Sony Music Video/Sony BMG .
R4 . COLOR . 210 mins .
PG . PAL
The Footy Show is an odd little number really. It has survived for over ten years and, for most of that time, Channel Nine (responsible for the show) did not have access to actual game footage thanks to Channel Seven. It is a very blokey show that has a large female audience, is hosted by three vastly different personalities, one of whom would not get a job on television under any other circumstance, has been lauded by some and trashed by others, yet remains a top rating show for Channel Nine. To what then does it owe its success?
Insert your own 'fairy' joke here.
The Footy Show is more a football variety show than anything else. Okay, it now has actual footage it can show since Channel Nine gained the rights to AFL broadcasts, but that still forms only a small part of the proceedings. The rest is a combination of send ups, sight gags that frequently miss the mark, one-liners, shit-stirring, AFL past and present greats of varying intellects, and jibes aimed fairly and squarely at the public at large, especially those who dare question anything the three wise monkeys say or do.
The Ring Master is Eddie ‘Everywhere’ Maguire, who needs no introduction if you watch ...Millionaire, The Logies, or just about any other Channel Nine shindig. McGuire is charged with keeping things running smoothly, and reining in his main off-sider, former Geelong player Sam Newman, who has a tendency to say whatever he is thinking and is not one to tolerate those who do not think as he does. Lastly, there is the quick-witted and most amusing Melbourne comedian Trevor Marmalade, who resides behind the ‘bar’ but from memory is yet to actually serve a drink. Some of his more intellectual gags are lost on the less clued-in members of the panel.
The show has had its share of controversy, including the ‘dacking’ of Sam Newman at the hands of Shane Crawford, and Sam Newman’s run-ins (real and staged) with the likes of David Schwarz and Jason Dunstall. There was Newman’s infamous ‘blackface’ worn when Nicky Winmar failed to show for a scheduled appearance, Newman taking to the set with an axe and a chainsaw, and countless other verbal and visual clangers that have landed the show in hot water. Strangely almost all of these ‘incidents’ seem to involve Sam Newman.
This DVD covers all of the show’s main features such as Street Talk, Almost Football Legends, The Wheel and numerous interviews over its ten years. The main collection of memorable moments is just shy of two hours in length, and the individually selectable segments of Street Talk (35 minutes), Almost Football Legends (17 minutes), Grand Final Show (20 minutes), and Sam’s Walk Ons (21 minutes) pad the whole thing out to a few hours of viewing that might be a bit much in one sitting.
Once a clown, always a clown.
Despite frequent accusations of sexism, homophobia, bigotry and racism, the show continues to rate well, attracting a wide and varied audience and still finding players, officials and even music and movie celebrities queuing up to appear.
So what is the show’s appeal? Well. I’m afraid I still do not have a definitive answer. Perhaps that’s for the best.
The Footy Show - Greatest Hits: The First Decade DVD includes footage from all ten years, and while most of it looks fine, it is the later stuff that looks a little crisper. It is a 16:9 enhanced image, so the footage filmed a few years ago is bordered by black on both sides (and all four sides on a 4:3 telly). The more recent stuff is in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Confusing, huh?
Women find him irresistible.
Colours are great and display no bleeding or noise and the studio lighting provides a generally sharp and clean looking image with little bad to report. Skin tones are good, black levels are solid and shadow detail is largely irrelevant. The Almost Football Legends footage however varies wildly as it is all submitted by viewers and few, if any, would appear to be too camera savvy. The layer change is neatly tucked away and not easy to detect.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio track is perfectly serviceable with good clarity and volume. There are no issues with synchronisation or hiss. There is not a great deal happening as far as separation is concerned, but this is mostly a series of interviews and other vocally based segments and interviews. In short, this is as good an audio presentation as you could expect.
There are no real extras as such, even though a few of the segments have to be selected from a separate menu and are therefore not really assessed as extras.
Quite possibly just as popular now as it always has been, The Footy Show - Greatest Hits: The First Decade is undoubtedly the most consistent sports show on television. Sticking to the old adage that if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, the cast and crew continue to deliver just what they have been delivering for ten years – meaningless Thursday night pulp that has struck a chord with average Joes and footy fans everywhere. For those who love the show, this DVD is a must see. For those who think the show is a pile of testosterone-fuelled macho wank, this DVD is not going to change your mind one bit.