I love the circular set-up of the studio--each episode opens with the camera circling the studio to introduce the guest acts as they all participate in a jam session--as well as the cutaways to a guest performer dancing to another guest's number. Where else can you see Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley grooving to Franz Ferdinand or Thom Yorke rockin' out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Certain songs sound better live. I thought the Chili Peppers' 2006 hit "Dani California" was an alright tune, even though it was overplayed that year, but now I like it even more after watching the Chili Peppers perform it live on Jools Holland:
I didn't know Franz Ferdinand could be this good live:
Now Later... is how you do a music show, whereas Top of the Pops--a show that was made for Ashlee Simpson--was the opposite. The Top of the Pops producers forced their acts to lip-synch or sing live against pre-recorded backing, so the producers frequently wound up with disgruntled bands that plotted to make their show look stupider than it already looked, like when Morrissey lip-synched into his gladiolas during the Smiths' "This Charming Man," or when Nirvana basically told the producers to go fuck themselves by giving a hilarious "performance" of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," one of my all-time favorite TV moments. The best part is Dave Grohl's fake drumming.