So The Weekly’s wrapped for another year and it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed. Wait, no – not disappointed that it’s over, disappointed that this year felt like nothing more than a retread of last year, and last year wasn’t all that impressive either.
Over the last few years the ABC has really gone hard on the idea of online comedy. It’s actually a little depressing if you think about it: for the national broadcaster, the one network that shows even a basic commitment to the idea of comedy television, the best place for comedy programming isn’t on television.
Remember when comedy used to be funny? No, that’s not a dig at the quality of Australian comedy, well, it could be, because it’s been a while since “funny” was a word that could be legitimately applied to much of it but rather a statement of fact.
With Marvel releasing season two of the extremely grim & gritty superhero series Daredevil barely a week before rival comic book company DC (through their parent company Warner Brothers) releases their extremely grim & gritty movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you’d be forgiven for thinking that grim & gritty was the flavour of the month in superhero sagas.
At first glance Luke Warm Sex looks like yet another television series where a comedian takes it upon themselves to explore an area of interest to them (and hopefully the rest of us). John Safran remains the master of the form in Australia, though it’s been a while since he’s done any television work, while in recent years Judith Lucy has tackled both religion and being a woman in two ABC series.
Australia doesn’t have what you’d call a “well-rounded” film industry. While we do some things very well, we don’t do a great job of everything – which is why most of our best talents in the areas we do excel in (basically, acting and the technical side of things) end up heading to Hollywood.
Remember how, less than a fortnight ago, Here Come the Habibs was all set to be the sitcom that divided a nation? Everywhere you looked you would find one of two articles on the show: either they were attacking the show for looking racist, or they were defending the show for clearly not being racist.
These days it’s pretty much accepted wisdom that Robert DeNiro is flushing his legacy down the toilet. “Why does he continue to appear in terrible comedies like Dirty Grandpa?” the argument goes, “he was so great making dramas back in the ’70s.” Which pretty much answers their question for them: good luck naming another actor who was big in the ’70s who’s still headlining movies today.
It’s not exactly a cliché to say that musicians make for bad actors – David Bowie died on the same day that Lady Gaga won a Golden Globe for American Horror Story: Hotel, if anyone considers the Golden Globes a reputable judge of quality – but generally speaking being famous for your musical ability doesn’t always translate into being a good actor.