Entertainment

Celebrity Juice: Good relief from the most childish show on TV

WWhen life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Unfortunately, when life gives you Keith Lemon, you’ll have to settle for that celebrity juice. The reality series — in which comedian Leigh Francis takes on the role of his sun-kissed alter-ego Lemon and subjects a slew of celebrities to humiliating tasks and salacious panel show banter — has sat on our television screens for 14 years. That’s 26 seasons to date. But after two more farewell specials, the end is finally near: celebrity juice has been squeezed out.

ITV announced on Wednesday (29 June) that the series is coming to an end this year. Of course, the cancellation of a program that has been running for so long is going to be a big deal; celebrity juice previous data joy, avatar and the Obama administration. However, few would describe it as “venerable”. Rather, it’s just incredibly long-lived, sort of the televisual equivalent of UHT milk or canned spam. But during celebrity juiceFans can apologize for a few tears after all this time, fact is this isn’t a huge loss for the medium. This is dead wood finally felled from the tree. celebrity juice was one of the most childish, insubstantial shows on television. We should free it well.

Of course, when it comes to comedy alter egos, Lemon is miles below the likes of Alan Partridge’s genius. Even the listless satire of Al Murray’s Pub Landlord looks like a creation of Brechtian brilliance compared to Leigh’s obnoxious, sloppily conceived counterpart. but celebrity juice‘s problems have always run deeper than just the repulsive Lemon personality. Most of the time that celebrity juice was on the air, the humor revolved around rough, smirking sex jokes. Lemon was a mouthpiece for references to the lowest common denominator and dubious ironic sexism. In the last few years she had sort of cleaned up. The ridiculousness has been toned down, the crude banter modernized a bit. It’s a good job too – check out some of the official “best of” clip shows the series has put together for YouTube, and the general vibe is one of dodgy 1970s-style horniness. But with the series it throws its whole right to exist Out the window, what’s left? Not as much. Even the show’s own fans complained about its direction in later years, particularly following the departures of team captains Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

celebrity juice was born out of the panel show boom of the noughties, when British TV executives placed orders Mock the week Imitations as if their lives depended on it. However, in their rush to squeeze out as many as possible, they often seem to have forgotten the need for a compelling premise. celebrity juice started out as a sort of breaking news quiz before morphing into an eccentric challenge show. Why exactly? The public, it seemed, just loved seeing celebrities get down a clip or two — showing they have a sense of humor about themselves, showing they can make friends like regular people. celebrity juice is of course by no means the only culprit here. It’s an attraction that some of the lesser-known US talk shows have truly embraced – The Late Late Show with James Corden in particular — as well as countless reality shows going back decades. but celebrity juice is one of the emptiest examples ever, one driven by no other motivation than the fleeting chuckle of the schoolyard of Danny Dyer pulling out his oversized testicle to show Holly Willoughby, or Willoughby and Cotton suggestively chewing each end of a banana (a tendency to fetishistically tease same-sex intimacy between female contestants, which is just one of the show’s depressing sexual issues).

There is basically nothing wrong with undemanding humor. A good pratfall can knock an Oscar Wilde out bon mot out of the water. But there still has to be craftsmanship behind it. Compare celebrity juice to some of the programs hosted by comedian Harry Hill – TV burpor Alien Fun capsule. These, too, are broad and silly in their comic sensibilities. But they’re also more surreal and a lot less lecherous: lowbrow comedy done right. celebrity juice was completely unimaginative at the end of the day when it came to mocking his guests.

It might be unfair to single that out celebrity juice for such a lengthy condemnation when so many other British TV programs are just as bad. But for 14 years it’s consistently at the bottom of the pile, a disheartening reminder of just how low the bar really is. His cancellation came 13 years too late.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/celebrity-juice-keith-lemon-cancelled-b2112287.html Celebrity Juice: Good relief from the most childish show on TV

JOE HERNANDEZ

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