Sunday, 3 February 2008


'Thank God You're Here' is a brave effort by ITV, for a change. If you've not seen it yet, it is a Saturday night improvisation show on ITV where a contestant goes through a door into a staged scene where they will have to totally ad-lib there way through, without any prior knowledge of anything about the scene like where it is set or what it's about, or what the other characters are going to ask them or what events await them. Sometimes it falls flat... but that's what you've got to expect sometimes on an improvisation show, especially the way they have done it: on 'Who's Line is it Anyway?' (the sadly long extinct C4 improv. show) they were probably able to sharpen things-up far more with editing after the event because they had small games (and maybe they even cut-out a couple of games per show that didn't work very well), but with 'Thank God You're Here' each actor, presenter, or whoever is the contestant, have quite a long scene to endure that can't be tweaked so much in the cutting room. And you can tell it is genuine improv: the occasional look of confusion or apprehension confirms it. They have some surprising contestants too... I was a bit sceptical when they wheeled-on Fern Briton one week, I was disappointed even, although I quite like her as a presenter -- I just thought she would be a bit rubbish doing improvisation...but she was ace! And indeed she won the show. I think the best scene though was in another episode when Phil Nicol was thrown in at the deep end as a cow boy and his improvisation was excellent and so unexpected, he turned his character into a gay gold prospector and he thought of such excellent names for all the characters right on the spot.

It's ashame Channel 4 don't do 'Who's line is it anyway?' any more.


Hermit said...

Thanks for the audio clip. Oh and SPOILERS in the Ashes to Ashes thing, I'm trying to avoid all info on it before watching.

zmoose said...

Oops... really sorry about the spoiler...I promise all future mention of Ashes to Ashes will be either review or my usual wild speculation.