The Angus Project was another of last year’s Fresh Blood pilots that we thought would work as a full-length sitcom. Well, we said “It could work”, which is about as good as you’re likely to get from us. But, like Koala Man, another Fresh Blood show we thought was promising but didn’t work, The Angus Project doesn’t quite work either. What’s going on, here?
The premise of The Angus Project is decent: Angus (Angus Thompson), a student with
Downs Syndrome cerebral palsy, lives in a house in Bathurst with live-in carer Nina (Nina Oyama of Tonightly), and together they have crazy, often drink or drug-fuelled, adventures. There have been sitcoms built on less, although they’ve usually had decent plots, which sadly this doesn’t…
In this pilot episode (available on iView and YouTube), the pair visit local newspaper editor Ron (Rob Sitch) to see if there’s any writing work going, and amazingly there is: Angus can cover a motivational talk given by wheelchair sports hero Wizza (Adam Bowes). But things don’t quite go to plan with Wizza, in fact, he turns out to be a massive dickhead, and they end up having to score him some horse adrenaline to make amends. Cue a visit to dodgy local drug dealer Kane (Sammy J), who proposes they visit a horse stud to get the adrenaline they need without paying for it.
Actually, in other hands, that could be a decent plot, particularly with an array of experienced comic actors in the show. Problem is, the show frequently goes off on surreal flights of fancy that don’t quite work. Or indulges in silly gags that hold things up. Put it this way, it’s not exactly coherent.
We enjoyed Veronica Milsom as Kath, who does a memorable turn as a bitchy local disability worker, and Sammy J as “high on his own supply” drug dealer Kane, but the rest of the characters, including the leads, don’t quite work. Someone obviously told Thompson and Oyama (who also wrote the show) to dial up the crazy. Or to dial down the crazy. Or something that makes this show feel slightly different in each scene. Whatever happened, this is a bit of a mess, and we can’t see it going further in its present form.