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Non-Review Review: Eurovision Song Contest – The Story of Fire Saga

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a limp misfire.

There’s no doubt that the film comes from a place of affection and sincerity, reportedly inspired by writer and star Will Ferrell’s delight on discovering the camp weirdness of the Eurovision Song Contest. Indeed, The Story of Fire Saga has clearly been produced with the enthusiastic participation of the contest itself; the film uses a lot of branding associated with the event, features cameos from commentators like Graham Norton, and even ropes in a couple of past participants for its most endearing tribute to the surreality of the competition.

Marching on.

However, whether because it constrained by the official branding or simply by the limitations of Ferrell as an outsider looking in, The Story of Fire Saga doesn’t work. On a basic level of comedy mechanics, there are not enough jokes to sustain the indulgent two-hour runtime. On a more fundamental level, The Story of Fire Saga often fails to grasp what makes the Eurovision Song Contest such a beloved cultural institution. There’s a sense in which The Story of Fire Saga could be about almost anything else, and would be functionally the same movie.

This is a disappointment, particularly given that The Story of Fire Saga is being released in a year without the Eurovision.

A pretty weak ‘Vision.

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Podge & Rodge for the Irish Cancer Society…

I am big Podge & Rodge fan. I grew up on them, to be honest, with their own unique brand of toilet humour. So when I found out the pair were teaming up with the Irish Cancer Society to raise awareness of bowel cancer, I thought I’d post the video here. I think everyone respects and appreciates the work that the Irish Cancer Society do, and I remember – in college – that the production company behind Podge & Rodge were always eager to supply spot prizes for any fundraising table quiz we might put on. So, when they sent this on, I thought I’d share it.

A word of warning for any Americans stumbling across this video, Podge & Rodge are a… very Irish institution, and a very peculiar sense of humour. It’s the kinda thing that foreigners rarely get to see, so consider yourselves both warned and honoured. The clip is very not safe for work (only language, though).

Yes, they are a national treasure. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of iconic Irish puppets. Take, for example, the 2008 Irish entry to the Eurovision Song Contest:

Apparently those wacky Europeans didn’t react well to us making an even bigger mockery of their singing competition than normal. And in case any Americans reading this need an introduction to the Eurovision, this is fairly accurate parody of what a typical Irish entry to the Eurovision song contest looks like:

So ends our brief introduction to Irish Pop Culture 101.