We’re big fans of Tony Martin, Ed Kavalee and Get This ‘round here, so it pains us to admit that we’ve been a bit disappointed by The Joy of Sets. The first episode was a good start, but things have been patchy since then, and the ratings dip that led Channel 9 to bump the show to 10.30pm seems to indicate that we’re not the only ones who’ve been a little underwhelmed by the series. But hey, at least it’s still on air.
So, what went wrong? We pointed out in our review of episode one that the show had some pacing problems, specifically that Tony and Ed seemed to be trying to cram too much in to the 22 minutes or so they had available. A few episodes later and that’s sort of been fixed, but there’s still a lot of time taken up with exposition, chummy back ‘n’ forths and those almost pointless mystery guests. And that’s a bit of a shame because this format doesn’t really play to Martin and Kavelee’s strengths, which as we saw in Get This were sketches, piss-farting around, and long, slow build-ups to gags which will run and run. When we’ve seen this sort of thing in The Joy of Sets it’s generally been in the form of pre-recorded sequences or the in-studio sketches, such as the Masterchef/glass of water sketch in episode 2, the title sequence recreations in episode 1, Tony’s speech to the jury in last night’s show, or Warwick Capper’s various cameos. These have been the highlights of the show, perhaps there should be more of these?
A number of Get This fans who got studio audience tickets to The Joy of Sets have pointed out that the recordings were really good, and that lots of funny material was cut out. That’s a shame, obviously, but those of us watching at home have to judge the show on what makes it to air – and sometimes that’s been a bit meh.
So, while by no means a disaster, The Joy of Sets is a disappointment, particularly when you consider what it could have been like. The Bazura Project, which premiered a week after The Joy of Sets, is roughly the same sort of show (except its about film), but miles better. Hosts Shannon Marinko and Lee Zachariah set a fast pace, and have crammed their show with sketches, fun facts and gags – and the heart and soul they’ve put into making it simply oozes from the screen.
We’re not writing off The Joy of Sets – there are a few more episodes to go, it’s is definitely improving, and a second series would probably be amazing – but for getting it right straight-out-of-the-blocks, The Bazura Project is by far the better program.