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.
Shaun Micallef’s sitcom The Ex-PM wrapped up last week – the DVD is in stores now, if you’re that way inclined – and it’s safe to say, despite often being very funny indeed, it didn’t exactly set the world on fire ratings wise, dropping around 300,000 viewers a week from its lead-in Gruen.
With the new Star Wars movie barely a month away, you’d expect the publicity machine to have kicked into overdrive. It hasn’t. And that’s because, while Star Wars is going to be the biggest movie of the year (how big? We’ll get to that), it’s still just a movie, and as such it still has to wait its turn in the scheme of things.
Considering that Shaun Micallef is basically a one-man comedy factory, it’s at least slightly strange to realise that The Ex-PM – his new sitcom, in which he plays the titular Ex-PM – is only his second ever sitcom. Seriously, the only name that even comes close to Micallef’s output is Working Dog, and there’s five of them.
The big problem in television comedy for a long, long time now has been finding new people. While there’s plenty of places where stand-up comedians can find their way onto our screens, usually in the form of panel shows, if you’re looking for the breeding ground for the next generation of scripted comedy, well, good luck.