Shitty comedy, Lauren Laverne, Politics, wha?

That’s right, it’s Ten O’Clock Live, Channel 4′s take on satire aimed squarely at young, trendy cretins who can only handle the news in bite-sized chunks.  I like to call this patronews, as that’s exactly what it is.  Bright colours, a studio audience and a piece of Geordie ass seem to be all that’s needed to flog a show these days.  I could say “well, at least it’s informative”, but I’d be talking shit.

So who’s on it?  That’d be former likeable chap, Charlie Brooker; former likeable chap David Mitchell; Mr Channel 4, Jimmy Carr and perennial TV favourite Lauren Laverne – oh, she’s such a cheeky Geordie scamp.

What seems to be the crux of the show is that it’s hosted by two people who understand what they’re talking about and two people who have to translate that for the slack-jawed middle-class kids in attendance, hopefully using the word ‘cocks’ as often as possible.  This is comedy after all!

Jimmy Carr kicked everything off with some hastily-written jokes about Alan Johnson followed by stuff mainly related to news from the past week including a few Tunisia jokes, which I think is probably a first for most people, I’d certainly never heard any before.

I’m not entirely sure why this weekly show has to be live anyway seeing as most of the material is pre-planned and could benefit from some serious editing.

First impressions – a lot to go by apparently – are grim.  Having witnessed the adverts, I sussed out the tone of the show and hey presto, that’s what I got!  The only thing that surprised me was the studio audience, but I don’t know why, it was obvious really, especially since I watched some of the ‘alternative*’ election special that inspired it.

First things first – the format.  What can I say? Well, it’s disappointing at best.  Ten O’ Clock Live sits somewhere alongside Mock the Week in terms of lame satire and, much like MTW, the target audience is: bozos.  This show is so ‘current affairs’  Brooker even gives the Crazy Frog a mention.

What I don’t understand is why Channel 4 gave this studio-based disaster the green light. BBC3 already has the idiots market covered, so why this?  The only thing I can think of is that this is a bit more middle-class, for the white kids (and they’re most certainly that) who think they know about, like, politics and shit, yeah?

Just because David Mitchell says something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true or even funny.  It’s a shame, until recently I quite liked David Mitchell and if he was presenting Newsnight or something, I think he’d probably be much better, but there’s no excuse for what he’s doing here.

And while I’m at it, fancy David Mitchell saying “cunt” on live TV, I’m so shocked, I hope someone complains on my behalf!  Cunt’s a naughty word and it only gets said on TV quite often.

Next stop, Charlie Brooker.  Where once his brand of media driven humour was funny and interesting, he is now nothing more than a satirical prostitute, whoring himself out to any panel show with a vaguely newsy tone.  His initial contribution  to the show was a sub-Screenwipe video about Sarah Palin that seemed out of place and entirely unnecessary.  He does have his own show for exactly that.

As with David Mitchell, I think I’m more disappointed that Brooker is hosting this lightweight trash than with the show itself.  Like Mitchell too, I did used to like Charlie Brooker and while my opinion of him has declined recently I never disliked him.  But then, Ten O’ Clock Live came along and look what happened.

Lauren Laverne appeared to be nothing more than a presenter, popping-up now and then to give viewers something to look at, although offering nothing of any value.  Even if she is shit, she should still be doing something worthwhile, not just being plonked at a big table.  To be honest, that’s all I have to say about Ms Laverne, as I’m choosing to ignore her shockingly terrible entertainment news sketch.

What next? Oh, yeah, Jimmy Carr. Well…

And finally, the audience. Yes, it wouldn’t be right not to judge them as much as anything else.  Mindless, moronic, young white kids, some of them wearing trendy hats, filled the seats and laughed at the poor gags.  It deeply bothers me that they’ll probably come away from the experience feeling a little more enlightened and intellectual, when in fact, they’ll have learned nothing.

And that, really, is the problem with this crap.  Rather than approach the news in an analytical or genuinely satirical way, Ten O’ Clock Live seems to just reel off a few poorly written gags – mainly about politicians – and say “cocks” every now and then.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, guests are wheeled on to discuss serious matters with the presenters, drastically altering the tone of the show and no doubt losing the majority of it’s audience along the way.

Ultimately then, Ten O’ Clock Live is nothing more than a ham-fisted mish-mash of crap comedy, base political satire and misplaced political discussion.  Perhaps the show will improve over the next 15 weeks, but I’m not going to hold my breath.  If you want current affairs and great satire, you’d be better off waiting for the next series of Have I Got News For You or reading Private Eye, at least then you can see how it’s meant to be done.

*For alternative, see drip-fed.