It’s been a fairly quiet week in comedy – well, Greg Fleet is back in trouble for drug-related hijinks, but that’s not really news as such – so we figured hey, what better time to get caught up on something we missed first time around. Which would be the second series of Plonk, as recently seen on streaming service Stan.
Unfortunately for the profitability of Australia’s streaming services, we continue to be too stingy to actually pay to watch them. Fortunately for our tight-arse approach, the makers of Plonk are currently putting series two up on YouTube here. Watching television for free? Who would have thunk it?
And “free” is pretty much the price you’ll be wanting to pay for Plonk, because while it’s a step up from the first series it’s still the kind of show that gets smirks rather than laughs. It looks good, and being filmed at actual wineries – oh right, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at a shoddy wine infotainment show (fronted by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor as “Chris Taylor”, a presumably slightly more wanky version of himself) where they travel to various wineries and promptly make dicks of themselves – makes a nice change from the limited locations of most Australian comedies. But when you’re talking about how the locations are a strength it’s a pretty big sign it’s not classic comedy.
(also, those South Australian “filmed with the assistance of” logos? Yeah, there’s tourism money involved)
Interestingly, as we noted in our review of series one, being cut into shorter segments does mean it’s pacey enough to avoid a lot of the endless pauses that drag a lot of local comedy (is Please Like Me still airing before midnight?) into the mire. It seems they bolted three segments together to form tv-length episodes for Stan, but online the 7-10 minute segment length seems about right as far as viewer tolerance goes.
Still, it does have jokes, the wine stuff is mildly informative, and the central trio have – again, let us stress, for an Australian comedy – an actual comedy dynamic that works in a generic sitcom fashion: for online content we can safely commit to saying that it’s worth a look. Also in episode one, a Greg Fleet cameo! Nice how that all tied in together.