Games for stoners and Kiwi jokers
In Wasted, British Millennial slackers dream big and go nowhere. It’s a hoot, and so is local celebrity game show Funny Whare.
If you think young people should all have a clear idea of their future career path and a strategic plan for getting on the housing ladder, then new Brit comedy series Wasted (available on Lightbox) probably won’t be your thing. It tells the tale of four aimless twentysomethings in the West of England.
Kent has just returned to Neston Berry after a failed attempt to earn a living as a DJ and is looking to get his old job back. ‘‘Things at Bird Zone are a bit different now, you can’t just smoke weed in the staffroom anymore,’’ warns an ex-colleague.
He finds his old friends, Sarah and Morpheus still hanging out in the shop they co-own, Stoned Henge. Sarah has plans to go to India but they’re yet to materialise.
Meanwhile, fantasy-obsessed Morpheus is besotted with tattoo artist Alison, who is busy giving him a Game of Thrones tattoo on his back.
No customers ever seem to pass through the door of Stoned Henge and the friends spend their time bantering, smoking weed and generally frittering away their days with the carefree air of the young.
There’s a local pub, The Sheep and Onion, and actor Sean Bean makes regular appearances as Morpheus’ spirit guide in full Game of Thrones mode. ‘‘It’s your quest to get this lot home…’’ he says to Morpheus when the friends are thrown out of a cab on a drunken night out.
‘‘Oh my God, you’re giving me a quest… am I going to find a ring or a magic bag?’’ says an excited Morpheus.
‘‘I should never have said ‘quest’. I used the wrong word,’’ deadpans Bean.
With an interesting cast of quirky characters and some good lines, I enjoyed this, although I’m sadly well beyond what I imagine is the target audience age range.
Sure, there are some very 2017 references – vaping, emojis, an app that lets people see you’ve been stalking them on Facebook but it’s underlined by a sort of timeless theme of friendships, mis-spent youth and the search for some meaning in life. And it’s funny.
Back on free-to-air TV, comedy gameshows aren’t hard to find but Funny Whare (Thursdays, 9.30pm, Ma¯ori Television) is a little different. It’s local and it’s bilingual, with host Stacey Morrison flicking back and forth effortlessly between English and te reo Ma¯ori as two teams battle it out for $1000 to give to the charity of their choice.
Team captains Te Arahi Maipi and Kimo Houltham join guest celebrities each week to lip sync, dance and sing their way through increasingly humiliating rounds of the competition.
As celebrity-style game shows go, there’s nothing really groundbreaking here and honestly, it’s the sort of thing you might watch with one eye as you multi-task. But it’s entertaining enough and I kind of liked the switching between languages – it keeps it understandable for everyone including those who don’t speak te reo fluently.
So give it a go, there are some fun moments and you might learn something.
Young Brits banter, smoke weed and generally fritter away their days in Wasted.
Stacey Morrison is the bilingual host of celebrity game show Funny Whare.