Well, I gave this one another shot, and it's just not for me. The biggest thing is that I just didn't laugh, which hey, is fine for most advocacy, but it's not what Full Frontal is pitching itself as, and the easy insults as humor bit doesn't really work. I didn't always love Jon Stewart, but one of the things I appreciated about him is that he at least took pains to point out the deterioration of political discourse (even if he too was guilty of that at times and brushed it off as him just being a comedian and not a pundit). Full Frontal feels like it's contributing to that rather than fighting it. Maybe Samantha Bee is just responding to the times, but there's a lot of punching down, superiority, and mudslinging going on that isn't my cup of tea or something that really tickles my funny bone.

There's also not much nuance to the points made, independently of the comedy. There's plenty to take the media to task over in its coverage of the presidential race and the importance of putting candidates and their statements into context. But Bee doesn't even bother to take the idea of journalistic objectivity or the divide between coverage and editorial seriously, and making fun of Matt Lauer's admittedly ridiculous morning show antics feels like a cheap shot in service of her point. A strident tone is fine, especially when there's a lot to be angry about these days, but just being a dick about your point without engaging in the complexity of the issues (admittedly difficult in a 7-minute segment) is no substitute for real insight.

This was worth a try, and I'm glad to see some more diversity in the late night world, but I wish the results were better. I'll stick with John Oliver.

loading replies

1 reply

@andrewbloom Sorry to hear that, I'm still loving it for anyone reading. Try it yourself and make a choice