Last night I watched Popcultured, the new half-hour "comment on popculture" comedy show with Elvira Kurtz on The Comedy Network.
I thought it was pretty bad. Not funny to me at all. I’m not really sure what the format is supposed to be, but there was far too much single person monologuing going on. And none of it were very interesting, nevermind funny.
Elvira really needs to stop smiling and appreciating the humour of what she says. It’s not good when the performer gets the biggest kick out of the material. Her opening monologue was dull and full of fairly tame Jay Leno type current event jokes. Later, she did a bit on lip injections which basically culminated in her making faces at big pictures of celebrities. Cheap and boring and bad.
Other segments included some woman’s review of The DaVinci Code (or, rather, a review of people’s perception of it, I’m not really sure what it was about, truthfully) and wasn’t nearly as smart as she thought it was. Another woman did another monologue opinion-piece type thing that I wouldn’t even be able to remember if I was hypnotized specifically to bring up that memory. Some guy did some on location video piece on gift bags at the Junos, and it was surprisingly bad. Surprisingly bad in a show where expectations had continually plumetted, so that at the point when his segment came on "bad" was the expectation, and it still surprised me. So, that’s pretty bad.
Then Elvira interviewed some celebrity reporter from, I think, The National Post, and it was a terrible segment. Appallingly full of entirely nothing of value in any entertaining way.
And the show ended.
The production was poor. I don’t know whether it was live, but it sure looked live, because words were stumbled over far too often (if it was taped, the director would/should have, a number of times, stopped the taping and had the performer speak more clearly). No interesting set design to speak of. It’s also not good when a tv audience hears only a smattering of laughter from the studio audience. It sounded like there were about 10 people in attendance. Either get enough people to fill the room and get them to be very generous with their laughter, or cut the audience laughter out entirely. It sounds bad when it sounds like so few people laughing.
They really need to rethink the "you do your funny bit segment, then I’ll do my funny bit segment, then you do another funny bit segment, etc." routine and come up with some interesting look and feel. As the show was presented last night, there was no flow, no direction, no focus. It was just people saying things about things. Standing and saying things. Things that weren’t that interesting. The show desperately needs a look and feel and format.
How about getting some sofas, chairs a couple of TVs and turn the set (which is now basically "Nothing") into a giant funky living room. It’s the living room where people experience pop culture so it makes sense to talk about it there too. Instead of the "I do my segment, then we cut to your segment, then cut to another segment" style, have the half hour unfold in a more informal manner, and let the segments flow naturally from one to another, with the other cast members on hand all the time, sitting around on couches, chairs, eating pizza or whatever.
As it is now, Popcultured is not worth anyone’s time. It’s cable-access bad, and The Comedy Network needs to be airing better Canadian programming.