John Safran's Race Relations (2009– )

TV Series  |  Comedy
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Title: John Safran's Race Relations (2009– )

John Safran's Race Relations (2009– ) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Series cast summary:
John Safran ...
 Himself (8 episodes, 2009)
Justin Heazlewood ...
 Re-enactment John (6 episodes, 2009)


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John Safran gets busy with cross-cultural love




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Release Date:

21 October 2009 (Australia)  »

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1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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John Safran gets personal
6 May 2010 | by (Adelaide, Australia) – See all my reviews

John cut his teeth on short "video essays" made for the ABC and briefly channel 7. These have usually used black humour to get a point across. I became a fan of his after seeing the "Not the Sunscreen Song" video and thought that John Safran's Music Jamboree was an interesting insight into some aspects of the Australian music industry . John Safran versus god explored his main interest apart from music which was religion, having spent 12 or so years attending private Jewish school(s) in Melbourne.

His radio show on JJJ tends to have various guests with a slant toward religious themes. Speaking in Tongues on SBS was basically a televised version of the radio show which perhaps was a sign that Safran had run out of interests to explore. Since Speaking in Tongues Safran tried to break into the American market but without much success. Last year Safran took 6 months off from the radio show and John Safran's Race Relations on ABC is the result. There was of course a sneak preview in the newspapers after he got into trouble in the Philippines (what exactly happened has not been revealed to my knowledge).

The main theme of Race Relations seems to be his personal life as he roped what must be everyone he knows into the show in some way (parents, friends, ex-girlfriends). How he got as many people as he did to co-operate with his stunts and experiments must be a trade secret. I listened to the commentary for a couple of episodes but they struggled to find interesting things to talk about. After listening to the radio show for a couple of years I began to suspect that there was no real intellectual underpinning to Safran's comic persona, he's not widely read and probably doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about deeper issues. I think even Scottish-American TV host Craig Ferguson has more intellectual credentials than Safran.

John has picked a number of interesting places to visit but the things he does there mostly tend to miss the mark in terms of exploring the subject matter or be drawn out. At home he tends to take things too far. It's not all bad as there is enough interesting or funny material to get through the series but having fast-forward capability is advised as there is a lot of unnecessarily awkward moments thrown in. He casts aside his dignity and possibly burned some bridges so there might be something here for people who enjoy watching car wrecks.

Overall he has explored music, religion and now his personal life with a little race relations thrown in and he should probably change tack as I doubt he'd have anything interesting to film for a future 6-part series. Maybe he could go back to hosting a Speaking in Tongues type series as there's an endless amount of content there.

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