The Other Guy

When the daily minutiae of your personal life is breakfast radio fodder you’d better make sure you have plenty of it. And you’d better be comfortable with it being used against you.

Welcome to the world of AJ Amon (Matt Okine), a brekkie radio host for Fade FM who has just learned that his girlfriend Liv (Valene Kane) has been having an affair with his best mate.

In Stan’s new local comedy The Other Guy, AJ is plummeted back into the world of  single-dom and dating in all its ugly glory.

In the opening episode that involves waking up to a one-night stand on a urine-soaked mattress. Aside from the totes-awks situation about who is to blame, is the added problem that the mattress belongs to his Ex.

His radio co-star, who gets wind of the revelation decides to use it as on-air schtick. But AJ is already very self-conscious of his own foibles, including a slowly-receding hairline and feedback from a surprised Uber driver who always thought he sounded “white.”

AJ’s partner-in-crime in adjusting to his new life is alcoholic gal pal Stevie (Harriet Dyer), who is arguably more in touch with her inner bloke then he. In a role that contrasts wildly to her Love Child performance, Dyer is playfully unfiltered here, espousing brash views on drinking, drugs, casual sex and more.

One of the funniest scenes is the pair of them shopping for a new mattress, nearly upstaged by a glum, idiosyncratic salesman (Daniel Hiser), who returns in another scene with AJ’s dentist father (Michael-Anthony Taylor). Points for casting both.

The script co-written with Becky Lucas (Please Like Me) includes some surprising, understated social comments, such as that within a dance studio scene in episode 2.

Okine nicely underplays his role here, allowing for a mix of self-deprecating humour and introspection, in a comedy that goes for character over punchlines. This look at Gen Y’s modern dating implosions is a huge achievement for Okine, and could be ripe for “cult” status once discovered overseas.

Much praise goes to director Kacie Anning (You’re Skitting Me, Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am) who infuses the scenes with nuanced authenticity, artfully photographed and happy to draw upon subtext.

Stan’s growing contributions to local comedy, such as the recent No Activity, demonstrate that not aiming for broadly appealing comedy can elicit much richer experiences. The Other Guy is another winner.

The Other Guy premieres Thursday August 17 on Stan.

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