ain’t, but it does what it intends to do extremely well.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    You’ll love our upcoming review of the second series of The Jesters then.

  • jd says:

    the jesters, cmon are you for real?? i suffered (really it was torture) through 2 episodes of the first season and couldn’t go on, so bad was it. Truly rubbish. 30 seconds was less painful and that was absolute tripe.

    noone in the rest of the english speaking world would put up with crap comedies we put out, not even the canadians and they’ve got some crap ones themselves. the problem is Australians have this misconception that they have a wonderful sense of humour.