10 O’Clock Live – My thoughts

20 01 2011

Well the first show of the much hyped 10 O’Clock Live on Channel 4 is in the can and what do I think.
Well live TV is a terrifying gamble. What people don’t realise about shows like Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week is there are hours of unseen footage where jokes bomb, guest fumble the punchline, everyone sits around for a few minutes thinking of something funny to say and Frankie Boyle makes baby Jesus cry with a Maddy McCann gag.
Out of all of the presenters I think Charlie Brooker came off the best. With his new haircut he seemed to be in his element, spitting rage and satire with both barrels.
David Mitchell clearly has the nerves, but then he’s more used to scripts and pre-recorded material but he can work on that. So long as he rants and stays angry he’ll pull through. I thought he lost control of the Bankers debate, he needs to have more a killer instinct (and maybe a bottle of scotch under the table.)
Jimmy Carr also seemed to suffer from the nerves but his background is standup, perhaps if his bits weren’t so scripted he can shine more.
Lauren Laverne, lovely lovely Lauren Laverne. I have a feeling she’s only there to take the edge off the swinging dicks, to be the soft feminine balance.
As for the segments, I liked the round table idea. It gave the presenters freedom to deviate from the script which is when I think they are at the funniest. The “satire” on American news wasn’t funny, Fox News is ripe for the piss taking and that wasn’t remotely close. If they want to take the mick out of the Yanks then get a yank to do it like Brooker has with Doug Stanhope.
Speaking of Brooker, I enjoyed his pre-recorded VT. Just like Newswipe and that is a good thing, plus it gives him a chance to show off his designer stubble (which I’m sure Konnie Huq has had a hand in.)
All in all this shows great promise. It’s not there yet, I would say this is version 0.8. The presenters need to settle into their roles, once that happens it will feel less stilted and more flowing.
What people on twitter failed to have realised tonight is that a live show (any show) needs time to find it’s feet. The Daily Show wasn’t built in a day.




2 responses

21 01 2011

Excellent review and I couldn’t agree more. I thought one of its biggest strengths also turned out to be a bit of a curse, in that they had so many different and very interesting segments (three interviews spanning bankers’ bonuses, climate change scepticism and tuition fees rises) with very well-known guests, and it seemed a bit unfair for David Mitchell (and at one point Jimmy Carr) to have to throw down some comical yet ideological fight with only about six minutes at most dedicated to each. At least with the Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviews the guest for nearly half an hour, then they can edit it down into the best bits. But that plus the roundtable discussion and the prerecorded bits (all quite funny except for the take on that American celebrity entertainment ‘news’ show which is probably funnier on paper than live) made me think it was a solid show. I’m sure that they’ll find a natural rhythm to it, each presenter will become more confident, hopefully they’ll trim down the audience to a smaller and more refined group, and then devote a bit more time to each segment. It all felt too rushed which is strange to say about an hour-long live programme.

Next week will definitely be an improvement and I could actually definitely see a future for this, without a doubt. The format will be tweaked over the coming weeks and in a years’ time I’m hoping this will be considered essential viewing.

21 01 2011

Cheers, I’m very excited about how this will turn out. I hope they really tear into their victims in the way the majority of the fawning and superficial news media seem afraid to these days.

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