The funniest thing to ever happen in, on, or around Rosehaven was the recent news that this current season would be the last because writer-creators-stars Ceclia Pacquola and Luke McGregor had “run out of stories”. To which a nation replied as one: Rosehaven has stories?
Lest you think this is our usual baseless snark, let’s look at the stories they decided they did have to tell: in the first episode back, Luke wants to buy a new car, Celia has to rescue her ex boyfriend from doing too many odd jobs for the neighbourhood watch, and the comedy highlight is riding around on a ride-on mower. It’s not exactly Melvin, Son of Alvin.
Maybe we are being a bit snarky; even a low stakes story is still a story. But Rosehaven has set the bar so low as far as narrative goes that the idea of somehow ever running out of stories about a pair of friends at a real estate agency in a tiny Tasmanian town seems bonkers. If you could drag this out to five seasons – of eight episodes each, making this easily the longest running Aussie sitcom this century if you pretend Pizza / Fat Pizza never happened and why wouldn’t you – then why not ten? A hundred?
It seems slightly more likely that Pacquola and McGregor have come to the same point the rest of us did a few seasons ago: they’ve had a gutful. You can’t blame them for being slow on the uptake, what with the show actually making them money while costing us our time and will to live. Remember when they were just two of the supporting cast from Utopia? Now if you believe the press they’re Australia’s greatest comedy team since Dad’n Dave.
As for the show itself, it’s *heavy sigh* fiiiiiiiiine. Nice scenery, soothing mood, low stakes stories… did we mention nice scenery? Nothing’s all that funny, but it’s not trying to be; at least Anthony Morgan is back later in the series. Where’s his spin off?
Obviously McGregor and Pacquola are the big draws here and rightly so: they have a fun, easy chemistry, they’re a rock solid double act and seeing them piss-fart around is… if not laugh out loud funny, then at least passably entertaining. If anything, their work here is slightly frustrating, as it feels a little like watching a couple of talented professionals dicking around on the easy setting. They could (and elsewhere, have) make something a lot funnier than this.
But being funny isn’t really the point. You couldn’t even call it a dramedy – it’d have to contain drama for that. Rosehaven is basically a fantasy travel show, a half hour journey to a sleepy country village where you can spend time with some nice people who seem to be enjoying themselves.
Or if you’re at Casa del Tumbleweeds, you can turn the television off and see pretty much the exact opposite reflected in the screen.