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Sketches about millennials and real estate, the Eglinton LRT and Doug Ford stand out in uneven news parody show
GOOD NEWS, TORONTO! by the company (Good News Toronto/Digital Toronto Fringe). Streaming on Fringe On-Demand until August 15. Rating: NNN
Most sketch comedy shows are a mixed bag, and this Toronto-centric news parody show is no exception.
The nine-member group has been performing their monthly show for several years, which might explain the smugness in some of their rhythms, as if they’re in on a joke the rest of us don’t know. An outside eye could have tightened up some segments and punched up the jokes. (More consistent sound quality could also help.)
The 40-minute video gets off to an awkward start with an extended, endless intro featuring all their titles and beats. Many of the commercial parodies work well, especially a series of Jazz Festival spots featuring mostly made-up names that are so silly they could be real. A bit about how millennials might get into the Toronto real estate market is satire at its most savage. And a parody of Duolingo teaching people how to talk normally after the pandemic is brilliant.
I also liked Quentin Matheson’s intentionally indecipherable web commercial about how ordinary folks can get into the “stocks market.” It comes complete with a “Skip ads” arrow. And the animation on Jeremy Friedmann’s segment on the problems with meat is very clever.
A couple of performers stand out. Blair Macmillan has a quirky fearlessness that animates her segments, especially in a catchy song about the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. And anchor/co-producer Korri Birch delivers a Doug Ford Watch rant that is pointed and sharp.
These make up for the less inspired sketches, including a take on park encampments that, given the events of the last couple of weeks, seems in particularly bad taste right now.