DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Wednesday -

AGONY Un­cles is nowhere near as bad as I’d feared. Nowhere near. And I say that with the knowl­edge that John El­liott’s in it. In it early and of­ten. Right at the start of tonight’s episode he pro­motes the idea of flirt­ing with the mother as the way to win­ning over the daugh­ter. It dis­turbs me in a va­ri­ety of ways.

His son Tom sits there silently next to him. I can only imag­ine what he’s think­ing.

As it hap­pens, John El­liott isn’t the only Agony Un­cle on tonight who ad­vo­cates this method. Josh Law­son: ‘‘ You al­most talk to the mum the way you would try and se­duce the daugh­ter, in a weird way. But take out the sex­u­al­ity of it.’’

Ed Kavalee’s sit­ting there lis­ten­ing to this and wisely says noth­ing. Adam Zwar, who wrote and di­rects this, and asks the ques­tions, and nar­rates it, hap­pily has a less pervy route to a good work­ing mother-in­law re­la­tion­ship: pick up a tea towel once in a while.

I also like Waleed Aly’s way: ‘‘ Get a law de­gree . . . Good job . . . Doc­tor. Real doc­tor, not PHD doc­tor.’’ He’s funny. Some of them are. Not all though, I need to stress. But

Funny: Waleed Aly

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