The Australian sitcom, favourite whipping boy of the sour-faced TV critic. Supposedly, we can't make them. Supposedly, we're not good at them. Supposedly, we shouldn't even bother trying. It's a moronic view to have once you actually look at the sitcoms we've turned out over the years: Mother & Son, Frontline, The Games, Kath & Kim. Even the rubbish ones have often been commercial hits, from Hey, Dad..! to Summer Heights High. Sadly, this year the local sitcom reached none of those heights. But the ABC did repeat Welcher & Welcher at 2am, so it wasn't a complete loss.
Bogan Pride - 58.33%
Swift & Shift Couriers - 29.17%
Double The Fist - 12.5%
Last Year's Winner|
Summer Heights High
If I wanted to see this shit, I'd look out my window. This is the antithesis of situation comedy.
- Tim Lambert
A comedy without comedy and a musical with almost no music, Bogan Pride also lacked an interesting plot, a competent cast and a point.
- Bean Is A Carrot
Didn't watch any of them. I'll go with Bogan Pride on principle.
It's not that the ideas behind the nominees and winner in this category themselves are bad - a musical set in a High School could work, and Double The Fist certainly did something different - it's more that the laughs were few and far between.
If your plan was to do a musical sitcom, why were there so few songs in each episode? Why were the songs that were in the show musically poor? Why did the songs not have funny lyrics? Why wasn't there any good dialogue or visual humour? And why couldn't the actress playing the main character sing very well?
Swift & Shift Couriers, on the other hand, was simply a retread of the sort of humour which had been more than covered by five series of Pizza; it was even set in a company which delivered things. With its cast of stereotypes and reliance on broad politically incorrect humour, it was very much an Acropolis Now for the noughties - and who asked for that?
Where it did differ from Pizza was that well known faces didn't just turn up in cameos - they were the principle cast. The rest were a rag-tag bunch who were mostly there because they looked the part. If the skill of these lay comedy performers was a physical object, you'd need a microscope looking through the scope of another microscope to see it.
When it was announced that Double the Fist would be returning to our screens, good-natured puzzlement was pretty much the response all around. The first series back in 2004 had been erratic but occasionally entertaining, thanks largely to the innovative use of computer effects to create some visually inventive slapstick. Most put its return down to the ABC's sudden realisation in the wake of the success of The Chaser and Summer Heights High that local comedy rates. If only they'd stipulated that it return as a comedy, and not some kind of hyper-violent over-the-top surreal drama, maybe they would have got their money's worth. Good effects though.
When someone sent me a VHS tape with "Bogan Pride: Deleted Scenes" written on it, I wasn't all that surprised to discover it was really just an off-air recording of the entire series. I was slightly more surprised to discover this actual deleted scene right at the end though.
BOGAN PRIDE: DELETED SONG
[To the tune of David Bowie's 'Rebel Rebel']
You’ve got your mother turning pale
She’s not sure if you’re a girl or a whale
Hey babe, your pubic hairs in sight
Hey babe, the critics are right
You like comedy but you don’t know why
When you mess around people start to cry
You love jokes but the punchline’s hard
You want food and you want it fast
They put you down, they say you’re wrong
No-one knows why SBS put this on
Rebel Rebel, what's on your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess
Rebel Rebel, that food is for guests!