Week two of Yes We Canberra! was always going to be the real test. The Chaser had got rave reviews and high ratings in week one, so were bound to get a big audience for the second episode…but they’d had less time to write and film, and their stock of pre-written material was dwindling – and in some cases no longer relevant. Not that the latter has ever stopped them.
Their parody of Hawke – the much-hyped telemovie which aired more than two weeks ago – wasn’t exactly topical. Still, at least they told those boat shoe-wearers where to get off – the posh bastards!!!
There were some highlights. Chas Licciardello can always be relied upon to put together a well-researched and funny segment, and his segment with Andrew Hansen, “How To Turn This Boring Shit Into Great TV”, was an amusing and incisive look at how the commercial news media handles politics. But the much-trailed “Negotiate” song (written by Chris Taylor, sung by Hansen) felt like something we’ve seen several times before, even if it was totally new.
The other great problem with Yes We Canberra! is that it’s just a little too cosy, with politicians seemingly queuing up to play parlour games with the team. It’s all a bit of fun, of course – and yes, it can be funny – but is this actually what we want from a satire show? The Chaser should be ripping the hell out of these people, not giving them the chance to show us what jolly good sports they all are.
[Speaking of which, the real story with Chas’ doorstepping of Julia Gillard wasn’t about embarrassing her with his killer line about “cash for clunkers”, but how that young boy interrupted proceedings by asking Chas for his autograph. Remember how The Chaser couldn’t do pranks in this country anymore because too many people recognised them? That, times a million.]
So, any hopes we had that something related to this election would deservedly unite the nation have faded and The Chaser are once more delivering their usual lacklustre effort. It’s probably funnier and more entertaining than Gruen Nation, but it’s hardly what you’d chose if you had a real choice. As a metaphor for the current state of politics, where we’re all basically having to vote for the lesser of two evils, Yes We Canberra! is definitely on the money.