Daniel Schwendener

Gigglebox Weekly #3

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Welcome to another edition of Gigglebox, the weekly TV comedy rundown already being described as “a good read”.  January is always a slump for film and TV and this year is no different, resulting in me having to watch some very dubious TV just so I have something to write about.  You don’t know the pain I go through…

David Walliams – So Bad It’s Good

I like to start the day with a nice big poo, so why not start the week’s article with this piece of excrement?  I’ll be honest with you and say I didn’t watch all of it, but I think I can give a fairly sound judgement anyway: it’s bad.  I’m not a big fan of Walliams – I feel like he is the kind of person who would pretend to shag his own grandmother at a family gathering to get a laugh, then write a bad sketch about it, then swim the channel and not shut up about it.  Having said that he’s the star of one of the most successful sketch shows of all time and one of the highest paid comedians in the country, so you wouldn’t expect him to stoop as low as narrating a run of the mill clips show.  You will have probably seen half the clips before in groundbreaking shows such as Oops TV or ‘World’s Cheapest Stock Footage’.  The narration adds little in the way of laughs, either, with its Christmas cracker quality jokes; if David Walliams had a soul you could probably hear it dying during this show.  The only possible explanation is that he’s in trouble with some dodgy loan sharks or has lost a bet with a TV executive.  Do not watch this programme at any cost, it’s so bad it’s terrible (Boom Boom).

Never Mind The Buzzcocks

Buzzcocks has always been a TV staple of mine, ever since I can remember being allowed to stay up past 9:00pm – we didn’t have bedroom TVs in my childhood, back in the heady days of the mid-nineties.  I remember Lamar and his quiff, his obvious passion for music and barbed witticisms.  I remember Sean Hughes, although not very much so I’ll move on quickly.  I remember Bill Bailey coming and I remember the sadness of his passing. I remember the season without a host and I remember being so happy when Simon Amstell took the post and then so sad when he left.  Now we’re back in one of those weird periods between hosts when each show can vary wildly from greatness in the case of Terry Wogan, to utter shiteness in the case of Tim Westwood.  Last week it was Frankie Boyle’s turn at the reigns.  Given the recent downturn in quality he has taken since getting his own TV show I wasn’t too excited for this episode, but I needn’t have been so pessimistic.  The show reminded me of why I used to like Frankie Boyle – his quick wit and generally affable nature.  There was the odd nasty comment but there was nothing unnecessary; if anything I think he held back a bit too much.  Granted he might have been edited down quite a lot but he seemed to get on with the guests and didn’t overtly try to upset them.  It was by no means the best episode of the series, but it was a good one and enjoyable to watch.  If nothing else it is a glimmer of hope that Boyle may be able to pull out of his current comedy nosedive.


The debut episode of this show, Monday night on BBC2, was a Toyota hybrid of a sitcom; being made as it is, of parts from all around the world.  The main stars of the show are Green Wing duo Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg along with Matt Le Blanc, more famously known as Joey from everyone’s favourite sitcom…Joey.  It was a bit of a slow burner, as most of the time was spent setting the scene for the rest of the series as you would probably expect.  With a distinct lack of Le Blanc I felt that maybe they should have kicked off the show with an hour long episode or at least a double bill.  I didn’t think it was that funny either, leaning ever so slightly into the realm of comedy drama rather than straight sitcom which I’m not sure is entirely intentional.  Grieg and Mangan’s characters seem a little flat and boring at the moment but I feel they will improve with a little more fleshing out.  In the same way, the supporting cast seem to be playing boring, predictable and very uninteresting roles.  The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret recently tried to do a similar Anglo-American mixture sitcom, but that was shit.  I am hopeful that this show will do a lot better and will settle in a bit after another episode or two.  I shall continue to watch it, not least because there is nothing else on at the moment.  Expect further judgement over the coming few weeks.

We’re suffering a bit of a drought in popular entertainment at the moment, as is the norm for this time of year.  I’m looking forward to 10 O’Clock Live starting next week as the only bright spot on an otherwise bleak horizon.  What about you? What’re you looking forward to? Leave comments below so I can steal your ideas.