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Review – The Joy Of Sets

September 20, 2011

The Joy Of Sets – Nine – 9:00pm Tuesday – AUS

As I sat down to watch Channel 9’s new comedy series The Joy Of Sets I knew that I was probably going to be walking away a fan. Despite having one of the worst ‘pun titles’ imaginable The Joy Of Sets had three great things going for it; it starred Tony Martin, who I unashamedly have loved since The Late Show, alongside Ed Kavelee who fronted TV Burp, a show that I’m probably alone in saying I watched every episode of, and it was a light-hearted look at the world of television, which as you may have guessed is a topic I kind of, sort of enjoy. Having finished the first episode of The Joy Of Sets I can tell you that while I am definitely a fan of the show, and enjoyed what I saw, it still felt like something was missing, something that I can’t quite place my finger on.

Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee sitting on a set designed to look like a memorabilia packed loungeroom cracking wise about TV is a simple set up for a TV show but it’s also an incredibly light set up for a TV show. The Joy Of Sets is one of those shows that are enjoyable while they’re on but ultimately disposable. Unfortunately this was only more noticeable because The Joy Of Sets is a Channel 9 show, and not an ABC series. Now, I’m sure I’m not the first person to mention that The Joy Of Sets feels like it should be on the ABC and not stuck behind Two & A Half Men, but that’s because the ABC have spend the good part of a decade building up Wednesday nights to house a show just like this one. Could you think of a more perfect home for a show like this than following on from Spicks & Specks or The Gruen Transfer?

Sadly, wishing that The Joy Of Sets was on a network that would ensure it’d have a long lifespan is ultimately fruitless. Tony & Ed have found their home in the vast wasteland that is Channel 9, and while placing the premiere between Ashton Kutcher’s heavily hyped debut on Two & A Half Men and the Charlie Sheen Roast proves that Nine have are giving The Joy Of Sets all the support that they can, it still feels oddly placed especially as comediaclly the shows don’t fit together. While I’ll almost certainly be watching every episode of this series the idea of making sure I find Channel 9 for a half hour of funny but light-weight riffing on bad television feels kind of pointless. If I feel this way about the show, and I want to watch the show, how is somebody going to feel who won’t put up with the end credits for Two & A Half Men to get their Tony & Ed fix; it would seem that the ‘it should be on the ABC’ argument will come up many times in the life of The Joy Of Sets.

That’s the other thing, how long will the life of Joy Of Sets be? Channel 9 have in the past year managed to crash and burn with big names like Ben Elton, Hamish & Andy, Top Gear, and Hey Hey It’s Saturday, how are they going to find an audience for cult favourites like Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee? These are two incredibly funny blokes who just want to chat about some weird TV shows they’ve found, and if Nine’s track record is anything to go by they won’t be around very long to do that. You’ll notice that so far I haven’t really discussed the content of The Joy Of Sets, and that’s mostly because, as I mentioned, the show is kind of lightweight. The first episode they chatted about opening credits, made some mock opening credits sequences, poked fun at some others, and brought Peter Phelps on to pick on some of his opening credits appearances. There was a lot of funny stuff in the episode, and Tony & Ed sure did seem to be enjoying themselves, but at the end of the day this is a nice, amusing, chat show about TV, and it would be a shame if it only gets a short time on our screens simply because of the TV channel it calls home is an incompetent monster.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Canecutter permalink
    September 21, 2011 2:03 am

    I just can’t work out why the ABC does this sort of thing so well while Channel 9 can’t seem to manage it. I think the thing that was lacking was authority. While Tony and Ed did the best they could, their opinion didn’t matter to me and their jokes fell short of the mark.

    • pdjones permalink*
      September 21, 2011 2:30 am

      I thought the jokes were the funny, I just thought that it seemed awfully short – and being broken up by FOUR ad breaks didn’t help matters.

  2. Fire+Ice permalink
    September 27, 2011 5:36 pm

    This is bound to fail! If there’s a season two, I’ll be sure to watch all my TV viewing online/DVDs, so I need not waste my time or anyone elses in watching such poorly written, executed and simply lack of content shows I’ve watched in a long time. =]

    • Erica permalink
      October 2, 2011 5:48 am

      Nothing could be more poorly written than that post!

  3. Kevin Jay permalink
    October 4, 2011 3:08 am


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