the Stir is still getting stirred
A rather different show, on RTÉ is the Republic of Telly. It is the national stations best shot at studio comedy, and aims to be the #1 show from Irish territory aimed at the young Adults of the country.
For those not in the know, the Republic of Telly is a blend of comic sketches and mocking other shows, usually that of rivals TV3, but not afraid to take the mick out of its own programmes too. It has Dermot Whelan as host, with Bernard O Shea and Jennifer Maguire as support.
While the show has always made a smile come across my face now and then, it rarely has had me in stitches since its beginnings in 2009.
time to dig for the laughs?
I do enjoy a few things about it, notably its three main comedians and the idea that independant shorts get aired. Dermot does a better job than Neil Delamere did while host, making it much livelier and just clicking with the show overall, and the supporting cast can deliver on most fronts.
The supported content is a plus too, with the Rubber Bandits, Handy Sandie, Damo & Ivor and Damo Clarke to name a few contribute to the shows time on air, mostly through posted sketches. Here is a personal favourite of mine about the joys of hangovers.
But ultimately, it fails to deliver many laughs outside of these segments. Slag Tallafornia all you want this series, but it does not hold a candle to epicnewsdaily's Swipes, even when you have a song based on how crap it is.
Also of note is the many swipes at shows that are not really the best to slag in the first place. We already know about kids beauty pageants and gypsy weddings but getting some laughs out of it somehow feels like getting blood from a stone at times. Maybe the audience already got the pokes at the differing lifestyles and it just didn't need explaining? The cookery shows are often desperate searches for some form of innuendo's, a lot of the daytime show is also a search for an elusive dirty word.
Other skits just aren't funny full stop. Jennifer getting pissed off at people? I got it the first time, but she does it at everyone, all the time, Y U no change?
I find comedy to be similar to an oscilloscope, a nice wave is made with highs and lows. If the bar is set to 11 all the time, as in Jennifer's, you cannot appreciate it if there isn't a skit of a calmed down and chilled character. With Bernard, its too low, with high points when he gets into a stand up routine over being a creepy stalker, but he needs more stand up and less faffing about.
It feels that the writing is holding the trio back more than anything else. There are lines that make the show feel like it is trying so hard to pull off jokes, and it feels very unnatural a lot of the time. They do so well at what they do, but only as good as the lines they are given. GET BETTER WRITING IN!
Another excuse to use this fun pic
This is meant to be Ireland's best in Comic sketches, but it fails to beat the likes of Harry Hill's TV burp with its writing, nor its earlier incarnation, Colin Murphy's Blizzard of odd, in terms of programmes to swipe.
Am I the only one that remembered this?
At a production level, it beats a lot of what the land has to offer, yet it feels like its fallen short, and its ambition to be the top dog isn't working. Its amusing, but not hilarious. Im watching the next few episodes with a happy face, but I long to see things getting better, or else it'll lose my attention.