Emma Sidi is a very, very funny woman – much more so than her material, as it happens. Indelibly watchable as she reacts to her reactions in an exponential hilarity loop, the characters she creates showcase the evident truth that her comedy instincts are better than her nose for character comedy material.
A paradox perhaps, to distill the comedian from her comedy and rank respectively, yet while her delivery of funny characters is indeed spot on, the jokes and sketches within often don’t carry through, and this is no small shortfall. Revengeful, post-breakdown Vanessa is cobbled together with great enthusiasm and cleverness – all sweary and self-aware – but Sidi hasn’t yet mastered the knack of landing the gags and bringing the package together. As such Telenovela doesn’t fall flat by any stretch, but it also fails to meet its full potential.
The show will likely benefit from a handful of runs and come into its own with a bit of re-writing – the structure of the hour is fun and enough of the segments pack in plenty of laughs. The comedian is certainly a crowd-pleaser and Telenovela has the component parts of something great, even if it doesn’t sound every available note. There is likely a better Sidi show to come.