Neigh­bours are rough around edges but wildly funny in Housos

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

THERE will be things that peo­ple are go­ing to think are wrong about Housos, but as far as I’m con­cerned the worst thing is the 10pm times­lot. Crazy.

Still, I sup­pose the way things are, Paul Fenech — the brains be­hind it, the same dude who gave us Pizza, Fat Pizza and Swift and Shift Couri­ers— is prob­a­bly glad it’s on air at all, happy SBS didn’t just take it out and beat it to death with a tyre iron.

I was try­ing to think how many SBS shows have had du­elling sto­ries done on them on the same night on A Cur­rent Af­fair and To­day Tonight. It’s been men­tioned in con­cerned tones in NSW Par­lia­ment. I know SBS was very, very im­pressed with the re­sponse to Go Back to Where You Came From, the refugee doc­u­men­tary they ran in June, but Housos hasn’t ac­tu­ally been on air yet. No­body had even seen it – only a minute or so online, at best – when it was caus­ing all that buzz ear­lier in the year.

If you lis­ten care­fully to the theme song at the start on Mon­day night, you’ll hear a nice lit­tle re­work­ing of a bit of the Neigh­bours song. And like Neigh­bours — and yet ob­vi­ously so clearly not like Neigh­bours— a lot of the ac­tion takes place on a street called Ram­say.

So far, and I’ve watched the first two episodes, I think it’s only men­tioned once, and that’s when Franky – Paul Fenech – has to call an am­bu­lance. In vain as it turns out – none will come into the area any more. He even­tu­ally re­sorts to set­ting a wheelie bin alight to get a fire truck on the scene, and drives off to the lo­cal un­der­funded hos­pi­tal in that.

I don’t know what you’ve heard about this show, but there will be some mild hys­te­ria af­ter it goes to air. And it is a tiny bit rough. But only su­per­fi­cially. Frankly I think you prob­a­bly heard more swear­ing in Dead­wood.

It’s just that the sen­tences were pret­tier.

What Housos does have is nar­ra­tor Ian Turpie sit­ting at the pok­ies in a grey track­suit, Amanda Keller as Christina Rees, the mayor of Sun­ny­vale – cam­paign­ing on a plat­form of dis­con­tin­u­ing the ‘‘ sin­gle mother’s pen­sion’’, which she be­lieves is more im­por­tant than cli­mate change – and Barry Crocker as NSW Premier Gary O’Baz­zle.

It’s very funny, a wild mad ride, vin­tage Pauly Fenech. So now you know, you’re not al­lowed to com­plain. Housos, SBS ONE, Mon­day, 10pm

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