Election time is generally seen as a boom period for Australian comedy, and who can blame them? Politics is one of the few areas of Australian life where comedy still has a toehold – the days of anyone making jokes about sport more sophisticated than the ones of The Footy Show seem long gone – and an election means that for once the general public is supposedly as interested in politics as people in the media are.
The ABC’s latest drama series Cleverman was heavily-hyped in the lead-up to its launch last week (new episodes air Thursday nights at 8.30 on ABC1, or you can catch up on iView), and going by the first two episodes the hype was pretty much justified. But it’s been interesting to read the difference between local reviews (where everyone loves it!) and ones out of the US (where it’s seen as ok, but not something that stands out from a pack dominated by various low-key UK supernatural and SF series).
As the year in superhero movies drags on, it’s becoming increasingly clear that for a fairly hefty slice of people out there – both reviewers and fans – the definition of a good superhero movie is “one Disney made” – which is perfectly understandable.
So The Weekly’s wrapped for another year and it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed. Wait, no – not disappointed that it’s over, disappointed that this year felt like nothing more than a retread of last year, and last year wasn’t all that impressive either.
Over the last few years the ABC has really gone hard on the idea of online comedy. It’s actually a little depressing if you think about it: for the national broadcaster, the one network that shows even a basic commitment to the idea of comedy television, the best place for comedy programming isn’t on television.
Remember when comedy used to be funny? No, that’s not a dig at the quality of Australian comedy, well, it could be, because it’s been a while since “funny” was a word that could be legitimately applied to much of it but rather a statement of fact.
With Marvel releasing season two of the extremely grim & gritty superhero series Daredevil barely a week before rival comic book company DC (through their parent company Warner Brothers) releases their extremely grim & gritty movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you’d be forgiven for thinking that grim & gritty was the flavour of the month in superhero sagas.
At first glance Luke Warm Sex looks like yet another television series where a comedian takes it upon themselves to explore an area of interest to them (and hopefully the rest of us). John Safran remains the master of the form in Australia, though it’s been a while since he’s done any television work, while in recent years Judith Lucy has tackled both religion and being a woman in two ABC series.
Australia doesn’t have what you’d call a “well-rounded” film industry. While we do some things very well, we don’t do a great job of everything – which is why most of our best talents in the areas we do excel in (basically, acting and the technical side of things) end up heading to Hollywood.