Mercado on TV: Comedy hits and misses and everybody wants to screen a high school series


The new Australian comedy that can’t decide if it’s a comedy or a schlocky disaster flick

Comedy is alive and well and TV is providing much of the inspiration. We Interrupt This Broadcast (Seven) is a sketch show that mostly sends up reality TV, while History of the World Part II (Disney+) transplants historical figures into TV skits too.


We Interrupt this Broadcast has some hilarious moments, particularly its Kardashian skit, Love Island becoming Lip Island and the football panel show desk exploding with big boofy blokes. The show’s relentless priority on reality TV, however, can sometimes make its one-hour running time a chore.

See Also: Mark Fennessy interview – “Comedy has been overdue”: Skewering TV on We Interrupt This Broadcast

History Of The World Part II is the long-awaited follow-up to the Part 1 movie from 1981. Now an 8-part TV series, 96-year-old Mel Brooks is the narrator, but instead of writing it alone, he’s opened it up to include Wanda Sykes, Nick Kroll and Ike Barenholtz, all of whom also appear. They perform alongside guest stars like Taika Waititi, Ronny Chieng, Danny De Vito, Jason Alexander and Jack Black.

Johnny Knoxville plays Rasputin in a Jackass send-up, and the legendary Marla Gibbs stars in a send-up of African-American sitcoms from the 70s. But nothing is funnier than the send-up of Curb Your Enthusiasm which includes its iconic theme music and appearances from series regulars Richard Kind and J.B. Smoove.

In the ongoing skit Curb Your Judaism, the Larry David character becomes Judas Iscariot, and his betrayal of Jesus is framed as one of those crazy situations Larry David is always getting himself into. History Of The World Part II is big on Jesus jokes, but there are no organised protests like The Project (10) just endured, because the gags don’t come from a queer comedian.

TV goes back to school

Class of ’07 (Amazon Prime) is a new Australian comedy that can’t decide if it’s a comedy or a schlocky disaster flick. A 10-year high school reunion is underway when the entire world gets swamped by an apocalyptic tidal wave and the mountaintop school is left surrounded by water. 

Some serious issues are raised, particularly in the second half, but the tone is so uneven, viewers may not last that long. Emily Browning, Steph Tisdell and Caitlyn Stacey do their best, as does Debra Lawrence playing a nun, but some of the performances are a bit messy.

Class of 07

Shows about high schools are very hot right now. Some are great – like Heartbreak High (Netflix) and Black Snow (Stan) – but others, like Bad Behaviour (Stan) and Class of ’07, have left me cold. Given I am not their target audience, hopefully the young adult audience thinks otherwise.

Read more Mercado on TV columns here.


Mercado & Manning weekly TV podcast

Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning.
A busy new episode features a look at the last season of Succession plus Class of ’07, History of the World Part II, Close to Me, Lucky Hank, and Extrapolations.

Listen online here, on the LiSTNR app or on your favourite podcast platform.

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