Why we’ve given up on The Edge of the Bush

Anne Edmonds in The Edge of the Bush

It’s fair to say we haven’t really taken to The Edge of the Bush, Anne Edmond’s short-form sitcom airing each week after Get Krack!n’. It’s partly the clash of dark and moody and over-the-top, zany characters that isn’t working for us, but also that it feels like an idea that seemed hilarious on paper or in the rehearsal room but just doesn’t work as a finished TV show.

There are lots of positive things to say about Anne Edmonds. She’s masterful at dissecting the culture of the Australian suburbs, particularly its less nice aspects, and no one handles a shift in tone quite like Edmonds. Those sudden U-turns she does? Genius. Her MICF show this year, No Offence None Taken, featured plenty of those, and it was a well-deserved Barry nominee.

The Edge of the Bush also does a pretty good job of nailing what’s so clever – and annoying – about all those Scandi Noir and Scandi Noir-influenced dramas we’ve seen in the past half-decade: the bizarre storylines, the over-played horror, the endless repetition of key plot points, the flashbacks, the characters looking off camera when they remember something “from the past”… Problem is, none of this is actually made funny in The Edge of the Bush; it’s an accurate parody, but not one made hilarious.

Maybe it’s that this seems to be a show about incest. That guaranteed laugh-getter, incest. We’re not saying you can’t do jokes about incest, just that if you do they’d better be hilarious. A rule which, as long-time readers of this blog know, is something you can apply to anything you try to do in comedy: it better be hilarious.

Having said all this, we’d really like to see more from Anne Edmonds. Her appearances as Helen Bidou in Get Krack!n alone justify that. Just not more of The Edge of the Bush, if that’s okay.

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