Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Underthinking Pilot Season: The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore

Hello internet,

This seems like an odd show to underthink as we've been talking about narrative fiction shows so far but I decided to throw it in the mix anyway. We've already talked about Blackish, which Larry Wilmore was involved with, and it is a new show that premiered this season and you know what, look, this is my blog, well, our blog (Hi Gab!), and we're going to talk about what we want to talk about.

I've watched almost all of the 35 episodes that have aired at this point. I may have missed five or fewer episodes because I didn't have enough time to watch them and they just expired from my hulu queue. Regardless of the exact number, I feel like I have a good grasp of the show at this point. The decision to go with the panel show was an interesting choice but it's ultimately a big weakness. Even on Fox News, the panel show format, not the shows with the talking heads but the ones on Fox News or Fox Business where people just hang out and talk, are the worst. They might actually contain fewer inflammatory ideas and comments and foster a real discussion but they are generally quite boring. And when people want to talk over each other or get in their soundbytes, things become a bit of a mess and there's no depth to the discussion.

I admire the fact that The Nightly Show isn't afraid of tackling big ideas but I don't think this is the right format to do it. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is just a superior show. For me, it's the news show that inherits the mantle of Stewart and Colbert and pushes farther into tackling big issues and provoking change. For the most part, I just don't find The Nightly Show that consistently funny and the panelists rarely delve deeply into the subjects they tackle and make any original salient points.

CONCLUSION: This isn't a show you need to watch but if there's a topic that interests you maybe tune in once in a while. You may get a laugh or two out of it but you probably won't learn anything and it'll likely just reinforce the viewpoint you already hold.