Personally if I was Amanda Duthie and I was presiding over the Chaser’s 2009 season I would be flummoxed by its amazing unfunniness this time around. I was wondering after the first episode whether this was because we don’t have the Howard government anymore, or maybe the show has been too successful or something. So if I was Amanda Duthie I’d be thinking ‘god, anything goes here, why isn’t it funny anymore? Maybe a skit about dying children making “realistic” wishes is funny, who knows.’ I am not entirely sure what the Chaser’s crime was with that skit, since it wasn’t really poking fun at dying children per se, but more at smarmy celebrities and perhaps by extension the false idea that going to a theme park or meeting a celebrity is compensation for having a serious or terminal illness. The fine points of it are probably not worth going into in any great detail though because basically it wasn’t funny. Perhaps that was Duthie’s biggest mistake – not taking them to task over that important issue. I suppose they were golden boys and they had to push the envelope etc so everyone was under pressure.
Then Ruddy has to weigh in with his child pornography face and you think maybe we really do still have the Howard government. Then Gordon Ramsay calls someone a lesbian and we all move on. I have a vague idea of who Gordon Ramsay is, he’s someone of no consequence, but who’s the person he called a lesbian? Someone I can’t place at all. This is grumpy old man territory. Taking pride in having no knowledge of aspects of popular culture. I resisted that for a long, long time but it was always inevitable.
I am uncertain what the point was of reducing the show by 2 episodes, who is being punished and what on earth the ABC’s important 2009 scheduling might have to offer. I guess there is a chance that this might mean the remainder of the Chaser eps might be better with material distilled down, though on the evidence of the first few episodes I doubt it. I feel duty bound to point out that, a la Sandra Hall, I have no illusion that I could have done better. Some of the stuff they did on previous seasons of The Chaser was incredible, in case you hadn’t noticed.