However, far too many skits were lame. A Come Dine With Me parody fell flat – at least, until contestant Kev Riley, who went viral for shoving an entire whisk in his mouth, popped up to perform his party trick. A segment about Channel 5’s obsession with programmes about Yorkshire (not to mention Nazis, serial killers and Jane McDonald) went around in circles. Spoofs of Normal People, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Crown were met with tumbleweed.
Considering there were eight additional writers listed on the credits and the presenting trio also contributed their own material, one wonders where all the proper gags had gone. If screen-grabbed tweets and audience members (step forward, genitalia expert Esther) are funnier than the professionals, you know the script’s not up to snuff.
The testcard-style graphics and warehouse studio were generic and outdated. I could’ve also done without the try-hard laughter track and the laptops on the presenting team’s desks being colour-coded according to gender. Blue for the boys, pink for the girls. What was this, a 1970s toy catalogue?
There was the germ of a decent premise here. Playfully putting TV on trial is a promising idea and there’s plenty of material in the streaming age. This could have been Points of View for the Twitterverse.
At least proceedings ended with a flourish. Comedian Rosie Jones, who has cerebral palsy, gave her response to ableist comments about her recent Question Time appearance. It comprised three pithy words.
Channel 4 presumably hoped to have another Gogglebox on their hands – a TV hit about TV. There’s a lot of work to do before Complaints Welcome becomes anywhere near as beloved. Bring back Roger Bolton’s moustache and shoulder pads.