Channel 4's new topical comedy show, hosted by Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne and Charlie Brooker, was something of a mixed bag. It's lumbered from the off with the baggage of being a satirical news comedy show and therefore has an instant hurdle to overcome in that any satirical news comedy show on TV has to live up to the original, and possibly still best, comedy quiz show in Have I Got News For You and Chris Morris's classic The Day Today and Brass Eye, which isn't really very fair; 1o O'Clock Live isn't trying to be either.
Instead it is trying to be everything and herein lay the problem. Due to the sheer volume of content they tried to pack into an hour nothing quite fully worked and some things (the horrific US news spoof) were appalling. I'm hoping that as they have a 15 week run they will tweak the format to make it work better. Here's how I'd do it.
First I'd get rid of Lauren Laverne. She seems like a spare wheel. Apart from being the closest there was to a host her only input was the aforementioned US news sketch. I suppose she's useful as the focal point of the round the table discussion (which needs to be tweaked by the other 3 letting Brooker talk instead of just talking over him). Second, get rid of the desperately poor sketches they take up time that will easily be filled with content already there.. For example, Mitchell hosting a debate with 3 people started chaotic and just as it was starting to work they had to end it for a Brooker video segment. Brooker was followed by a break and when it returned there was THAT sketch and a Jimmy Carr segment so poor I can't remember anything about it. Cut the crap after the break, move Brooker there and allow the debate to run longer.
The best between break part of the show was the one that started with Brooker's cynical rant and then had Mitchell discussing tuition fees with a single politician. Brooker was very funny, the discussion was interesting. This should be how the whole show plays then you'd have Intro, Carr monologue about the news, Mitchell does a serious bit, ads, Brooker video, Carr interviews someone interesting, Mitchell monologue if the interviewee is less interesting than he was this week, ads, round the table talk (preceded by Mitchell if the interviewee was as interesting as this week), ads, Brooker rant, Mitchell discussion, Carr sign off. Credits. Better programme.