Catch Up TV Review – Spirited: The Man Who Fell To Earth (S01E01)
This new comedy premiered on Foxtel’s W channel on Wednesday night, and I’m so glad I caught up with it today.
Spirited, which is created and produced by Claudia Karvan – who stars in it – Jacquelin Perske and John Waters is funny; it’s very funny, but probably only if you have a sense of humour that tends towards black.
The main protagonist is Suzy Darling (the aforementioned Claudia Karvan), a dentist who is the only person who can see and hear the ghost of an ‘80s English rock star, Henry Mallett (Matt King, The Peep Show dude).
She ‘meets’ Henry when, having left her condescending and arrogant husband, Steve (Roger Corser) – who thought it was hilarious that a dentist knocked out her own tooth by accident – she moves herself and her two kids into a new place.
And as well as the ghost, the very conservative Suzy has to deal with three gay men living together next door; two of them are called Adam, one is called Juan. Some of their conversations about their new neighbour are truly laugh out loud funny…
As are some of King’s lines, especially those quintessentially English insults that he hurls at Steve, such as “he’s a knob head” which Suzy then parrots back in her Aussie accent.
Funny too was Suzy dumping all her old marital friends who are really Steve’s friends, not hers. And she tells them – in a fit of bravado – that if they ever visit her to have their teeth seen to, she’ll “destroy them, in ways you can’t possibly imagine.”
It doesn’t sound funny on paper, but seeing the emergence of the new and confident Suzy from the shy and quiet one you rapidly feel you know well, is a breathe of fresh air.
But it’s more than just a comedy in that it touches on all manner of sensitive issues, from gay rights – the show is Australian and as yet, same sex marriages aren’t legal in Oz – to interfamilial dynamics.
And keep an eye out for Linda (Yael Stone) Suzy’s assistant in the dental practice. She’s brilliant.