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