Let’s Talk About… Television

Julia: I know that I wrote a huge blog post a while ago about all the shows that are new this season, but to be honest the only shows that I actually bother to keep up with are Mindy Project and the Mentalist. I find that the Mindy Project has just the right amount of awkwardness, parody, and humour. I know everybody loves New Girl and I might be the only person in the world who thinks this way, but Jess is too awkward, and the boys are extreme parodies. I don’t believe, nor can I relate to, any of it. And the Mentalist… well it’s pure gold, there’s no debate about that.

Hilary: Yes, I feel the same way and, as a result, I have been watching a lot of British panel shows, which you know, because we watch them together most of the time. Part of me really wants there to be Canadian panel shows, but then I think that maybe they wouldn’t be quite as good. There’s just something about the British that makes them excellent at sitting around tables with a small number of other British people and having hilarious conversations.

Julia: I think the closest thing in Canada we have to a panel show like QI, or Was it Something I Said would be Dragons’ Den or Match Game. In which case, better left to the Brits, I say. Though, I wouldn’t mind seeing a panel consisting of Russell Peters, Rick Mercer and Michael Buble. Also, when I was typing out Michael Buble’s name I almost called him Sean. I have absolutely no idea why. Sean Buble, that well known crooner.

Hilary: I agree, better left to the Brits. I think my favourite panel show right now is Was it Something I Said, if only because Richard Ayoade and David Mitchell are two of my favourite panel show type folk. They’re both quite clever and deadpan, which I think is something I really relate to. QI is always a solid standby and I am quite fond of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. That having been said, my ultimate favourite episode of NMTB is the episode when Richard Ayoade guest hosts. On the other hand, the one where Martin Freeman guest hosts is a close second.

Julia: I think that I have to disagree, and argue that the best episode of NMTB is when Josh Grobin is on the panel. That was the best moment in panel show history for me. I also really liked Would I Lie to You mostly because Rob Brydon would constantly try and take things off track so he could do a Sean Connery impersonation.

Hilary: Okay, yes, that was pretty hilarious. But the conversation between Richard Ayoade and Ed Sheeran is so funny! And it fills my cold, black heart with joy. I like Would I Lie to You because Lee Mack is constantly making fun of David Mitchell for being pompous. Now, would we consider Big Fat Quiz of the Year a panel show? Because that’s always a treat. They’re quite lengthy and usually only happen once per year after New Year’s, but they’re pretty entertaining. Alan Carr is delightful.

Julia: Oh my gosh I love Alan Carr. I know that he has a talk show and not a panel show but he’s actually delightful. When he had Adele on it melted my cold black heart with joy because they just chatted away like the best friends they are. In real life!

Hilary: Another British show I’m quite fond of currently is Gadget Man. It’s in its second season right now. Last season, it was hosted by Stephen Fry, which was probably lovely, but I didn’t know it existed then. Now it’s being hosted by Richard Ayoade and it’s just the best. It’s all about technology and, as the name would suggest, gadgets, which doesn’t seem all that interesting at first, but it’s Richard Ayoade (I now feel a bit like an obsessive fangirl because I’ve talked about Richard Ayoade so much in this post, but I swear it’s valid). Also, he invites other hilarious British celebrity friends on to help him test the gadgets. He and Noel Fielding take a vacation to a beach in the south of France together. Adorable.

Julia: Adorable indeed. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I wish we had 4 Channel. Or at least the BBC.

Hilary: And not the Canadian version of the BBC (no, not CBC, but the actual BBC Canada) because all they really play is Graham Norton, and as entertaining as he is, it’s just not the same as QI. In slightly related news, I have officially given up on Hollyoaks. It’s the end of an era, Julia. They have literally killed off or gotten rid of every character that I actually cared about and now it’s just not worth it.

Julia: Ah Hollyoaks. I checked out when Carmel and the gambling priest didn’t get together – you lasted a surprisingly long time! Also, while we’re on the topic, if anybody is concerned, I’m still working my way through Chuck. I have Friday off and have plans to do nothing but become re-obsessed. I’m excited.

Hilary: I look forward to returning home to find you on a couch somewhere, totally engrossed and antsy. I think Chuck might have the same effect on you as caffeine does. It might even be worse. Minus the paranoia.

Julia: Yes, much less paranoia, much more love. I mean caffeine is great, but it’s got nothing on nerdy, affable, loveable spies.

Hilary: Or Richard Ayoade.

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