In this week’s episode, we find out where the theme song of the series originates from in the form of S.Mouse! writing what is actually a good song, although my crippling white guilt will stop me from ever being able to write the title of the track (I felt bad even when I googled it).
Boundaries are stretched in this episode more so than I’ve found in the last ten episodes, and while I may not be in love with this series (although as it’s playing out, perhaps it maybe is slowly winning me over), I did find parts of the show incredibly moving and well done. The main boundaries stretched aren’t your normally boundaries of tastes and character, even with S.Mouse!’s white guilt inducing “song that I cannot name”, but more stretching the boundaries of genre and the frame of the mocumentary.
When I watch and episode the episode on the ABC’s iView service, I always see that the show has been categorised as a comedy, and I always raise an eye-brow at this. There may be moments where I laugh a loud “HA!” but it’s not laughing like it’s a comedy, it’s something else. This week, when Jen was crying in the bar of the Hilton, and suddenly raises her head in fury demolishing her act, you belt out a laugh at the character, but you’re not laughing at the comedy, the laugh isn’t just reserved for comedic moments. As we progress further into the series, and sketch and joke comedy (if there really was any to begin with) is falling further and further behind, to this week where it seems that even the pretence of comedy is entirely absent. Oddly, as it gets less and less funny, I’m beginning to like it more and more. Perhaps another victim of the episodic nature of the TV schedule where a text is made to be viewed and critiqued as a whole body of work. Even if it was a slow burn and you needed to see those first episodes in a slow build, I’m still of the opinion that there are several episodes worth of clunky scenes and poor material that could have been removed. The show is still drowning in too much time and too much money stealing the intimacy found in Lilley’s other work.
The second boundary stretch is the mocumentary frame, we seem to be dancing back and forth over a line, where the show is a mocumentary with a supposed camera crew filming the events and being a fly on the wall following the lives of the “Angry Boys” This week we get the first true acknowledgment of the camera crew being there, with Jen hitting the camera and yelling at the production that this can’t go on TV. We’ve not seen this interaction anywhere else in the series and it seems odd to turn out this ploy so late into the season. Is it meant to show a turning point within the show? It doesn’t seem to add anything and only took me out of the moment with this new element thrown in late into the piece. With the more cinema and glossy kind of shots and zooms that break the rules and physics of the documentary still being blended in (perhaps to squeeze every dollar out of the spectacular shots that it can provide?), this jumping between the cinematic and the knowing mocumentary only leaves the show poorer for it.
The drama and heart break really is found in Gran and Daniel and Nathan, and I found myself quite moved by Nathan’s descent into further deafness, and that really was the draw for the show for me.