The Island, Dave, review: Comedy panel shows are over

The comedy panel show is among TV’s most established formats, but there are only so many times you can see six inseparable white guys struggling to deliver variations on the same one-liner.

Perhaps with that in mind, the panelists of Dave’s latest iteration, The islandspoke two women (Sara Pascoe and Ninia Benjamin) and two colored comedians (Benjamin and Ahir Shah) as well. With Johnny Vegas completing the panel and the lovely arch Tom Allen host, the stage was set for an update of an outdated format.

But even though the comedians were as funny as the formula allowed, the panel show was still disappointingly predictable. There is no doubt that a reconsideration was needed, but it made its lack even more disappointing.

Panelists were first tasked with naming and then overseeing an imaginary island with 100 inhabitants, and panelists took turns doing things like designing a national drink (Vegas remained on the mark with Guinness, while Benjamin introduced the world to the heavily alcoholic Creamy Creeper ) and made busts of themselves from clay, with points awarded based on their performance – think Room 101 meetings Taskmaster.

The island‘s most innovative and engaging moments came thanks to Kemah Bob and Jason Forbes in their cameos as news anchors reporting “live” from the islands – but the show still felt like old food, the possibility of original humor limited by boring challenges.

Throughout, the question arose: do not new voices deserve new platforms? Forget the party games and give them all a stand-up special instead.

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