Mitch McTaggart’s ‘loving roast’ to 2022 TV

Mitch McTaggart reveals how he assembles The Last Year of Television and what to expect in this year's snarky special.


Almost anyone who reads TV Tonight knows Mitch McTaggart’s snarky special The Last Year of Television, in which he skewers the past 12 months of small screen content.

Previously airing on SBS VICELAND, this year it screens on Binge / Foxtel.

Mitch McTaggart, who will also present The Back Side of Television in 2023, penned his thoughts for TV Tonight.

“It’s hard to believe that only 12 months have passed since the last special. So much has happened – ScoMo’s ukulele on 60 Minutes, just amazing stuff. Todd Sampson engaging with Neo-Nazis, sure, let’s platform them again! The rollercoaster ride of Neighbours, what’s all that really about?,” says McTaggart.

“And I should say straight up that we’re not doing anything on the Queen’s death, but there is absolutely a 5 minute deep dive on the Melissa Caddick telemovie. No one else is gonna do it!

“It feels like television is getting even more aggressive in demanding the viewer’s attention, more stunt-driven, and in turn more desperate.

“I think the only way a show like this can work is if clips are harvested in the moment, and a few notes are taken fresh. So throughout the year it’s just a lot of loose ideas. Then when the real writing begins around August, we can see what we want to flesh out a bit more. Those pre-notes are vital because it gives us our potential angle, or reasons why it’s funny, or just worth pursuing. Plus it’s shocking how quickly local stuff drops out of public consciousness.

“Then, we eliminate stories that have been done to death by that point (RIP Queen), or if we don’t have a new angle to offer beyond what’s already been done (we try to avoid just reflecting an opinion back at someone), and what’s left is essentially stuff we can tackle. Then, more stories go if we’re going too hard on a single organisiation, and we gotta make sure there’s the right amount of sillier stuff in there. Can’t be bleak the whole time – this isn’t Troppo!

“That said, there is truly some spectacular television being created. Mystery Road, Significant Others, Fisk, Heartbreak High, The Twelve, real solid stuff. It’s invigorating to see,” he continues.

“Both SBS and Binge have been incredibly supportive and encouraging of the show and it’s nice to keep finding super sweet people to work with. The process of putting the show together has remained largely the same, we’re given space to do our thing which is wonderfully reassuring. And I think we’ve got an established flavour now so everyone knows what to expect – a loving roast.

“For next year, I’ve already started doing bookmarks for upcoming shows – might need to set aside an extended 5 minute segment for Australia’s Most Identical (Twin) with Scott Cam – who knows.”

The Last Year of Television screens Saturday December 31 on Binge.

8 Responses

  1. Just watched this and I have to say this guy is brilliant, watched his first series on SBS. . He sure has a “handle” on TV. We especially enjoyed the bit about Heartbreak Island Australia with the clip of the person proclaiming to have “2 massive reasons” and Mitch says so casually “books and architecture” he sure had us in stitches with that. It would be a great idea for Mitch and Margret Pomeranz to team up and make a weekly show about the state of TV. Both honest and brutal and what a comedian he truly is.

  2. So I’ve set up an account on Binge to be able to watch this, and whatever else takes my fancy. The previous three-episode season of The Back Side of Television is there (just watched the first ep again, hilarious), but I can’t seem to find any info on the upcoming special, like in a “Coming Up” section or what have you. Am I missing something here?

      1. Thank you David. Just watched this – is it too late to say The Last Year of Television is the best show of 2022? Thank you Mitch and friends for another superb, hilarious special. There’s also some additional 2022 bits where Mitch goes the extra mile, I shall say no further. The previous two years’ specials are also now on Binge. Excellent!

  3. Darn it! I really enjoyed this last year after reading about it on TVT but I haven’t got Binge/Foxtel. Hopefully it may eventually get to YouTube or something. Happy New Year to everyone !!

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