First Review: Out of the Question

Here’s a question. Who on earth thought this was right for an 8:30pm timeslot?

It’s not that I didn’t want to like Out of the Question, though it did pitch itself as a hybrid of various other shows we have already seen on the box.

I like Glenn Robbins. On The Panel, Kath & Kim and way back to “Uncle Arthur.” I certainly came to this feeling like I could sit down with some TV mates.

But last night’s premiere episode felt like a pilot that should have been pitched to network execs. There were lots of problems in its first outing.

Robbins almost forgot to mention the show’s title and format before introducing his panellists. Wandering his way through a show that has deliberately called itself “loose around the edges”, Robbins joked that he should have read the questions before the show. That might have helped him know ‘Amy Whitehouse’ is really Amy Winehouse and know what an MP3 player actually is. He also seemed to be looking a lot to off-camera crew (although Daryl did that for years and made it work), and trying to remember to update scores.

One of the gags at the expense of Wayne Carey saw Robbins joke that a security guard had been flogging CCTV footage around to some TV network. It was Seven, but that was overlooked.

Based loosely around trivial news questions (as in the NZ show Out of the Question) Robbins’ guests seemed as unclear of the format as the host. There were a few funny answers here and there. Ed Kavalee continues to prove an encouraging emerging talent. Fifi Box is either perfecting an act of being daffy, or merely is daffy. So far she fooled everyone that she deserved a Logies co-hosting gig, so good for her.

The team were stuck behind a Panel-style desk that lumbered the show with a decided lack of visuals or movement. Instead it was left to a camera bordering on vertigo to provide slow dollys in and out. Have the producers seen that Spicks and Specks manages to get its team out from behind the desks?

Many of the questions on Out of the Question mirrored the style of questions once used on Good News Week: “Here’s a question, which multiple choice answer is right?” So what is the point of difference with Seven’s new show? And more worringly, how will they compare when GNW returns?

Like The Panel this is essentially radio on television, which to return to my earlier point, might work in a later timeslot. Were this on at 10:30pm when we settle down for the night, or tune in for some light entertainment before dozing off, it might build a following. Better yet, consider it for the alternative HD channel (curiously the show was also “available in widescreen” -what for?).

And can we replace the cheap buzzers before next week?

Out of the Question airs 8:30pm Thursdays on Seven.


  1. I would rather them have this followed by a Family Guy,American Dad and the Cleveland Show prior to scrubs on a Thursday Night as opposed to Greys Anatomy And Private Practice.It provides light entertainment with a bit of a laugh which is more than what I can say for the Medical Dramas which are too heavy and boring

  2. To the lads at HSV7.
    The production was reminisent of a country TV station in the 1960’s.
    Sure Glen’s a nice man, but so am I and I was bored to death by the in-house patter.
    Same formula as his colleagues at Channel 10.
    Necessary blonde, usual co-horts,,,laughing at their own jokes, not entertaining the viewer.
    Vasilo the Channel 31 – SBS nnow again SBS Greek gardiner does this type of show in a garden with a budget of about $15 all up, and at least it’s natural warts and all…and actually funny…which is something Glen’s outfit might consider. It might have entertained those in the studio, nut bored me so much I had to take a Serpax.
    We deserve polished professional entertainment in 2008.
    Sorry team, this sort of crap is out since 1970.

  3. Last night’s episode showed much improvement over last week’s attempt. Peter Rowsthorn was absolutely hilarious and got on very well Glenn Robbins. He needs to be a regular if this program is to survive.

    Glenn seemed more comfortable this week and kept the program at a good pace.

    Some of Tony Moclair jokes flopped but he is certainly up with his current affairs.

    I agree with you David that Seven should tweak their Thursday night lineup so that Lost returns to 8:30 pm followed by Family Guy, Amercian Dad and then Out of the Question.

    Oh, and someone should inform Fifi though that one does not score “goals” whilst playing Amercian Football!

  4. First off, today it was the first time I listened to your show on 3AW. Really enjoyed it!
    What I liked about Out of the Question was the stuff that Glen did, like looking at the studio crew, not introducing the show title at the direct beginning. It was quite funny. However I don’t think it’s great for an early time slot such as 8:30. I agree that it should be later on into the night. I really don’t like how now, lighter shows are earlier, and the better shows are later, even with less adult scenes and mature language. I didn’t actually expect this kind of show from Robbins, because I’ve mainly watched him in sitcoms and sketch comedy.
    Cheers! Glad to see Robbins on the screen again. Let’s hope that the show won’t be axed after 2 weeks by CH.7 like other times, but perhaps moved to a later timeslot!

  5. Beauty and the beasts format has been around for decades, of course they have got it down by now, comparing decades of format perfection to one show being aired (with a new untried format made up of other succsefull shows) is just plain ridiculous.
    And good lordy! Expecting it to be in the same vein as The View?? Aussies wouldnt put u with a View style for ten seconds!! (just look at the Catch Up)
    LAck of rehersal? Id agree with that, but Im sure they were trying to aim for the improvised feel that The Panel and TGYH have made succsesful.
    First show, a few mistakes were made and now they go back and work on it, thats the way the world works. Not one gets it right the first time and over time you improve.
    This is Australia!! Its the land of the Fair Go!!

  6. I didn’t hear the Guests names being introduced as Glen said their names too quickly at the start. The idea of having a choice of multiple choice answers or just answering seemed to be made up by Fifi Box.
    I only watched this show because I thought 1) they were going to have A-List celebrities in the style of “Friday Night Project” and 2) It would be a loose chat show format where Hot Topics (like “The View”) were discussed.

    This show is not good enough for primetime. Even cheap shows like Beauty & The Beast on Foxtel are better produced than this. I think Glen will not be happy for this to be moved to 10.30pm or HD so it will probably just be axed.

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