I Blogged Myself

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Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thank The Lord For Your Presence # 5

Last night saw the fifth episode of Thank God You're Here (TGYH).

After being gently rebuked by John B after my last review of this show, I have made a concerted effort not to be too hard on the show's special guest contestants this time 'round. But I make no such promises when it comes to lashing out at the idiot behind the desk the judge.

First, I was delighted to see the return to the show of one of my all-time favourite comedians, Shaun Micallef. Wifey and I also really enjoyed Akmal Saleh last time he was on (two episodes ago), so we were happy to see him return as well.

Having never watched an episode of Rockwiz (or pretty much anything else she's been involved with - with the exception of some Full Frontal work*), I wasn't too familiar with Julia Zemiro's work (although I've always known who she is). I didn't know what to expect when it came to Julia's scenes. I'm more familiar with the fourth special guest contestant, Alan Brough, from his time spent in 2004 on Triple M's radio show Tough Love with Mick Molloy and one of last week's TGYH contestants, Robyn Butler).

The first scene featured Akmal Saleh instructing a group of business people for what appeared to be a customer relations workshop. Although he was introduced to everyone as he entered (as if he'd never met them before and was a consultant in the firm for the day), he later kept trying to fire one of the ensemble cast members as if he were their boss, citing the reason that he "never liked him". I'm not ripping shreds off his performance or anything; I thought it was quite amusing, particularly when he went off the rails so much with his rambling. He was very entertaining.

I felt a bit sorry for the slim blonde actress with the curly hair (Nicola Parry?), because after last week's scene with Santo Cilauro, and now this one with Akmal, she's really had her work cut out for her in keeping the guests on track within the scene! It shows her strength as an actress. (They're all very talented, actually.) I noticed that a couple went uncredited in this episode. Presumably the little girl in the pet store belongs the only new name that appeared in the credits, Isabella Parry - no doubt a relative of Nicola's - but the new guy Akmal was trying to fire (and who then joined Ed Kavalee in grilling Alan Brough during his scene) was not credited at all. Neither was the voiceover artist who introduced Brough's ficticious "Meet The Leaders" TV show. (Although the real show's voiceover artist - a different person, I assure you - who tells the audience which four special guests are appearing on that night's show before the opening credits roll is always credited.) The voiceover artist who was uncredited was the SBS voiceover guy, who also does the 'Shave For A Cure' ads ("Go on, take it all off"). amongst many others. The reason I know all this is because I've been keeping careful track of all the names for each episode and updating the IMDb.com submission that I put through the morning after the first episode aired. Not sure when they'll be approving it or what the hold-up is. Probably just that I'm not officially associated with the show, so they don't trust what I have to say. I've been extremely accurate, though. Stupid site.

Anyway, moving on: Shaun Micallef was up next, and he played a Ye Olde English physician, who was charged with treating the king's injured foot. The main part of the humour here was with Shaun's costume, because his pants kept falling down slightly at the back. He made reference to it in the scene, asking the king to excuse his unworthy crack. I also thought that his line after the king was shocked to see a saw amongst his tools and asked if he'd be removing his foot; "Only if I have to take it back to the shop," was hilarious. Micallef is a genius. I especially loved his pet store bit, where he answered a real phone call to the store ("Hello, Sam's Cat Shop"), asked why the caller was laughing, said "Okay, thanks," hung up the phone, and explained with a smile to the actress he was 'serving' that the caller was his wife and she was leaving him. He just makes me laugh.

Alan Brough's scene was a TV show as touched on earlier, and he did very well with the mixed bag of questions the interviewers threw at him. When asked about his affair with his Press Secretary (after agreeing that he held family values dear), I said to Wifey, "I bet the next thing they say is that the Press Secretary is a man". Funnily enough, I wasn't the only one to think of this, because Brough's own answer to the question (referring to the Press Secretary) was, "He was a wonderful man ..." I'm sure they had to abandon their next gag of it being a guy because he'd beaten them to it! Alan steered away from the topic a bit on occasion, too -- but it was all very good and I thought he did very well, especially for his first time out.

Julia Zemiro was the last cab off the rank, and she was dressed in a pair of pyjamas, therefore assuming she was a child or teenager at a sleepover. She began her scene speaking a bit like a kid, taunting her sister and arguing about the mess in the house and saying she'd blame the sister when Mum & Dad came home. Once the aforementioned parents entered the scene, however, and Julia reacted to their anger by bursting into tears and saying how well she'd done in her school VCE exams, we discovered that she was in fact a grown woman of 32. Zemiro also did very well for her first attempt at the show, although forgive me for saying so, but I think she didn't get into it as much as the other three. I'm taking great pains not to come across as sexist when I say this (it was actually Wifey who first brought this up**), but even in the pre-recorded bits, Julia didn't get into it very much and enjoy herself. One notable exception was in the pet store, where she simulated dying animals to the little girl. Without knowing much about Julia before last night, I was happily impressed with the job she did.

Finally, to the group scene. I've been very kind to everyone up to this point, so I hope you'll allow me to say how flat I thought this scene was. It's not even really the contestants' fault; I'm sure it's a blight on the writing (even though I love the writers). They all played overweight people attending a health clinic and put on the spot about their increased weight since their last visit. Julia's answer as to why she had all those junk food wrappers in her handbag was great ("I believe in a cleaner Australia"), but that was almost the only joke in the whole scene. We spent too much time on their names (two of which Parry then switched accidentally), and not enough time on anything funny. The whole episode was rushed, actually, and a fair bit of editing had obviously been done in post production to make it fit the one-hour spot. Again, too much wasted time spent on the useless judging comments, and not enough time reserved for the actual scenes themselves.

We were out last night, so thankfully we watched the show today on tape. The blessing here meant we were able to fast forward through every appearance from judge Tom Gleisner, so I actually don't have anything specific to say about his comments. We were spared them this time! I tell ya, that's the only way to watch the show.

I still love TGYH, and the fact that both Brough and Zemiro won the night 'jointly' probably indicates that they haven't got enough episodes left for each of their guests to win it once each, as originally surmised.

In related news, TV Week announced this week that a second season of TGYH has already been commissioned, so we'll be seeing more of these antics next year as well. That's not to say that season one is over yet - but the ratings have been so great already that the decision to sign it up for another year has been reached much earlier than it usually would. Hopefully in season two we'll be able to see some other people ready to give the idea a go and not have so many 'repeat contestants'. Maybe some other female comedians! (But not this woman, as we all know by now.)

You thought you were going to get all the way through the review without me mentioning her, didn't you. No such luck. Tut-tut. You should know me better by now.

* No, that's not crude. It was the name of the show.

** Actually, she was making an observation that included Robyn Butler and Fifi Box from all the other episodes so far this season as well: She said that "the women don't get into it as much and have fun like the guys do". And I had to agree. I don't know what it is; I'm sure it's probably an unfair generalisation, but there you go.



At Friday, May 05, 2006 11:27:00 am, Anonymous John B. said...

Now Wifey is being too harsh!! ;-) Just kidding. Micallef is the best and always amuses me too. I loved his, olde English speak cause it reminded me a bit of 'Black Adder'.

I also picked up on Brough's joke about the person he had an affair with being a man before he made it, but had no one to share my cleverness with as my wife is interstate. Perhaps we can bask in each others genius. ;-)

At Tuesday, May 23, 2006 2:24:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

John B, hehe. I'm more than happy to bask in your genius if you're happy to bask in mine. Where was your lovely wife? Did that mean you were child-minding all on your lonesome?


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