Timothy

2014-10-03_2237In a strange kind of way, Timothy is the opposite of Mother and Son.

While the latter saw Arthur as carer of Maggie, the former has Melinda (Denise Scott) looking after Timothy (Stephen Curry), with a little help from her husband, Colin (Peter Rowsthorn).

That said, the comic tone of ABC’s single camera comedy is vastly different to the iconic multicam sitcom that has never been bettered on Australian Television.

Timothy is written by Tristram Baumber and gently directed by Erin White (At Home with Julia, It’s a Date). It centres around 35 year old Timothy Garrett, who has returned home to Wollongong following a breakdown during his corporate career in Hong Kong.

Now returned home to the family nest, constantly clad in his dressing gown, he’s a handful for his middle-aged but loving parents. Timothy‘s problems manifest themselves through his habit of rearranging the furniture, his insistence on only eating Silver Carp, executing martial arts on the backyard clothes line, or talking about exposing himself and urinating in public. Without ever resorting to hysteria or mania, Timothy is an otherwise friendly chap.

But as his therapist (Lisbeth Kennelly) insists, the slightest nudge in the wrong direction could tip him over the edge. For the time being, Melinda is going to have to keep killing live Silver Carp before any hope of graduating to soup. Melinda is a patient woman, but isn’t entirely convinced that the advice she is being given is the right prescription for her son. Hubby Colin isn’t much help at conflict, either…

The comedy of Timothy is lilting in tone, never rushing to punchlines or hurrying to make its point. Much of this is due to Erin White’s control of the relationships and treading a fine line as to whether the lead character’s affliction is genuine, manufactured or even misdiagnosed. Those decisions will be left in the hands of the viewer.

Meanwhile it’s easy to enjoy the nuanced relationship between Stephen Curry and Denise Scott, which is where the charms of this comedy lay. I wasn’t entirely convinced of the age differences of the actors involved, Rowsthorn seems to be a tad young to be parent of Curry, but putting this aside he plays it like a hapless Dad.

After 30 minutes of this one-off comedy I could have happily sat down for another serve.

Timothy airs 9:30pm Wednesday on ABC.

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