It’s so tempting to call it The Weakly but why fall into the trap of doing bad jokes yourself, when you can switch over to The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and watch the professionals do it?
The Weekly… started 2021 as The Weekly… intends to go on: being the same as it’s always been. Except for a few things.
Ah yes, incremental change, how appropriate for a show with centre-right values.
Anyway, and to be fair to The Weekly…, introducing new cast members – Zoe Coombs-Marr and Nina Oyama – is a pretty radical move for a show which still thinks those segments where they cut together a bunch of clips from Millionaire Hotseat are funny.
Coombs-Marr’s segment, The Week In: Work, was pretty strong, showing that returning to working in workplaces is every bit as difficult as that moment last year when we all realised we had to find a way of working from home. So, with a small nod to those self-shot lockdown sketches comedians made a lot of last year, Coombs-Marr plays multiple versions of herself trying to get to work by car, bike and train, amongst other options. And with some funny side-gags along the way, such as a painful-looking stunt where she stacks it off her bike when she pedals into some tram rails, this is a strong piece.
Far less hilarious is Nina Oyama’s The Week In: The World. There are one or two alright gags in this quickfire round-up of international news, but they get stifled by the annoying newspaper animation that Oyama seems trapped in. We get it, this was trying to not be another talking head running through a bunch of news stories. But when the format of a sketch overwhelms the comedy in it, it’s time to change the format. Hopefully, they’ll improve things by the time they do this segment again. Because Nina Oyama is way better than this.
Other than that, there was no Corona Cops (hooray!) but instead Nick Maxwell cut together the best bits of Bernard Tomic and Vanessa Sierra’s Australian Open lockdown experience, and, well, it was pretty much them who did the comedy heavy-lifting there. Unless you’d already laughed at them two weeks ago when this first became a story, in which case this was utterly pointless.
And so, that was that. Apart from that dull sketch about a bunch of dead US Presidents being all cynical about Biden’s victory…
..and that bit, towards the start of the show, where Pickering tried to do that Mad As Hell gag where they put the wrong photo up, and then they change it. A gag which in the hands of someone with great timing would have been hilarious. But we had Charlie Pickering doing it, so it sucked.
Which begs one final question: where were Judith Lucy and Luke McGregor, i.e. the only people who make The Weekly… watchable? Off touring Disappointments? Working on Rosehaven series five? No one seems to know. Not even The Weekly’s Facebook page, which seems to think that Tom Gleeson and Briggs are still on the show.
Yeah, in their dreams.