Argumental Review: Dividing Opinion
ARGUMENTAL: Tuesday 2nd February, DAVE, 10.20pm ALERT ME
Argumental, Dave’s popular comedy show is back on our screens for it’s third series, but this first episode takes a while to warm up.
The opening of the show features a number of ill-timed jokes from host John Sergeant, most of which are greeted with forced laughter from the audience.
As well as being pretty annoying in itself, this only seems to emphasise Sergeant’s lack of comic skill and the fact that at times he looks decidedly out of his comfort zone. Similarly, some of the panel’s banter is somewhat sketchy with jokes about the working class raising nothing more than a half-hearted snigger at best.
But don’t let the first few moments of the show put you off though, the rest is littered with genuinely funny moments and the momentum continues to grow as Rufus Hound and Marcus Brigstocke get into their stride, and guests Johnny Vegas and Chris Addison beginning to get in on the action.
Subsequently, Sergeant’s lack of comic timing becomes rather endearing, with a number of jokes being so rubbish, they almost become comedy gold. His insistence on talking about lap dancers and ‘barely legals’ (teenagers) is also so wrong, coming from his big, grinning and somewhat mature mouth, that it becomes… well, right.
There are also a growing number of hilarious one liners from the rest of the panel, with Marcus Brigstocke’s declaration that “polar bears are bollocks” being a particular highlight.
By the end of the show, I was chuckling away quite heartily at the ridiculousness of the debates being presented. I had also completely come round to Sergeant’s role as host, as his thorough enjoyment at the ludicrous points being made around him, provides entertainment in itself.
The first episode of the third series of Argumental is definitely not seamless, with the supposed spontaneity of the show becoming contrived. However, it is worth watching and it definitely provides some laughs – even if, at times, you’re laughing at John Sergeant (bless him), rather than with him.