TV Review: Virtually Famous

Virtually Famous is on E4, Mondays at 10pm. Image copyright: Channel 4.

Virtually Famous is on E4, Mondays at 10pm.
Image copyright: Channel 4.

With such hit panel shows as Never Mind The Buzzcocks (music), Have I Got News For You (news) and 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown (seriously?) it was perhaps inevitable that social media would find itself the subject of a panel show eventually. It’s also perhaps inevitable that this show finds itself on E4, a channel aimed at the younger generation and hosted by a star of Glee (Kevin McHale). Whilst initially puzzled by the choice of presenter, aside from the fact that outside of Artie’s wardrobe there lies a very attractive young man who most importantly is not from the UK.

Why is this important? How else could there be so much humour in Rachel Riley trying to explain Countdown, or even worse, suggesting that Geordie from South Sheilds (Chris Ramsey) sounds like a character from Game of Thrones. McHale’s sense of fun, and lack of induction into British humour is what I think seals the deal for this show.

The format of the show is simple enough. It revolves around videos posted on social media with standard panel activities deriving from that. In this respect the show lacks imagination – a round on having the panel debate then decide whether the audience voted to keep cute baby videos – or, a round where a member of the panel lip syncs to a popular song (think Buzzcocks replacing bad singing with dancing) is amusing but is nothing new. In short the rounds are variations on what we have seen before.

However the humour and energy McHale and his two team captains Seann Walsh and Chris Stark have are more than enough to see the show through. The brilliant panel choices for this opening show were also commendable with Rachel Riley perhaps not on top form, but humour certainly being found from the life of a Tyger Drew-Honey (his Father is Ben Dover) and Chris Ramsey (guy who got a pizza delivered to him on a train!!). The test the show will face is next week a different panel is formed.

Overall an enjoyable show, familiar format. McHale does a great job – tune in to see a stuffed cat fly, some impressive lip-synching and some rather amusing action between a tortoise and a croc.

Nutleyone rating: 6/10

Virtually Famous is on E4, Monday nights at 10pm. Download this weeks episode from 4OD