The Boys Are Back, The Boys Are Back In Town

And thank fuck for that, because he’s pretty much the only thing that separates The Weekly from an especially shithouse extended episode of Media Watch. And that’s on a good day: week in week out we struggle to detect any concrete difference between what Charlie Pickering does on this show and what the random chumps do on Gogglebox.

In theory the other cast members are trying, though at this stage Hard Chat is just trying to get us to buy a replacement television for the one we stomped to death during this astoundingly arse segment. Having Dave Hughes on? He’s a comedian – doesn’t that defeat the point of the segment? Oh wait, the segment defeats its own point, because the point of television is to entertain.

The Briggs mystery seems to have been solved too, because after tonight’s appearance – which makes what, three for the year? – it seems clear that they’re only going to wheel him out for a segment that directly relates to his own personal experience. So while Flanagan and Gleeson get to burble on about anything under the sun so long as they think it’s funny, the other “regular cast member” only gets on air when the show wants his perspective on something. So what were they thinking when they made him a series regular? They were going to run stories about being Aboriginal every single week? Oh ho ho ho not on a show aimed at “regular” Australians they’re not.

Ah, who cares. Wack on the news, make a bunch of shallow snide comments about it and then crack open a tinnie because that’s another week’s worth of work as Australia’s premiere political satirist done. That’s right guys, the torch has been passed:

We never thought we’d approve of a One Nation policy on anything, but stripping $600 Million out of the ABC budget seems a pretty fucking good idea to us right about now.

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  • Thug says:

    C’mon – you’re starting to sound very one-note about all this. Why the boner for Briggsy? You don’t like Charlie Pickering – we get it. Is Briggs the solution to the show’s problems? Probably not, since the guy isn’t that funny either, and isn’t even as polished in his delivery as Charlie, Kitty and Tom.

    And that’s what the show does have – average jokes delivered well by seasoned performers. Since the commercial channels are doing fuck-all in this area (I’d even be happy to see yet another iteration of Good News Week given a go somewhere I’m that desperate for decent political comedy/satire these days), and we unfortunately can’t have ‘Mad as Hell’ 50 weeks of the year (wouldn’t that be paradise?!) then yes, I’ll continue to watch The Weekly and you know what, I do get a laugh or two out of it. Brilliant TV it is not, but some of their jokes outstrip any of the “comedy” you try and shoe-horn into your rants on this site!

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    And you were doing so well until you said “you can’t do better”…

    Briggs isn’t great with his delivery (he was definitely rusty this episode but it’s not like he’s getting much practice), but at least he’s something different. The problem with The Weekly isn’t just that it’s average, but that it’s consistently happy to remain below average.

    Gleeson is the worst performer on the show and he’s often on twice an episode; Hard Chat is now totally pointless yet now it’s a regular. It’s lazy television presented by a host with very little to be lazy about and even in the current grim climate for topical comedy we think – and it sounds like you do too – that audiences deserve better.

  • Thug says:

    Hey, this wouldn’t be the internet if there wasn’t something a bit snide in every comment below the line!

    And yes, this is a comment blog, not a comedy blog, so perhaps I shouldn’t hold your jokes to the same standard as what a national broadcaster should be able to produce. I guess I’m just one of those people who think a restaurant review is probably better if it come from a chef, than if it comes from some wanker who just likes eating out a lot. Of course, I don’t know which you are!

    Anyway, kudos for letting my comment through, even if you thought I was being narky. But to the topic in hand…

    I just did a bit of Googling and it seems that The Weekly generally scores around 500k in the ratings, which probably means ABC management is happy and nobody is pressuring anybody to do anything better. With the budgets ABC shows are given there’s probably not a lot more than can do anyway. (And stripping money out to placate Pauline certainly isn’t the answer.)

    It just seems you’re down on The Weekly because of a personal dislike of Pickering. Occasionally throwing in a “they could be so much better” doesn’t amount to much of a review given it could be said for pretty much anything, plus it doesn’t recognise the reality of the situation which is that there are limits on most things in this world. The Weekly certainly can’t move into “Last Week Tonight” or “Daily Show” type areas with the budget they’re on, and maybe they don’t want to or like that comparison anyway.

    I generally like the reviews and the general chat here. You’ve put me on to one or two interesting things I didn’t know about, and that’s the main reason I hang out here. But when it starts to sound like you’re just harping on because of a personal dislike of someone… well, then it’s time for some below-the-line snarkiness!

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    On the subject of budgets, there’s loads of no budget comedy that’s miles better than The Weekly. But The Weekly is just lazy work by guys happy to coast. They’re at the peak of their careers and they don’t have the energy of someone with something to prove or the interest in exploring comedy of someone like Micallef who keeps pushing it. Pickering hasn’t changed his act in five years, and it wasn’t that good an act when Wil Anderson was doing it.

  • simbo says:

    I must admit I am kinda surprised that you’re still doing weekly reviews of the Weekly because … well, you have bugger all new and interesting to say about it each week. It’s rehashed hatred. And yes, Pickering is equally as lazy, but … fark, don’t you want to be better than that?

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    We’d love to review another new Australian comedy program currently broadcast regularly on free-to-air television. If you could point one out for us, that’d be great.

  • simbo says:

    Actually, you haven’t talked Catcam yet. And given, well, it’s had Tony Martin on it, I would have thought you’d be all over it.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    You’re showing your age there, Simbo – we haven’t discussed Tony Martin in well over two years.