Swift & Shift Couriers returns to our screens tonight after a long absence. A long, looong absence. In fact, if various rumours are true, the only reason we’re even seeing it now is because someone very high up in the SBS scheme of things left the network earlier this year. To be even more blunt: when the second series of Swift & Shift was handed over to the network in 2009, someone at the network with the power to say so said “we’re not going to show this”. That person has gone and now Swift & Shift is back. Yay.
Exactly why it was pulled in the first place remains something of a mystery (or at least, we’re going to pretend so here). But if you do feel like tuning in tonight, keep in mind that something you’re going to see was so lame / rubbish / offensive that the very people who paid for it to be made refused to let it go to air. What exactly was so horrible about it we don’t know, but as we haven’t heard that the series was edited to remove the offending scenes we can assume that a): the scenes were so integral to the show as a whole that they couldn’t be removed and b): whatever it was that made them so offensive at the time has blown over.
Perhaps c): no-one at SBS today expects anyone to even watch Swift & Shift, let alone notice something offensive about it? Ian Turpy’s not the draw he used to be…
Maybe d): offending people is now good business? The ABC sure tried to make people think Angry Boys was going to be offensive, and look how well that turned out… okay, perhaps not.
(honestly? We just think someone at SBS had a sudden burst of good taste and artistic standards. Paul Fenech has been coasting on his Pizza cred for at least a decade now – an decade in which everyone else funny on the Pizza team seem to have bailed on him – with ever-diminishing results. Does SBS expect us to believe there are no other non-anglo comedians in Australia they could be giving airtime to? After well over a decade, the joke that is Fenech’s comedy career is well and truly done.)