With Andrew Denton as a producer, I was looking forward to witty debate about modern moral dilemmas, but instead we got an awkward mashup of panel, talk and game show – sprinkled with a weird national IQ special vibe. Last night’s big question: Is it OK to spy on your teenager online? Appropriately, it seems that timing is everything…
While discussing this “big worm” of a question, the guest panel were quizzed on their knowledge of “internet terms”. You know, gems like brick juicing, grooming, backdooring, rasterbating, poking and smut mining. (Huh? Just say porn hoarding.)
I was shaking my head well before AFL bad boy, Jason “Aker” Akermanis, joked that he was OK with his daughters backdooring. What the hell, man? And this was all pre-recorded.
Hosted (at times nervously) by Ian “Dicko”, and featuring comedian Meshel Laurie (wasted as a sort of number crunching Adriana Xenides) – the show’s other guests were The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel and comic George McEncroe.
All fell flat for me. Aker seemed genuine, but also sounded like he’d been prepped with one-liner dad jokes, and Reucassel all too obviously played the contrarian. George McEncroe is a funny stand up, but I can’t remember much she said now.
The positive signs for Can of Worms were its two auxiliary segments: Vox pops and Roy Morgan data visualisations. (Fun fact: Tasmanian parents are the least likely to cyber snoop on teenagers.)
The street interviews with Dan Ilic (a comedian/reporter from the also Denton-produced Hungry Beast) cleverly highlighted just how far some parents would go. Track my daughter with a chip she ingests? “Absolutely.”
And I’m purely guessing on the cyber snooping data animation, but it had the same cool style as the work of Patrick Clair, a Sydney designer who’s produced visuals for Hungry Beast in the past. We ran one of these on Giz, see: Stuxnet Deconstructed Shows One Scary Virus.
Can of Worms wraps up by asking guests what they’ve learned tonight. My lesson: Avoid shows with Twitter tickers running across the bottom of the screen. I should have spotted the symptoms, but it’s all about timing.