TV review: Brand X with Russell Brand

By Columbus Alive
From the July 26, 2012 edition

Ever since Russell Brand gave great performances as Aldous Snow in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him to the Greek,” I’ve been a fan. I’ve enjoyed his stand-up work, and I hear his books are worth reading. I like the Russell Brand personality, so I should enjoy his new late-night show “Brand X with Russell Brand,” right? I do, but not as much as I thought I would.

“Brand X” has a weird format. Brand spends the show riffing on current events, pop culture, etc., while messing with his audience. It’s occasionally very funny, but sometimes Brand flies a little off the rails. And the audience interaction can be good, but sometimes a bland person doesn’t have the ability to match the host’s gusto.

My favorite interactions are between Brand and his researcher/consultant, Matt Stoller, a Harvard graduate and former congressional policy adviser. I’d like to see more clashing of Brand’s absurdist mindset with Stoller’s logic-based reality. How much you enjoy Brand and his humor will determine how much you enjoy this show, but like I said, I’m a fan and still wanted something more.