Lowdown has now finished and while it wasn’t an amazingly great show by any stretch of the imagination it has been the Australian comedy TV highlight of the year so far. Why? Because unlike anything else on offer – panel shows, dramedies, Hey Hey It’s Saturday – it was a reasonably well-written show with some decent laughs in it. And with dramedies and panel/variety shows the dominant formats in entertainment right now, a scripted show which gets laughs is something to be happy about. So, what the hell was going on with that final scene?
Having delivered the lucky scoop of their lives Alex and Bob return to Melbourne to find the Sunday Sun has closed down anyway. Cue the final scene where the pair walk off down Flinders Street carrying boxes of their belongings.
This kind of ending would be fine, or at least acceptable, if Lowdown had been a dramedy, but it wasn’t – it was sitcom. And if you’re making a sitcom (or any type of comedy), isn’t your primary aim to get laughs? So, shouldn’t you be ending on a gag, rather than a moment which is trying to be, well, my best guess is poignant, but as it failed to be that, who actually knows?
I’m all for comedy writers experimenting with the form and trying to take it into new areas, but when the vast majority of the recent experiments into drama have resulted in comedy which is less funny and less interesting, isn’t it time to declare these experiments worthy, but failed?
The job of a comedy writer is to be funny. If you don’t want to be funny, go write for a drama. And take that box of belongings with you!