Apart from Ugly Betty, and the occasional fix of Newsnight, I don’t watch very much TV. When I moved back here from New York, and to the horror of my X Factor-addicted sisters, I didn’t even OWN a TV set for almost three years.
That said, I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Saunders, and thought Absolutely Fabulous was, well, absolutely fabulous in its time. So I anticipated with great excitement, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. Co-written by, and starring Jennifer Saunders, it is set in the world of daytime TV.
But I’ve been really disappointed. In fact, I found episode one to be borderline depressing. Still, I persevered, because new comedy shows sometimes take a few episodes to settle in. I’ve now watched four or five, and I’m not the first to say -- this just isn’t funny.
The problem is not that Jennifer Saunders isn’t fantastic as the ambitious host of a daytime talk show. It’s the subject itself that brings it down. This type of format is difficult to parody. And really -- how much humour is there to be found in vulnerable people having their lives torn apart on national TV?
After five episodes, for me it's over and done. Bye-bye, Vivienne Vyle.
But I still love Jennifer Saunders!