RTE’s Monday night comedy line-up of ‘The Republic of Telly’ and the new hidden camera show ‘The Fear’ has been on our screens for the last 3 weeks. ‘The Republic of Telly’ welcomes its new presenter Kevin McGahern of Hardy Bucks fame to the latest series of humorous sketches and poking fun at other programmes. The show’s format remains the same as the usual beginning, which consists of the presenter creating humorous observations at other RTE and TV3 programmes, was thoroughly enjoyable. One would suggest that McGahern is a natural in front of the camera, however he certainly has big shoes to fill when it comes to replacing former host Dermot Whelan, who indeed made the show his own. The feature of the episode was of course the ‘Ireland Musical’ in which the cast of the show went around to every county in Ireland and created a pun of other popular songs in the county’s name.
Video Credit RTE’s YouTube
The idea was fantastic and the video has been highly praised in the social media world, which is creating some nice momentum for the show. Last week’s video of ‘the typical Irish wedding’ also proved to be very popular.
The show then featured the usual sketches of McGahern, Jennifer Maguire and Bernard O’ Shea’s antics around the RTE studios which remain quite entertaining. Bernard O’Shea’s stupid frolics prove to be the main humorous source of the outlines. Besides that ‘The Republic of Telly’ does not really offer much else to the imagination. Overall the show is lukewarm, and has certainly lost a little bit of class in the absence of Dermot Whelan, however, if it continues to produce viral videos of Irish life they will certainly hold onto viewers.
‘The Fear’ was next on the bill for RTE’s comedy line-up, presented by the beautiful Jennifer Maguire and the Second Tribe, staffed by the team behind ‘The Republic of Telly’ playing pranks on the general public of Ireland.
Hidden camera shows over the last 5-10 years have been highly regarded and have resulted in some hilarious chapters. ‘The Fear’, however, does not even come close in comparison to the likes of ‘Naked Camera’ or ‘The Annoying Devil’. The sketches are extremely short and they are far too frequent in occurrence also. It’s more enjoyable to watch 5 funny sketches than 12 terrible ones (which is the exact figure of last night’s episode, quite a lot for half an hour). I found it very hard to watch. The sketches included, a nun requesting for the random members of the public to take off a chastely lock, Maguire performing a “rude” knock off act of Meave Higgin’s security guard character in ‘Naked Camera’, Hilary Rose disguised as a polish woman asking for a hamster in a pet shop so she can use it to perform sexual acts with her husband and….do I really need to continue? Hidden camera shows are really not that difficult at all to create and this looks like something a bunch of teenagers with a nice camera would scrape together. A terribly unfunny show which the RTE producers must realize by now, it would be surprising if it was renewed.
Overall the night was not much of a comedic showcase. The previous line up of ‘The Mario Rosenstock Show’ and ‘Damo and Ivor’ was mildly superior but the fact that RTE are still depending on Father Ted to rope in a few viewers before the two shows start is surely a sign of panic. A lot of work to be done, no doubt.