Vale The Weekly 2023

You know what they say – you cannot kill what does not live. And so trying to shovel some dirt over The Weekly once again proves to be utterly pointless, because across 19 episodes the whole thing showed about as much life as your average Dodo and yet it’ll somehow be back again next year like a real-life Walking Dead spin-off. Shit.

If we had to nail down what’s wrong with The Weekly, it’d probably involve using actual nails because the show has tried so many different approaches over the years and they’ve all been shithouse. The one common factor has been Charlie Pickering, but surely we can’t blame it all on him… can we?

Yes, he is utterly useless whether he’s playing at being a host, a sketch performer, an interviewer or just a method to extract oxygen from the air and replace it with carbon dioxide. He’s a newsreader, but shit. And yet, all he has to do is read some jokes and occasionally mimic a human being: can’t the rest of the show get by without him?

Unfortunately, that would require there to be a “rest of the show”. The Weekly with Charlie Pickering is barely a television show, and we’re living in an era where having a bunch of smug tools sit behind a big desk agreeing with each other is prime time viewing (on an unrelated note, Gruen is back this week). This is like that, but with only one person at the desk he’s forced to agree with himself, which going by Pickering’s vibe shouldn’t be a problem at all.

But seriously: how crap is Pickering? So crap that pretty much the closest thing the show has to a running joke is that everyone else treats him like trash – Rhys Nicholson, that scary lady who hosts 730, Pickering himself canceling that segment where he canceled stuff.

“Yeah, we know, he sucks” is the underlying message. “But hey, comedy!” Only there is no comedy. The only satisfaction comes from the blunt stating of obvious facts: Pickering ain’t great.

And the rest of the show has to operate on his level. It’s hard to imagine just how bad the jokes are on The Weekly unless you’ve watched it, and you shouldn’t watch it. This week they made a joke about a big umbrella, because big umbrellas are something people at the golf-

-and here’s another problem: The Weekly‘s slogan is something like “we watch the news so you don’t have to”, which logically leads to the idea that we’ll be getting a run down of the important issues of the week. This week’s lead story: a golf tour is merging with another golf tour. Say what?

In fact, pretty much all the stories covered – with the exception of Kochie’s retirement, used largely to (once again) make fun of Sunrise, and the latest rate rise from the RBA, used largely to (once again) make fun of A Current Affair – were international. New York smoke haze, Trump, UK politics… you know, the things already covered a hundred times better online and overseas.

Then again, it’s not like The Weekly‘s audience actually go online or know about overseas comedy.

But in a week when the big, real, actual, important local news was about sexual harassment (at best) at the nation’s capital, first with the LNP going Labor for some scandal that was totally definitely going to take down a minister before oh shit, one of the LNP senators was being accused of actually doing bad shit, how did it all go so terribly wrong, The Weekly said: nothing.

Even if you think The Weekly is perfectly fine comedy-wise (if you actually do think this, seek professional help), this should be a sackable offense. How can you pretend to be a news satire program when the biggest news story of the week – a local story, a serious story, a story that took place days before your deadline – gets no coverage while a fucking golf tournament for millionaires gets the lead slot?

Yeah, that about sums it up.

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