|Russell Brand: like Lloyd Robertson, only taller, British, more naked|
The one crossing the border tonight is Brand X with Russell Brand, simulcast Thursday at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on the Rogers-owned specialty channel FX Canada. The other is Charlie Sheen's new comedy Anger Management. More on that in a following post.
Brand X, shot before a studio audience, is being touted as the British actor/comedian's "unvarnished and unfiltered point of view on current events, worldwide politics and popular culture." Brand told critics at the most recent TCA press tour in January that he'll probably veer more toward politics than pop:
We live in a time where we’re stupefied by plasticity, where we have this toxic sequined wave of vapid culture polluting our minds, denigrating our consciousness, detracting and removing us from our spirituality. So gossip-based stories would have less value other than in an analytical context. But if it was just more lacquered nonsense designed to distract us from the truth, then I would wisely ignore it.
Sounds like Brand X will be a bit of a dangerous, punky Bill Maher, which works for me.
Besides his brief marriage to Katy Perry, Brand is best known on this side of the pond for his outrageous MTV Awards appearances as well as for feature films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Arthur. His unique blend of figit-y, articulate, ADS energy and provocative jesting seems a smart way to try and lure the kids back to late night and away from Xbox and YouTube.
Have to say he was dazzling at press tour, smart, funny and fearless. His was the very last session in January and his spirited (and surprisingly spiritual) musings made many of us glad we stuck it out to the end. If he delivers like that on Brand X, North American audiences are in for a treat.
The initial order is for six 30-minute episodes. Read more on Brand and his new series here at this article I wrote for The Canadian Press.