If you’re a fan of the iconic Australian comic TV production company Working Dog, then you’ll most likely recall Aussie comedian/actress Nina Oyama’s role as the not-so-savvy, sassy secretary fumbling about with her routine tasks in season 2 of Utopia. And if you’ve had your eyeballs glued to the ABC over the past 12 months seeking further comedy relief then chances are you’ll have witnessed more of her edgy performance style – perhaps more accurately described as being crazier than a pregnant knife-wielding circus monkey that’s escaped from its cage and ready to give birth – within the unfairly cut off at the limbs (read prematurely axed) comedy gem Tonightly with Tom Ballard – boy we hated seeing that one go…
But tonight on iView the ABC is finally redeeming itself with disability in the mainstream as Nina’s best friend in real life (and on screen), Angus Thompson, appear together in the pilot episode of The Angus Project. After finding success with a 3 part webseries last year, in 2018 The Angus Project is back with a 30 minute pilot episode, funded by ABC’s Fresh Bloody Comedy Initiative and Screen Australia.
The laugh out loud episode features a breakout performance from Angus (leading actor with cerebral palsy) and is packed with Australia’s best loved comedic talents, including, Sammy J (Sammy J’s Playground Politics), Veronica Milsom (Mad As Hell, Triple J), Nina Oyama (Tonightly with Tom Ballard, Utopia) and Craig Anderson (Double The Fist, Elegant Gentlemen’s Guide to Knife Fighting). The show is co-written by veteran comedy writer Melina Wicks (The Weekly, The Checkout) and Nina Oyama, with script supervision by multi award winning comedian Greg Larsen (Fancy Boy, Get Krack!n, Tonightly with Tom Ballard).
Angus (Angus Thompson) is an aspiring sports journalist with cerebral palsy, who works for a shonky local paper called The Bathurst Gazette. He wastes his days with his carer Nina (Nina Oyama), a flailing university student who has a knack for blowing even the most mundane tasks out of proportion. Assisted by their eclectic drug dealer Kane (Sammy J), the two find colourful ways to shirk their responsibilities, and undermine their mean boss Kath (Veronica Milsom), who runs the regional disability service provider.
In this episode, Angus must get an interview with gold medal winning paralympian, Wayne ‘Wizza’ Miller (Adam Bowes) in order to secure his first front page story in The Bathurst Gazette. In exchange for the interview, Wizza has some bizarre demands, which send Angusand Nina all over town and deep into the regional Australian countryside.
In 2017 The Fresh Blood Initiative funded 20 independent web series and from this, 4 productions were selected for funding to complete a pilot episode program. In 2019 one of the lucky 4 will be chosen to progress to a full series – our eyes, and bets are placed on The Angus Project as the front runner best new comedy.
Fresh Blood: The Angus Project is a must watch and launches on ABC iView tonight December 4, and will remain online until the end of the 2018 year. iview.abc.net.au