The running meta joke for a while now has been to have fantasy creatures long for a life of 9-5 humdrum drudgery. Yet as far as I know only one character has been brave enough to make that leap to “reality” and he is …………………………………………………….
After a battle where a few too many quips are thrown around and not enough lightning bolts Jack decides to pack it all in and move to “the human realm”, more importantly Melbourne Australia. Unfortunately his acclimation doesn’t go too well and he accidentally turns a train station into a fish like monstrosity on day one. So now he’s got the locals giving him the old stink eye, fellow immigrants not appreciating the attention he’s drawing and “friend” from back home Skulldrich whose got a little bored without his matey potatey to pall around with and so has moved in next door. Unfortunately for, and unlike, Jack; evil wizards aren’t quite so keen to acclimatise themselves and blend in.
Thus we begin following Jack through his trials and tribulations of learning about recycling, traffic jams and speed dating. This as you can hopefully guess by now is not a very serious show. The parodies come thick and fast with swipes at Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Marvel; with the local “hot headed” “Ghost Writer”. Thanks to it’s television budget as well it can actually do a decent stab at every fantasy set piece it wants with an opening battle that while not the best ever seen is of a higher quality than a lot of fantasy movies I’ve sat through and considering it’s a small part simply there to set up the plot I was quite impressed.
That’s not to say fantasy cliches and parody is all it can do of course such as when Daddy dearest comes to visit. Yeah sure we’ve got a walking talking portrait going from frame to frame but at least half the gags just work as bachelor father and bachelor son and this is where the show shines, not in the fantasy tropes which are sometimes a little too heavy handed but in the general comedy of life in a new town and a new country.
For like most good comedies and fantasies it has something to say and that’s all too do with immigration policy and other cultures. What with this becoming more and more relevant all over the world rather than just far flung death islands of convicts who haven’t learnt to share their amusingly titled foot wear and killer drop bears, I think it speaks to everyone. See the show doesn’t just take a tour around margarine monsters and giant floating eyeballs also visiting day time television and the world of local politics as people start to question “the robes” and whether they should be over here taking our jobs and why they can’t just either leave or at least dress, look and act like everyone else. This also links back to how well the show travels, at least in my opinion, and that may just be because the Aussies and the Brits share a funny bone for the most part but the local senator rallying people by his home grown attitude and Guy Pearce as sleazy day time television presenter felt unfortunately and uncomfortably right at home to me.
Free on youtube the series was part funded by Australian television and shown on which before coming back to youtube in six small parts of ten to twenty minutes and because it’s part funded by an actual television company it has to do things like come out on time and lead somewhere which is always a plus.
Okay some of the piss takes are a little on the nose and its questionable if some of the plot lines go on a little too long and in a little too much detail such as baby bones who dominates a whole episode and while good feels like its out of a completely different web series. However I would still say ‘Wizard of Aus’ is a definite much watch for fans of comedy, fantasy and or both.