Features reports on an infestation of wild horses in the London underground, the BBC's new soap opera "The Bureau" (replacing the Nine O'Clock News), a fight between Queen Elizabeth and John Major, ...
A satire of British news programmes. It parodies the 'hard-hitting' Gulf War-era style of journalism, as well as mocking sports journalism, weather reports, American news programmes, business reports, soap operas, 'vox pops', and many other targets.Written by
A fantastic piece of satire that, to the shame of news shows, is just as on-target as it was over a decade ago
Although similar to Brass Eye, the difference with The Day Today was that it wasn't meant to be taken real, rather it was a satire of news shows and, I may say, a rather brilliant satire at that. It is rare (and not something I like) that I disagree with prolific reviewer Theo Robertson but on this title the only thing I agree with was the sentiment that he "don't get it". To me The Day Today (along with Brass Eye) captures Chris Morris at his best and sharpest, with sterling work from satire master Armando Iannucci. Together they have produced an exaggerated news show that has enough in common with reality to be recognisable, is exaggerated enough to be hilarious but yet again doesn't seem a million miles from the truth. The fact that the rolling news coverage is starting to get closer and closer to being just like The Day Today just shows how bang on it was and just how acutely the writers saw the direction that television news coverage was taking.
This can be seen most obviously in the things like the silly computer graphics, the simplification of the story, the forced interplay between presenters, pointless contributions from the public, the crazy weather forecasts and the tired clichés of the sports presenter but it is also in pretty much every part of the show. Those expecting consistent belly laughs might be disappointed because, although they are present, the main joy is the consistent invention and the regular hitting of ripe targets. Morris would also make good targets of the media with Brass Eye but he is just as good in other regards here, linking his weird sense of humour with a firm structure (something that was lacking in, say, Jam).
The different elements of the show all work together. Coogan's Partridge is so on-target that he struggled to completely get out of the shadow of his character for many years. He does great with the sports clichés and produces some very funny moments. Front is well suited to the material and looks well in the part of serious but "warm at the flick of the switch" like so many female news presenters. Schneider is helped by his funny looks and he produces the goods here as he regularly does. Marber is less memorable but his scenes with Morris are funny.
Overall this is a very funny satire on news shows that hit the mark then and, to the shame of news shows, is more on target than ever. Within the show's structure, Morris' sense of humour is controlled and is better for it as the show is both recognisable but yet also exaggerated and hilarious. Easily stands alongside Brass Eye as a fantastic piece of satire.
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