REVIEW | Disgrace! #PilotWeek
The second of eight shows in Ten's Pilot Week initiative - DeciderTV.com's Steve Molk reviews DISGRACE!
HOW DID TEN PITCH IT?
The world is full of disgrace and outrage. Shunned politician Sam Dastyari and the team behind Gruen and The Chaser manage the latest outbreak of outrage in a half-hour of opinion, insight and laughs.
WHAT IS IT REALLY?
Gruen, but for outrage, shame and scandal.
WHO IS IN IT AND WHO RESPONSIBLE FOR IT?
Cast includes Sam Dastyari, Becky Lucas, Stephanie Rice, Greg Baxter and "Intern" Pete Deppler.
The show is produced by CJZ Productions (with added help from The Chaser's Charles Firth & The Roast's Nic Richardson).
WAS IT ANY GOOD?
As a host Sam Dastyari makes a great panellist. That's not to say he couldn't improve... it just takes time and you don't have that in a pilot. Also, he should have kept the beard.
Becky Lucas bought some great conversation and anecdotes and was a fresh voice in the midst of some others that are all-too familiar.
Stephanie Rice seemed to miss the point of every situation presented (even the outrage around her own faux pas).
Pete the Intern, a product of the Kyle & Jackie O machine, understands outrage and knows how to court it (he does so daily in his job). His perspective and opinion was a welcome counterpoint to many of those offered by the host and other panellists (I may not agree with his view or his methods - he stands by it and I appreciated his rationale). He was definitely the "Russel Howcroft" of the ep. His hand betrayed his reasonably-contained nerves.
Greg Baxter doesn't have the runs on the board to be the "Todd Sampson" of the episode, yet he delivered his opinion as if he'd been anointed as such.
The news segment with Natasha Exelby didn't need to be played for gags. What it highlighted was how the outrage cycle has so many high-profile additions on a weekly basis and could simply be a report of those items.
Dastyari hunting Pink for the day with notorious paparazzo Jamie Fawcett was interesting, and it did deliver the line of the night from Baxter: "He's a rolled-gold grub, that guy."
I half expected Dastyari to throw to representatives of two advertising companies to deliver their pitches and hand them a split acrylic trophy. At times it felt clunkier than a pre-recorded show should.
SHOULD IT GO TO SERIES?
Yes, but only with a lot - A LOT - of work. The episode has good bones which reveals the calibre of the people behind it. The set is fine, and the rotating "experts" notion has real potential a la Gruen.
There's enough social media craziness from famous people (and stupid enough stuff by normal people) to validate a season. I expect it's one of the top three programs Ten would've been backing they'd approve for a series call coming into pilot week.