Friday, October 21, 2005

Another show on the DVR: "The Colbert Report"

Subject: TV
As I've said before, there's very little on "normal" TV that I bother watching. And any of that gets recorded on my DVR for me to watch at my convenience. One of those few shows is Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show", which is a sharp, funny spoof of modern news television, and steeped in the easy-to-reach ironies of modern political discourse.

There have been better, more astute shows in the past, but for now, despite its weak points, "The Daily Show" serves its purpose, and I enjoy watching it.

As of Monday, right after its timeslot, a new spin-off started. Starring Stephen Colbert, one of the faux-correspondents on "TDS", it's called, sanctimoniously enough, "The Colbert Report" -- pronounced "Coul-bear Re-pour" ("it's French, bitch!"). Originally a gag from an earlier episode directed squarely at (notorious pompous arse) Bill O'Rielly's Fox News Channel program, the "TDS" team has taken to a full-length spoof of the blowhard, ego-driven, fact-unfriendly star-pundit cable TV programming. Of which Bill O'Rielly's show is the easiest target, of course.

And it is a funny show. Not non-stop funny, unfortunately -- Stephen sometimes lapses out of character and stumbles on occasion, and sometimes the writing doesn't quite hit the "funny spot". But it's a new show, and that's forgivable, because it's worth it when he does connect. I made the near-mistake of drinking a glass of milk during the first show's "gravitas contest" against NBC anchor Stone Phillips. They were both reading snippets off the teleprompter and trying to project the typical "news anchor seriousness". A riot. That, and a few other moments really had me laughing out loud.

I'm not entirely sure how long he'd be able to keep up the gag, though. There's a lot of ripe targets and low-hanging fruit to pluck in the punditry universe, but I can only imagine that the joke is going to get kind of old pretty quickly. Still, I'm glad they're trying. The absurdity that they're deflating is long overdue for the swift kick it so rightly deserves.

No comments: