Monday, May 09, 2016

TV: Ain't No Party On The Screen

Saturday night, PARTY OVER HERE did a skit where a man in the audience doesn't like the show and says so online so the three performers briefly speak to him and discover he's hurting.  Then they beat him up.

Apparently, it was too much work to make him laugh.

Or the audience.


We were hoping to wait until the final episode of the season to review the show but when you're doing skits mocking and then beating your critics, maybe it's time you faced a real take down?

Saturday's broadcast was the eighth episode of FOX's late night sketch comedy starring Nicole Byer, Jessica McKenna and Alison Rich -- the eighth disappointing episode.

The show's biggest problem is that it's just not funny.

It tries to be.

Certainly, the three cast members are likable enough.

But maybe a show's always going to be in trouble when the three performers onscreen don't get half the attention as the offscreen creators?

That would be The Lonely Island's Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.

The excitement over those three men creating a show should have disappeared once the series began airing.

And it largely did.  Not because Nicole, Jessica and Alison were so entertaining but because they weren't.

Every now and then, there's a skit that's okay and makes you realize PARTY OVER HERE doesn't have to suck.

But those skits are few and far between.

A 30 minute broadcast that can barely manage one okay skit a week is one that has serious problems.

That's even more true when they've broadcast eight episodes.

Eight episode without one laugh out loud funny skit.

They have writers.

We're not sure why.

Each skit plays as though the audience shouted out improv ideas.

Here's the thing though, assassins in the audience?

Not really funny.

Comedy's based on recognition.

We laugh at our absurdities.

And, as SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE well knows, we're especially happy to laugh when we see characters we like returning.

You would have thought a new sketch comedy show would work on establishing break out characters from the start.

But then, you would have also thought they would have worked on being funny.

We're not saying cancel the show -- it's cheap to produce and we hope it gets better.

But we are saying that in the future when FOX airs a late night sketch comedy show, go with someone who isn't seeking Lorne Michael's blessings.

In March, Bryn Elise Sandberg (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) reported:

"The first thing we said to Fox was, 'We'll never go against SNL,' so we made sure that we ended before they start," said Schaffer to an intimate group of press on the set of their new sketch comedy entry, Party Over Here. "We wanted to do something new and exciting and fun but we didn't want it to have any direct conflict," added Samberg. "We want to be asked back! We're not, like, raging war on SNL. That's still our home and our family." 

Gee, maybe if you were raging war, you'd actually be funny?

Maybe every whimsical aside wouldn't feel like yet another punch pulled?

Or maybe, instead of lashing out at their own audience, they could find better humor targets?

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