Australian commercial television’s been putting in the hard yards as far as local comedy goes over the last few weeks, with results that are… look, we’ve already used “comedy” once, those truth in advertising guys aren’t going to let us use it again. Onto The Weekly!
Remember when The Weekly used to pretend it was covering a whole week in news? This week Pickering was up to Tuesday by the half way mark – presumably to leave enough time for Roy & HG to do the exactly same act they’ve been doing for the last 35 years. Shouting never really goes out of style, does it?
(speaking of shouting, ongoing segment The Bureau of Cancellations really should be paying royalties to Mick Molloy circa The Late Show. And he should have been paying royalties to John Belushi on Saturday Night Live. And we’ve almost certainly missed out a few links in that chain. If you’re not taking off your shoe and banging it on the desk, you’re not doing it right)
With Margaret Pomeranz, Tony Armstrong and Roy & HG now semi-regulars on The Weekly, it feels safe to suggest that the series – which has never actually figured out what kind of show it is beyond putting Charlie Pickering behind a desk and one year it couldn’t even manage that – has entered its “ABC Warehouse” phase. Old favourites, people who want to be old favourites, people who wish they were old favourites, have we got a deal for you!
Unfortunately that deal involves having to be in a sketch on The Weekly, which is almost as solid a guarantee of a laugh free experience as “up next on A Current Affair, Pauline Hanson has her say”. When will these people realise that wishing on a Monkey’s Paw for “Australian television exposure” has consequences?
Otherwise all The Weekly has to offer is a reminder that the edict to never run a favourable story about Labor in the lead-up to an election extends beyond the news department. Seriously, when the “satire” is basically identical to the regular current affairs programming, what the fuck is the point?
Would I Lie to You? Australia, Taskmaster Australia and We Interrupt This Program might currently be sapping our will to live – or at least, our will to keep this blog alive – but at least the only agenda they’re promoting is one of general mediocrity.
The Weekly feels like propaganda, an agenda-driven show where the comedy is there largely to soften the fact that when watching it you’re never quite sure if the next joke is going to be about how renewable energy can’t be trusted or Labor can’t be trusted or trans people can’t be trusted.
Remember that year they spent making Sky News’ Andrew Bolt seem like a harmless boozer? Remember this week when they made Sky News’ Peta Credlin seem like a zany word nerd? Remember all those jokes about how the housing market was working just fine for rich people and “Corona Cops” and wow the living really do envy the dead in 2023.
Here’s an idea: how about making some jokes about how these people on Sky News are not quirky and are in fact garbage. Otherwise people are going to think your show is also garbage oh wait that ship sailed five years ago. Bring back Briggs!
Let’s not forget Rhys Nicholson being brought in occasionally to put a camp spin on the old Hard Chat formula.
But this week’s guest Joanne McNally was actually good. Probably the highlight of the whole episode which was probably a low bar to reach.