As the year draws to a close, so has Housos vs Virus and Regular Old Bogan, the only comedies made by Seven in 2020.
Housos vs Virus is not a show we will miss. In fact, if you only watched one or two episodes out of the total five, you saw all the material this sitcom about welfare cheats, drug addicts and homeless bums coping with lockdown was ever going to include.
We counted at least three episodes which featured a scene where one of the Housos gets into a fight at the supermarket over the last roll of toilet paper. And at least two episodes which involved the show’s central character, Frankie (Paul Fenech), having to break out of the lockdown house to get food, toilet paper, drugs, booze or some combination of all four. And several of these involved stealing from an office, bottlo or chemist.
So desperate was Housos vs Virus for material to fill its five episodes (that’s five rather than the usual six) that the show also included extended orgy scenes involving Frankie and the “skanks” (three melon-breasted, pert-bottomed women) who were, improbably, attracted to him, and equally long and unnecessary scenes which involved members of the cast singing karaoke.
It’s almost like not a lot of funny stuff actually happens in lockdown. Or that Paul Fenech can’t write comedy to save his arse.
A show more worth watching was Regular Old Bogan, a six-part animated series about suburban dad Gavin Stubbs, his wife Wendy and their two kids Toby and Mary. And if this sounds like an Aussie take on the well-established formula of such shows as The Simpsons and Family Guy, then yes, it is.
Gavin is a traditional Aussie male who gets carried away with things due to his stupidities and prejudices. In one episode, he takes Toby on a fishing trip but doesn’t plan the journey properly and ends up in what he thinks is a Wolf Creek scenario. In another show, he cuts off a cyclist whilst out driving, which escalates into a war between two gangs of drug dealers.
But perhaps it’s the Bali episode where the worst excesses of Gavin’s aggression and cultural superiority lead the family into danger. Locked up in Kerobocan prison type danger.
Sure, the animation in Regular Old Bogan looks a bit cheap, but the storylines are solid and do a decent job of satirising Aussie bloke culture. Some might find the final dingo kidnap episode, with its references to Azaria Chamberlain, a bit on the nose, but we enjoyed the musical number ‘Any Dingoes’ (to the tune of ‘Anything Goes’) and the B plot about marshmallows.
But, of course, the laughs don’t end there. Over the Christmas period, the ABC will be screening a festive version of Hard Quiz, plus The Yearly with Charlie Pickering, Sammy J’s 2020 Dumpster Fire Spectacular, a Spicks and Specks special, and Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell – Pagan Holiday Special.
There are no plans for a Housos vs Virus Christmas special, though. We hope!