Comic’s new take on pol­i­tics

Waikato Times - - NEWS - RUBY MACANDREW

A chance en­counter with jour­nal­ist John Camp­bell is to thank for a sec­ond sea­son of a satir­i­cal web­series based on the elec­tion.

Welling­ton ac­tor Jack Buchanan’s se­ries Flat Race made na­tional news in 2014 with its funny take on well-known politi­cians, but up un­til a month ago he wasn’t sold on bring­ing it back.

‘‘I was on my way to en­rol to vote and I met John Camp­bell and I talked to him about it ... He was re­ally sup­port­ive and awe­some so I walked away from that think­ing that was the uni­verse telling me to make it.

‘‘With the na­ture of this elec­tion cy­cle and what’s been go­ing on this year, as crazy as it is, it was too good to miss out on.’’

He went home and started writ­ing that night.

The six-part

se­ries, which be­gan on Mon­day, pits all of the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, played by Buchanan, in a race to be­come flat leader.

Buchanan has al­ready filmed the whole sea­son, mean­ing cur­rent events won’t in­form the sto­ry­line – a move that’s al­ready proved risky.

‘‘We fin­ished film­ing the day be­fore Peter Dunne re­signed and so I had this whole other char­ac­ter with some great lines but I had to cut him.’’

‘‘Thank­fully, I think, ev­ery­thing I wrote is still rel­e­vant this week ... fin­gers crossed no-one else re­signs in the next five days.’’

Buchanan isn’t alone in his hu­mor­ous take on this year’s can­di­dates, with pro­lific snapchat­ter and ac­tor Tom Sains­bury’s ver­sion of Paula Bennett rack­ing up the likes on­line, and Rob­bie Ni­col’s White Man Be­hind a Desk show of­fer­ing comedic re­lief from the chaos.

‘‘It gets very heavy and peo­ple can get over­whelmed by the fight­ing and the ‘he said, she said’ and so I’m just try­ing to do some­thing light and stupid and fun – all the things the elec­tion, so far, is not,’’ Buchanan said.

‘‘You can have a laugh at what’s go­ing on but then maybe you’ll ac­tu­ally see or hear some­thing that a char­ac­ter says and maybe look into a bit your­self.’’


As Bill English.

As David Sey­mour.

As Gareth Mor­gan.

Jack Buchanan as James Shaw.

As Jacinda Ardern.

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