Nice looking but dull, that’s how you might describe Rove McManus; it’s also not a bad description of his chat show Rove LA, which finished up the other night. Normally on this blog we wouldn’t bother with a chat show, but as this one had a fair bit of comic pretension and represents a very large percentage of Foxtel’s original comedy output for this year (the rest of it was local remakes of Balls of Steel and You Have Been Watching– way to go, Pay TV!) we felt it was worth noting.
Rove LA wasn’t a terrible chat show. It had decent guests, the host was pleasant to them, they participated in some segments and there were some laughs – look and learn, A Night With The Stars – it’s more that McManus failed to bring anything genuinely interesting out of any of the people on his sofa, or to get big laughs from any of his comedic schtick.
The wacky segments seemed influenced by British shows like The Graham Norton Show (and it’s possibly worth noting that Rove LA was produced by UK company Avalon Television), but the show didn’t seem to have any of the “out there” daring you get from the Poms. At least when Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year went to meet some crazy dog owners one of them pretended to be a dog, in Rove LA all Rove could manage was some mugging to camera as the obsessed owner showed him a wardrobe full of canine dress-up clothes.
Rove LA was slicker than Rove Live, but the same basic problem with Rove as a personality was still there: he’s just dull. And by transporting him to a town where it’s controversial to say anything that’s even slightly negative about another star, you basically compound the problem.
But what does it matter? Rove McManus’ ambitions lie in the US, and Rove LA is basically him killing time and fluffing up his showreel until Hollywood gives him a show. There will be another series next year, apparently.