Very loose late night talk show on BBC 2 moderated by Ruby Wax, who basically invites a bunch of friends (mainly writers and comedians) to sit and talk around a table full of food and drink. The montage during the opening credits, using newspaper clippings, made it seem like a topical show. Usually the Rubester would indeed start off on a current news item, but quickly steer off into more personal stuff. It could get rather confusing when the group started talking about something personal that they did not feel the need to explain to the audience. They smoked a lot too. Some episodes would start in the middle of the conversation and end equally abrupt. Often they would just keep on talking during the final credits, as if they simply ran out of time (the show was however prerecorded and edited).
If you just tuned in for the first time during the middle you might have wondered whom exactly was supposed to be hosting this, as Ruby had mellowed a bit over the years and let go of her earlier, overbearing persona. She still got to show off her quick wit, putting a different spin on things people said and never completely disappear into the background. The feeling of watching a celebrity dinner party was lessened only slightly by the eclectic purple set draped around them that seems to have been designed by Joel Schumacher.
Shown of three consecutive nights, Ruby's pal Carrie Fisher seemed to be on every week, since she would always fit the theme of the day, be it writing about drugs, single showbiz moms or coping with famous parents. At one time Miss Wax even tried to get Fisher hitched to Salman Rushdie (who was still in deep hiding at the time). Sometimes it seemed like Ruby had grown tired of meeting new people and just kept inviting old favourites from previous shows (and series like 'The Full Wax') over and over again. Still the voyeuristic style of it all and the often quite personal subjects addressed made you stay tuned till the end.
7 out of 10
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