Let’s Fix Social Media
Let’s Fix Immigration
Let’s Fix Artificial Intelligence
Let’s Fix Gentrification
Let’s Fix The Aging Population
Let’s Fix The Gender Pay Gap
Let’s Fix Global Warming
Let’s Fix Guns
Let’s Fix The Opioid Crisis
Let’s Fix The Wealth Gap
Producing a successful panel show is something many people try but very few succeed. In the UK alone, heavy hitters like Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Q.I. have managed to ride those turbulent first few seasons to become mainstay hits on television. Finding a new home on the global streaming platform, The Fix is an interesting experiment but one that slips up with an overly American tone and a hit-or-miss feel to each episode. This is a series that’s specifically been tailored for Americans making it a little alienating for international audiences. There’s also a distinct difference in comedic quality too depending on who the guest stars are that they bring in for each topic. While The Fix is unlikely to be hailed Netflix’s quick fix for a panel show, it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re a fan of any of these comedians.
Each 30 minute episode is broken up into a familiar pattern. We begin with Jimmy Carr hitting us with some one liners before introducing the teams, led by D.L. Hughley and Katherine Ryan, as they tackle a different problem facing the world. There’s a guest star for each episode, most of which hailing from America, and the episode sees them discuss the problem at hand in a humorous and oftentimes insightful way. From Artificial Intelligence to Global Warming, each episode is graced with some facts which the teams then discuss before bringing in a data analyst for more insightful stats on a large screen. From here, the team captains deliver a pre-recorded monologue to the camera, explaining their quick fix to the problem, oftentimes accompanied by a video showing these hilarious solutions.
As a Brit I do feel like our culture has been spoilt by an abundance of panel shows making it difficult to judge this as a wholly original and fresh concept. Given the clearly targeted approach toward Americans, it’ll be really interesting to see how those across the pond react to a format they may not be used to seeing on a regular basis. It lacks the shock factor seen in shows like Mock The Week (or at least the classic episodes). It doesn’t quite have the intellectual tenacity seen in Q.I. or Have I Got News For You. What The Fix lacks in originality or uniqueness though it makes up for with all the usual tropes you’d expect in a show like this but polished to a decent degree.
The comedy comes thick and fast and there are quite a few funny moments here too. Again, a lot of this comes down to the style of comedy and while I personally felt Nikki Glaser’s over-the-top mannerisms and over-indulging felt a little forced, softly spoken Ron Funches is easily the comedic highlight in the episode of Artificial Intelligence. Given the amount of riffing between teams, the choice of guest stars are really what make or break the episode and it’s here where a more international flavour may have come in handy. With a lot of the stats and issues tailored specifically toward Americans (guns and racism being prime examples) some of the intricacy and subtlety to jokes may be lost with those not accustomed to American culture.
Did The Fix make me laugh? Yes it did. Did I have a good time with it? Yes I did. For this alone it’s hard not to recommend The Fix and for those who haven’t been conditioned with a million and one panel shows in the past, this is certainly a good starting point to the medium. Having said that, the show pales in comparison to so many other series that take this concept and flesh it out with a myriad of charismatic personalities or imaginative concepts. While the topics discussed are interesting and at least attempt to encapsulate global issues, the American slant is a little off-putting. Still, The Fix is a funny slice of panel show shenanigans and while it won’t be the same quality as other, more successful shows in this category, it’s a good effort nonetheless.
Verdict - 6/10