Friday, August 18, 2006

David Tench. RETURN FIRE: your show is shit.

You know that feeling you get when your friend tells you she's going to book you tickets to see The Strokes, and you say "Well you'd better be quick because they're going to sell out," and she says "It'll be fine, I'll do it tomorrow," and you say "No, do it now, they'll sell out I tell you," and she says "Don't be such a worrier, I'll get them tomorrow, it'll be fine," and then the next day she calls to say sorry but it's sold out?

Well I don't, because I actually scored free tickets to see The Strokes and they fucking rocked my world, but I'm talking about that slightly smarmy "I told you so" feeling of warm, fuzzy, smugness combined with the sour tint of disappointment. You know THAT feeling?

Well THAT'S how I feel about David Tench Tonight, Channel 10's new animated talkshow, which premiered last night.

Max Headroom's less popular nephew, David Tench

Frankly, just the label "animated talkshow" is enough to let you know you're going to be disappointed, isn't it? And yet, I tuned in anyway.

To be honest it wasn't much of a toss up, given that the only other option was Celebrity Survivor on Seven, and by the looks of it NO celebrities had survived the first segment, as when I tuned in the only people there were David Oldfield and Fiona Horne. Oh WHOOPS silly me, they ARE the celebrities. I would have thought that "celebrities" should really be people we actually RECOGNISE. (Anyone who has any clue who the fuck Justin Melvey is gets a Caramello Koala)

But back to Tench. Let's face it, it's terrible. I mean, it's BEYOND awful. The jokes are lame, the interviews are boring, and the interviewees seem to be picked at random - who the hell cares what Pat Rafter is doing at the moment? Or Ella Hooper, for that matter? (Except to say WHAT HAS SHE DONE TO HER HAIR? My GOD, it looks like it was cut and dyed by an escaped mental patient.)

Not to mention that Tench's character itself is just altogether unappealing. A big, odd shaped head on a weird little body, with arms that dangle about like one of the Thunderbirds, and a dodgy half-arsed American accent. WHY DOES HE HAVE AN AMERICAN ACCENT?

Anyone else thinking this?

Given that the credits feature the names of FIVE WRITERS, I can only assume that four have been hired to make coffee for the least talented one. Either that, or they take turns writing one word each, because this is one of the least funny shows I've ever seen. Not that you'd know from the studio audience, who are all laughing their heads off and rolling in the aisles at every lame-o joke. God knows what they're watching. Outtakes of The Wedge, probably.

The main problem is this: just because the host of your show is animated whizz-bang very expensive new technology doesn't mean you can get away with not writing a good script. An interview show still essentially has to be centred around good interviews. And Tench, animated or not, doesn't even come close to delivering. "Television - good or bad?" is not actually something I'm interested in hearing the lead singer of Killing Heidi answer, surprise surprise. "What the hell happened to your band?" maybe. "Why do you yodel when you sing?" perhaps.

It's clear the producers of this show have created it in the interview format purely as a vehicle for Tench's jokes. Which would actually be acceptable if the jokes were any good. But they're not. They're so far from comedy that if comedy were the sun, David Tench would be one of those weird planets they've just discovered that no one will ever officially acknowledge.

As well as the interviews, there was a failed segment called "Return Fire" in which Tench responds aggressively to viewer mail (I'm guessing he'll be working overtime next week) and a bit at the end called "Touch of Tench" in which he delivers one of those annoying "chicken soup for the soul" pieces of fortune cookie philosophy Ten has been hammering in the promos.

But most bizarrely of all, there were these frequent weird cutaways in the middle of the interviews, where the camera would zoom in for a closeup on Tench's eyes while he would say something like "Quick Tench, change the subject, your interviewee's getting antsy." Then the camera would pull back out again and we'd be back in the middle of the interview. Never seen Letterman do THAT.

An interesting segment of the Ella Hooper interview had Tench discussing what shows would be "hit or miss" on Channel Nine next year. Ironic really, given that Tench has MISS, BIG FUCKING MISS written all over it.

And Channel Ten are really outdoing themselves lately, aren't they? Let's check out some of their stellar programming choices this year:

  • Yasmin's Getting Married - hyped to the extreme, axed after a week
  • The Wedge - hyped to the extreme, should have been axed after a week
  • The Steph Show - (rightly) receives no publicity whatsoever, no one knows what the fuck it is, no one cares, should get axed soon
And after last night's dismal premiere, I think we can all safely assume that Tench will be added to the chopping block soon.

I'd do an "It's time to go", but I think this one will probably let itself out.


  1. I couldn't agree more. Down with David Tench.

  2. Well said. Tench blows. Those cutaway bits in the middle were to hide gaffes made by the actor. But nothing can hide that fucked up accent.

  3. I think I love you.

    Amen, sister.

  4. I'm glad I didn't watch it then! From the ads, I thought it would be good - some of those quotes were funny. Then, I find out it's animated - hmm, thats weird. Could be good though, so I'll still watch it. Then I missed it.

    Now I am glad :)

    PS, I am aware that I changed tense about 17 times in that comment.

  5. I was unfortunate to witness the 'interview' he did will Angela Frickin Bishop on Ten News and decided then and there that there was NO WAY I'd watch it, even on the flick thru!

    So glad I missed it.

  6. It's unanimous.

    Tench is the new Gabbo, and must die

  7. Heartily supported. Anything that makes Darryl Somers look good must die.

  8. Gosh, I should neglect my blog more often! First thing I've written in 2 weeks and the comments board is working overtime. And an anonymous person is in love with me. Hooray!

  9. I only saw the pic of the guy in some magazine and that was enough reason to not tune in.

  10. I'm so proud of myself. Normally I'm drawn to shit telly like Bogans to a red light special down the bottlo.
    But not this time!

    I didn't watch. I knew it would make me want to hurl bricks at my TV, and frankly, i can't afford to be doing that every other week.
    Yay for me.

  11. ahem... Girlband, anyone?

    Channel Ten is so good at throwing thousands of dollars at total crap.

    I'm not complaining. Crap TV gives me a great excuse not to watch anything at all, so I can concentrate on my plans for world domination.

  12. wasnt justin melvey on home and away?

  13. wait.. wot's HOME AND AWAY? oh yeah, that's right! it's just a shitty excuse to launch a music career.. now that POPSTARS has gone down the toilet..

    seriously, is it just me.. or is the only tv that seems worthwhile now.. is the stuff you buy on DVD? ;)

  14. I'm wondering if it's possible for those of us who were brain damaged by watching this tripe to launch a class action against Ten for the weapon of mass mind destruction they unleashed last week..?

    I tried to find the front desk number for Channel 10 during the show so I could call and abuse hell out of the receptionist, however hit my head against the wall in the process of my frustration and woke up the next morning, forgetting to call 10 and omplain.

  15. Wow, this is fucking surreal.

    Someone else that loved The Strokes live, hated David Tench, loves Arrested Development and The (UK) Office along with my favourite music (Daft Punk, White Stripes, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, etc) and the word Canyon in your blog's title.


    Incidentally, how good is the new Cassius (Toop Toop)? Rock on, awesome person.

  16. Bloody hell, Damian... ARE we actually the same person? This is freaking me out...

  17. It sounds ridiculous, I know... but I have never met anyone else that likes The White Stripes and Daft Punk... I know, because I wear the t-shirts everywhere and people see The White Stripes and say "I thought you liked dance?" or see Daft Punk and say "I thought you liked rock?"

    These are strange times, I tell you. Made stranger by listening to ELO... E-E-E-E-e-e-evil W-o-O-O-o-man!

    Er, no offense!

  18. Agreed on Tench.

    You know, usually I'm pro more Australian shows on television, but if there going to keep on dishing up this crap I might have to change my tune and say just give me the Simpson's and Futurama repeats.

  19. u guys need to lighten up! think of this show as enough rope with a host that can ask and say anything.

    Im sick to death of people who bag something without even watching or trying it (jack).

    It was the first episode of a completly new concept, and i didnt think it was half bad, and i recon it has a lot of potential.

  20. Well I think it's fairly obvious I watched every painful minute of that show, so I hardly think you can get me on THAT, Mr Anonymous. And yes, I understand the advantage of having an animated host means he can get away with asking anything he likes - but being provocative and cheeky is no substitute for asking thought provoking, probing questions. Be as cute and witty as you like, a shit interviewer still results in a shit interview.

  21. due to the weird shaped head, i think ten is trying to replace Bert Newton since his exodus.

  22. David Tench on Channel Ten
    JarJar in Star Wars I

    Both should be issued a gag order, not to be removed - ever.

  23. get a life and lighten up. There are far to many self absorbed and opinionated sour face stick in the muds around with out you trying to convince others that surliness is the way to be.The concept of the show is shite- granted but the actual interviews are sometimes hilarious-stay tuned ffor johnny noxsville I was at the recording and it was quite funny.

  24. couldn't agree more. Down with David Tench.

    send free messages

  25. this is interesting to read in retrospect, given channel ten's current position.. how could they miss all the signs?!