Nevermind Watchdown: S22E05, or Lower Your Expectations.

Right, onto actual continuity, and someone who is actually still relevant in pop culture- like, uh, like current Late Night Host, Tony Awards slayer and legitimate funny person JAMES CORDEN!

I know the UK’s sick of the guy by now, but over here his schtick is still pretty fresh. He’s a pretty nice choice to guest-Bill, and it’s nice, because I literally don’t know anybody else on this panel.

Simon peps up this show as being halfway through, and “slightly worse than last series”, so he concocts a strategy on how to enjoy the rest of the series…
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This could also work as a suggestion on how to survive the Simon Amstell era, too.

James Allan is the lead singer of Glasvegas, Germaine Greer’s a TV personality and presenter. Gabriella Cilmi is an Australian singer-songwriter. “Her name is pronounced ‘Chilmi, rather than ‘kill me’, which she learned the hard way when she was recently murdered”- by the way, that’s a Mark Lamarr joke if I’ve ever heard one. Annnd Glenn Wool is the requisite comedian, and I say that because it’s the first time in a few series that I haven’t heard of the requisite comedian here.

James thinks he’s in the j.Lo video, so he has them go back, and…

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To be fair, this is something that Phill would do as well…

Phill: “I for one find it quite reassuring to know that, if push came to shove, I could buy tights…”

Simon: “Germaine’s fee tonight is going towards the rainforest. James, I imagine you’re doing a similar thing.”
James: “Yes, mine’s going to the Rainforest Cafe.”

Germaine: “And, of course I fancied Mark Lamarr, in the old days…”
Simon, shitting on the show’s grave: “…who?”

Germaine: “He kissed me once…on his talk show-”
Phill: “ON HIS WHAT????”

Simon then tries to have a sexual interaction with Germaine, but the cardigan stops her.
Phill: “Wouldn’t be great if you finally swap over to, let’s face it, the SEXY SIDE of the tracks…it was by GERMAINE GREER! She rode you around the town like a little donkey.”
Germaine: “You know, donkeys are incredibly well endowed. Is this true about yourself? You have a big nose, which is promising…”
Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 12.57.11 AM.png

Simon: “What about Avril Lavigne?”
Germaine: “I’ve never even heard of Avril Lavigne!”
Glenn: “How could you know that thing about donkey dicks and not know who Avril Lavigne was?”
Germaine: “…because donkeys have been around a bit longer than Avril Lavigne!”

James Corden, by the way, is absolutely the best, from chatting up Germaine, to embracing the others in a group hug (where James Allan briefly pecks his cheek). He’s just a great, fun, energetic presence to the show.

Germaine talks about Vivian Westwood on Room 101 with a see-throw dress, “which was quite startling, to see this 50-year old lady’s minge through her frock…”
Phill: “If I could stop you there, Professor Greer, so I can ask that all the people at home who have their ‘What Will Germaine Greer Say Tonight’ cards, please tick off the word ‘minge!”

Simon: “When INXS chose their new lead singer, they said that Michael Hutchence approved the decision from beyond the grave. At least they think he did, as he had a bit of a sore throat.”
Ooooooh. Mark Lamarr would be proud.

Glenn: “What genre would that one be?”
Phill: “MUSIC!”

I’ll give them credit- Phill and Gabriella’s ‘Keep the Car Running’ intro was pretty good, especially after i heard what it actually was.

Simon: “Gabriella, you’re albums called Lessons to Learn. What lessons have you learned?”
Gabriella: “Probably to not come back on this show…”
Audience: “AAWWWW…”
Simon: “SEE, THEY LOVE THIS SHOW! And hate people they haven’t really heard of…”

Simon: “I’ve got another Gabriella Cilmi fact…SHE HATES…ME…!”

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James: “…#2 looks like he’s gonna kill me. I haven’t even said anything!”
Simon: “It’s because you dissed public transport!”

They go back and forth and 2 just keeps staring at James, which begins to really freak him out. It’s nowhere near Athelston levels, but it’s still amusing.

Germaine: “I think he and his mates have had a bet that he’d be laughing and he’s trying to win the bet.”
James: “I think if his face could talk, it’d be saying ‘yoooou fat bastard…”

James Allan hasn’t done a lot this episode, but he’s still being very dry and amusing (of course, as a Glaswegian). So, while James knows the member of BBMak is #5, James Allan is going that it’s #2.

After Gabriella makes an incoherent answer to a Simon question.
Simon: “…why did you leave Australia, Germaine?”

Simon: “Tragedy.”
End-of-round buzzer.
Phill: “That wasn’t a lyric, was it?”
Simon: “No, that was me commenting on the round, there…”

Overall: Strong start, thin middle. James was obviously up to the task, and his whole panel of Allan and Germaine were all really good, but there were a lot of demeanor issues- Simon was basically calling the whole episode, and the whole series, a failure as it was going on, and Gabriella and James Allan both had slight issues with Simon poking his head in. So, even with James Corden being wonderful, this is still a flawed show.

Guest Host rating: 9/10. Superb job by Mr. Corden.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Germaine
Best Runner: Lower Your Expectations.


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