Six things Radiradirah got right:

1) The title
Giving the show a made-up name for the title was brilliant -although a bit tricky to spell, when you Google it, you’re not going to get, say, a former duchy of north-central Germany instead.

2) The animation
Finally Robert & Sheepy gets some decent exposure. There was also a pleasing variety of animation styles in the show, from Guy Capper’s claymation to the vector-graphics (and Maya?) of Beached Az and Flash of FOT.

3) The format
It’s been ages since we’ve had an ensemble sketch comedy – nostalgia may have clouded our memory of the quality of Skitz… most of it was pretty dreadful, despite the magnificent gurning of Lyndee-Jane Rutherford. Funny Business from 1988 is definitely still worth checking out, despite the dodgy formatting of the recent DVD.

4) The tone
An essentially good-natured show, often childlike in parts.

5) Bringing John Clarke back to NZ television
Always watchable. Shame we drove him away in the first place.

6) The length
Eight episodes is sensible – more ambitious than six, not stoopid like 26.

Oh, sweet rubbery fuck, thank god that show’s over. No-one is still commenting on this thing. No. One. There was a lot of ridiculous bullshit hype before the show came out – understandable, considering who was starring in it, and then a few unenthusiastic reviews, and then an embarrassed silence. Just little me plugging away each week. I’m fascinated by stuff like this, it’s the same reason I like Southland Tales, Richard Kelly’s disastrous follow-up to Donnie Darko. Anyway, for the few of you who are still interested:

Six things Radiradirah got wrong:

1) The title:
Its uniqueness means there’s no way of burying vicious online criticism, which I’m afraid was the only kind.

2) The animation
Fuck me, Young Hitler was dreadful. And relentless. And ugly to watch. And just, you know, quite a bad, poorly-executed and unfunny idea in the first place. Some people liked Mangrovia – John Clarke’s kiwi was okay, but like most of the sketches (Space Waltz, Gavin Hoode) it looked like a failed pilot idea that was too thin to carry a series of its own.

3) The format
As I’ve mentioned before, if you’re going to do a series which has exactly the same dozen-or-so sketches every week, it might be a good idea to use ideas which are worth developing over two months. This is why the first episode, although a trifle disappointing, still had potential, and why the audience wavered and dipped instead of building slowly and steadily.

4) The tone
Who was this show for? Five-year olds who enjoy grownups shouting “Fuck!” instead of actual jokes? They should have cut the language and rape jokes and put it on at 3:30pm. Too strong for kids, too childish for adults.

5) Demonstrating the limits of its creator’s talents
Please, no more Rhys Darby. The only thing he did that was watchable or even remotely amusing was the voice of FOT. Taika Waititi, despite his #1 NZ film of all time, was bloody awful onscreen. Oscar Kightley seemed strangely uncomfortable as well. This programme may be the worst thing that everyone in it has ever been involved with.

6) The length
Breaking up unfunny sketches with shorter unfunny sketches doesn’t make the unfunny sketches funnier, it just makes getting through half-an-hour more bearable. This is a terrible reason to have to edit something. This show had more padding than your average Italian tenor. I think this has to be the writers’ fault – how the hell did they decide that this material was worth filming? Did they go in with a bunch of great ideas and then realise “Oh, actually, we don’t need to write eight great episodes, we can just come up with half an hour of good ideas and then st-re-tch it out for two months. We can pad things out further with dubbed wildlife footage and Taika’s inexplicable alien act. And for some reason, despite our collective talent, we can’t put anything too challenging in, so let’s make sure that everything is as lazy and obvious as possible”? The final episode was particularly grim. At least in Blackadder you knew they’d die at the end of each series. We were denied that sweet, sweet release here. It just slowly deflated, like a balloon left hung up after a party.

Final Radiradirah ratings from Throng:

May 21st: 289,780
May 28th: 165,320
June 4th: 225,320
June 11th: (no rating, presumably under 246,650)
June 18th: 223,610
June 25th: 191,920
July 2nd: 158,800
July 9th: 233,330

Let us speak of this no more.


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