Fresh Blood 2024: Finally, KingsLand gets released

Three months after all the other Fresh Blood pilots were released, KingsLand is finally here. Has it been worth the wait?

KingsLand, created by Joshua Yasserie and written by Jon Rex Williams and Yasserie, focuses on Reg (also Yasserie), an older First Nations man living in a run-down house in Redfern. But Reg isn’t just First Nations, he’s animated, which means he has an extra tough time just living his life.

As a result of Reg simply walking down the street, a jogger (Jon Rex Williams) calls the cops. “Hey, you never seen an animation before?” asks Reg, “I was here before you lot!”

Later, at a local coffee shop, Reg can’t buy a drink as they’re cashless and he’s only got coins. “Sorry,” says the barista (Vic Zerbst). “You say sorry a lot, but no one ever helps” replies Reg.

Reg continues on, encountering an earnest, white hippy couple (Will Gibb and Jenna Owen) trying to busk with some digeridoos. Reg tells the female hippy she can’t play the digeridoo, but the pair berate him for sexism. She then white-splains that many First Nations mobs were matriarchies, which she thinks is “really cool.”

Then, Reg tries the pub, where the Pacific Islander bouncer (Jay Laga’aia) points to a sign reading NO ANIMATIONS and tells him the pub’s full. So, it’s back home to find Reg’s been evicted, and his house has been sold to a real estate agent (Lewis Hobba) who reckons he can get $1.8 million for it.

All of this takes place in the first episode, with an all-Aussie ballad overlaying the footage. As lyrics about how Australia’s the “lucky country”, and “everyone calls you mate”, and “it’s a country we can all share” are heard, we see how hard life is for Reg. None of this subtle satire, but does it need to be?

In the second and third episodes, there’s a change of direction in tone, and hope for Reg as a vision of his late wife (Ursula Yovich) inspires him to leave the city to find his country. It’s not easy, as Reg doesn’t know how to survive in the bush, but then up pops Wiiny the koala (voiced by Krystal May), a fellow animation, who steers him on the right path.

It’s hard to know for certain where the writers want to take KingsLand next, but it feels like, after the hard satire of the first episode, the plan is to continue the story with a lighter style of comedy. That’s a good direction to take and suits the premise of this being Reg’s quest for country. The show will need a few characters if it’s to thrive in a longer format, though.

Read our reviews of all 2024’s other Fresh Blood pilots.

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1 Comment

  • sven says:

    Milo Kerrigan has tropic thundered his way in to Redfern more like it.

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