So, Nice has made it to air and we finally got to see the context in which that duet of “Islands in the Stream” sits: Myf Warhurst realised that her childhood was shaped by a love for music and a love for love duets, and so she uses that as an excuse to go and talks to others whose lives were also defined and shaped by their love for music. There’s a bit of social history and a few long bows drawn (Chantal Cantouri won that Logie because she rebelled against her parents and went to see The Beatles when they came to Adelaide? Umm…), but as per the title of the show it’s all good, wholesome, feel good hits and memories.
Or is it? Because like a lot of nice things – Belgian chocolate, expensive wine, lounging by a pool reading Viz – it’s also a fair bit self-indulgent. Here’s the problem as we see it: Myf Warhurst has seen all those “a comedian looks at…” shows and thought she’d give it a try. She’s an ordinary Australian who’s had some experiences, experiences which many other ordinary Australians have had too. Tick! It’s relatable. Also, she’s got a childhood diary and a brain which remembers things that happened to her ages ago, and as anyone who’s seen comedy in the past couple of decades can tell you, stories from people’s childhoods are an absolute cack. Bang! We’ve got a show!
Except…when a comedian reads out extracts from their childhood diaries they take the piss out of them, by mocking the weird theories they had as kids for example. In Nice, the diary entries and memories are used simply as an excuse for Myf to duet with her heroes. You could argue that Lawrence Leung, Judith Lucy, John Safran and all the other comedians who’ve made this sort of show haven’t always succeeded in turning their pasts in to comedy gold, but their intentions were most certainly to do so. Myf Warhurst’s intentions were to, well, we’re not entirely sure a lot of the time. She seemed to be trying to have it a lot of ways, resulting in a show which didn’t really satisfy anyone.
Next week Nice looks at the food we ate all those years ago in the 70s and 80s. Join Myf Warhurst as she chats to Peter Russell Clarke, Matt Preston and the Chicko Roll girl. Oh, and she also gets to be the Chicko Roll girl too, but not in a funny way, just in the way that most people dressing up in those tiny shorts would…so that’s kinda pointless.
Meanwhile, proper comedies with scripts by people who are actually pretty talented get turned down every other week. But don’t worry comedy fans, someone from Agony Uncles will soon discover an old sporting trophy and manage to spin that into a 6 parter. Hooray! Wednesday nights on ABC1 are saved!