No one could accuse Tiernan Douieb of not having the best interests of his audience at heart. ‘It’s nice to be nice’ is a sentiment that can often sound hollow, but this is a genuine attempt to find the subtle niceties that make life worth living.
However, often this quest, viewed through four of Douieb’s favourite unsung heroes, is housed in some cute and cloying comedy, with the Teddy Ruxpinesque funster unable to resist a pun, for example with the word ‘niceties’ and the concept of ‘nice cities’.
It’s somewhat ironic that the 29-year-old complains about how cheesy his dad sounded when he said, of year’s general election: It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in’. Douieb Jnr is clearly a chip off the old block, nicknaming his knees after Liam Neeson and doctoring the Highway Code as the ‘My way code’.
But after such mild material, it eventually dawns on Tiernan that you can’t please everyone, however much you have gone out of your way to be nice.
This realisation brings a different shade to the show, with Douieb recounting how the relationship with his fiancee recently failed partly because he was trying to please all of the people all of the time.
The contrast brings out the sweetness of his friends rallying around him and while the section is moving, it begins to put everything else in a much better context, a real marker that you can’t have pleasure without pain.