If you want to sink the boots into I Rock – and it’s an Australian show, so who doesn’t – it seems that attacking its credibility is the way to go. We’ve already had this review pointed out to us; Helen Razer takes a similar tack in the latest Australian Rolling Stone. Only problem is, last time I watched an episode of I Rock, the word “documentary” didn’t seem to appear anywhere. And if someone passed a law saying that all comedy dealing with a subculture had to accurately reflect that subculture… well, we’d better get those Hogan’s Heroes repeats off the air quick-smart.
Sure, you can get laughs and plenty of them from really going into a subject in depth. It sure worked for Frontline. But to pull an example out of nowhere, no-one sane attacked Fraiser for not accurately replicating the working conditions of a radio psychiatrist. I’m guessing most nuclear power plants aren’t like the one Homer Simpson works in, most party hire outfits aren’t like the one in Party Down, most community colleges aren’t like the one in Community, very few law firms resemble Welcher & Welcher in the slightest, and, well, hopefully you get the idea.
I Rock’s real problem is that the niche it so clearly should be occupying – the “yoof TV” drama slot – no longer exists. So, like pretty much every other show these days that isn’t a flat-out super-serious drama, it gets labeled “comedy”. Not “documentary”, mind you and not “re-enactment” either.
So if you’re going to sink the boots into I Rock, how about pointing out that the entire cast – with the possible exception of the feisty lesbian – can’t seem to act? Or that the last thing anyone needs is yet another show built entirely around an annoying, self-centered prick? Or that, for a show labeled comedy, there seems to be a remarkable lack of jokes past having the lead piss people off? Why is it so difficult to simply dismiss the show on the basis that, for all the effort that’s gone into making it, very little effort seems to have gone into trying to make it funny?
No doubt it’s annoying for people working in the music biz to see the reality of their situation misrepresented yet again. But it’s even more annoying for the rest of us to see yet another ABC “comedy” series that turns out to be little more than a vanity project for the writer / producer / star where said star simply acts like a dickhead and expects everyone else to laugh. It’s as if the entire spectrum of comedy has shrunk down to one tiny sub-Office point. And this is coming from someone who actually likes The Librarians.
I Rock is instantly forgettable, totally unconvincing, only marginally entertaining and packed to the ceiling with clichés and banal observations that bare little relation to reality. All of which comes a distant second to the fact that it’s simply not very funny. Around these parts, that’s all that counts.