Television made on a weekly basis has a tendency to revert to the mean; there just isn’t enough time to make big changes every single week. But that doesn’t explain The Weekly‘s refusal to stick with any changes at all even when the basic version of the show is crap. Was it only last week that we stupidly suggested that maybe this year might see some positive changes? We’re in an abusive relationship here and we just keep on coming back.
Obviously some of our sour mood this week comes from failing to realise that this week was always going to arrive. Sure, we like Judith Lucy a lot, but the version of her segment where she “interviews” some poor sap by turning up and has an abusive meltdown in front of them is pretty much our least favourite version of her segment. Was that on this week’s episode? Sure was!
Meanwhile, Luke McGregor did roughly the same thing he did last week, only now it’s just that little bit clearer that making intentionally crap explainers should possibly be left to the experts. Remember Ryan Shelton? His segments on Rove a thousand years ago showed how to do this kind of thing right, which is why they’ve been completely forgotten today. Australian comedy: 50 years of classic gear to rip off and we’re still stuck on remaking Kingswood Country.
Something else that made an unwelcome return is the “international correspondent”, which is code for some overseas comedian you’ve never heard of turning up to do a meandering five minutes via satellite. This week’s star performer was dimly related to some slightly notable figure in US governance, which is all we remember about her and we only remember that because Pickering mentioned it twice, including as his very first question to her. What, Ronald Reagan’s great-grandkids weren’t available to do some knock-knock jokes?
Then again, Pickering’s own segment was on the hilarious and highly relevant topic of “will we ever fly again?” a question literally nobody is asking because how the hell else are we going to get to Bali? Even if people have to seal themselves inside full body condoms sleeping bag style to travel by air, people will still travel by air. And this is week two! What are they going to be asking in week seven? “As the coronavirus continues to take a deadly toll, is it time to rename coffins… cough-ins?”. Because that would be shit.
But it wasn’t entirely a dead loss. For starters, there was an astonishingly poor “wacky corona home videos” style clip collection – you know, the kind of thing that tries to have it both ways by being both a collection of mildly notable news clips and a half-arsed “sketch” – that ended by cutting back to a clearly unimpressed Pickering who said “wow” in the kind of tone that suggests someone’s getting fired. No doubt a lot of work goes into finding the clips for these bits but if they can’t figure out funnier ways to use them… wow.
And hey, Tom Gleeson’s back! Coming to us from lockdown in… some kind of family country estate in the Macedon Ranges? We don’t know if Pickering was joking about the estate covering “multiple postcodes” or not and frankly we don’t care, because hearing that kind of passive-agressive dig on air is pretty much the only way we’re ever going to find either of these clearly very well-off sods remotely likable.
We’ll get back to you regarding which one we felt sorriest for. We’re guessing whichever one has fewer butlers.