Yes. Yes it is.
So we figured we’d give The Weekly yet another shot on the off chance that it had somehow improved.
It has not. Oh, how it has not.
Ok, that last bit about thinking The Weekly might have improved was bullshit: we knew it hadn’t improved because it’s been going for what, close to thirty episodes now – that’s roughly as long as Shaun Micallef’s Newstopia, AKA the best Australian news satire of the 21st century until Mad as Hell started up – and it’s been exactly the same level of meh since day one. What we didn’t expect was that it would have somehow figured out a way to get worse.
To wit: this week Kitty Flanagan did a consumer watch segment about product placement and awww shit shots fired ’cause The Checkout is back in a few weeks and they don’t like people stepping on their turf so it’s on like Donkey Kong hitting a bong while playing pong. As part of this bit, she cracked one of her typically above par for The Weekly jokes and they cut to Charlie Pickering. Laughing at it.
Now yes, it’s true that Pickering’s entire career since at least Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation has largely been based on his ability to laugh at other people’s jokes. We’re sure that in the eyes of many television production executives, this ability is something to be prized and nurtured. But for fucks sake: it’s bad enough when Gruen cuts away to the audience seemingly enjoying a shitty joke when for all we know they’re laughing at something entirely different that happened two hours earlier. When you have to cut away to your host laughing at a joke – and not a surprising joke from a guest mind you, because spontaneous laughter actually is charming and fun to see, but one from a fellow cast member where presumably the joke’s at least been through rehearsals – you are making a bad show.
Blah blah blah covering up an edit blah blah. Pickering’s got one of the fakest laughs on Australian television: do you really want to deploy that to make your show look like a bunch of people amusing themselves? Do you really think that’s going to result in a funnier, more entertaining show?
Oh wait, this is The Weekly we’re talking about. Forget we even mentioned it.