What NITV's art game show lacks in production, host Steven Oliver makes up for in charisma.
As TV titles go, Faboriginal is surely fab-original.
And NITV’s first Indigenous arts game show is also as no-frills as they come.
Here comes a game show literally staged inside the Art Gallery of NSW. There’s no flashing lights, no prizes, and barely anything that passes for a set.
But host and creator Steven Oliver (Black Comedy, A Chance Affair, From Darkness) exudes such enthusiasm one would probably be overshadowed anyway.
Instead this is stripped back to one podium and two tables on a stage in front of a very agreeable audience. It’s pub night in the Art Gallery….
Faboriginal is a TV edition of a live event devised by Oliver and the Art Gallery of NSW. All the questions centre around Indigenous Art with Spicks & Specks-style parlour games and Oliver’s unapologetic hosting (he even sings the theme tune!).
In episode one we meet two deadly teams of three: Elaine Crombie, Christine Anu, Meyne Wyatt plus Daniel Browning, Shari Sebbens & Brendan Boney.
A ‘Taboriginal’ adjudicator (Coby Edgar) is tasked with the scoring, quite literally with a clipboard and pen -I did say this was no-frills.
The trivia rounds get Oliver’s camp titling: Ahhh You Don’t Know, What This Mob Talking About, Who You Mob?, a charades round Move Your Parts to Title These Arts, and a fun true / false quiz in which everyone must answer either Course! or Don’t Be Stupid!
While questions about Albert Namatjira paintings may not be readily apparent to everybody (including some of the young panel), the show moves swiftly and finds ways to educate in an entertaining way. Much of this is due to Oliver who, we are told, has the ‘juiciest cheeks in the country.’ Who am I to argue?
He is quick, too, with the barbs such as one question around a sculpture becoming culturally significant: “In other words when Aboriginal art became important to white people.”
Art doesn’t always readily translate to television (Everyone’s a Critic, anyone?) but Faboriginal works as community TV for one frequently under-represented. It may yet work as cult TV (Gogglebox alert!).
And you may just learn a thing or two about Albert Namatjira.
Faboriginal airs 8:30pm Thursdays on NITV.