Saturday, 10 October 2009

Pointlessly visual.

You may well already have seen it, but if you like David Mitchell, you should definitely check out David Mitchell's soapbox - a weekly 5-minute monologue where he talks about whatever issue particularly appeals to him, released in the form of a video podcast. The topics range from man flu to flowers to eliminating waste, and Mitchell brings his usual mix of quiet, erudite slightly-naive-upper-middle-class-British-liberal ranting and interesting and insightful connections and opinions that anyone who reads his guardian column/blog will be used to. The segments are short enough that there's no time for him to run out of ideas, and so it's generally five minutes of very enjoyable comedy.

The only problem I have with it is its format. I don't really see why it needs to be a video, when the whole thing is David sitting in front of a greenscreen talking. Topical imagery floats along aimiably behind him, and occasionally he ends up as part of the picture himself, but the video aspect really adds nothing to the shows. I can't necessarily guarentee that, because I stopped watching them after a few episodes and just started listening. It's just as funny coming through your ears only, with the added advantage that you can do something else with your eyes.

I'm not sure whether it was a desire to be groundbreaking and go beyond mere podcasting, or whether it was felt that his spiel would be more affecting coming out of a visible mouth, or perhaps his publicist feels that his appearance is a vital element of his comedy. Whatever the reason, I disagree. I love the 'casts, and I hope he does more of them. Preferably in audio form, though, so that they don't take quite so much time to download.

If they were longer and more frequent, I certainly wouldn't be complaining either, but I'll settle for just more of them. And if you haven't seen any, go find them now - they're on iTunes and online, here.

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