Small start leads to big­ger things

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY FREE TV -

COM­EDY Twen­tysome­thing started out so small co-cre­ator, di­rec­tor and ac­tor Jess Har­ris didn’t think too hard about the show’s char­ac­ter names. Har­ris and co-cre­ator and co-star Josh Sch­midt just named the lead roles af­ter them­selves – Jess and Josh. The se­ries aired on com­mu­nity sta­tion, Chan­nel 31.

The thought that six years af­ter its pub­lic broad­cast de­but, it would screen for a sec­ond sea­son on ABC2 never oc­curred to Har­ris – or Sch­midt.

‘‘We kept the same names be­cause we are friends in real life,’’ says Har­ris. ‘‘We didn’t think it would go any­where, so we thought let’s just make it easy for our­selves.’’

Af­ter first air­ing on Chan­nel 31 in 2007, Twen­tysome­thing had its first sea­son on ABC2 in 2011. It sold to TV net­works in New Zealand and Ger­many and was avail­able on­line and on DVD. Har­ris says the se­ries is more re­al­ity than fic­tion. ‘‘Josh and I are best friends in real life and best friends in the show so there is a sense of re­al­ity to it all,’’ Har­ris says.

‘‘We hang out ev­ery week­end so there is a real truth to it all and they say you write what you know.’’

One of the rea­sons it’s taken two years for the show to re­turn is be­cause it’s taken that long for Har­ris to cob­ble to­gether a script and ev­ery­thing else that goes into mak­ing a TV se­ries.

Aside from the six episodes in sea­son two, there’s also six two-minute we­bisodes to ex­plain what Jess and Josh have been up to be­tween sea­sons.

Se­ries two starts when the pair re­turn from a back­pack­ing ad­ven­ture through Europe – and the trip of a life­time is con­tained in the we­bisodes.

‘‘I draw heav­ily from my life ex­pe­ri­ence and what has hap­pened to me or my friends,’’ Har­ris says.

‘‘I do look at my jour­ney through my 20s and I did the back­pack­ing and you come back and have to hit the re­set but­ton and start again.’’

The se­ries also fea­tures the re­turn of Gold Lo­gie win­ner Hamish Blake, who went to high school with Har­ris – in real life. Blake, who was spared be­ing called by his first name, had a cameo in the orig­i­nal Chan­nel 31 se­ries and plays Jess’s for­mer boyfriend Billy.

– DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT

Twen­tysome­thing: Thurs­days from June 27, 8.30pm, ABC1.

Jess Har­ris and Josh Sch­midt

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