The Edge of the Bush

Anne Edmonds strikes a camp comedy note with her hilarious take on a calisthenics dynasty for ABC.

Anne Edmonds is one funny lady.

Her new comedy shorts was originally commissioned for iview but is getting a TV broadcast too, and it’s not hard to see why.

Following in the chameleon footsteps of others who have gone before (Chris Lilley, Jane Turner, Gina Riley to name but a few), she plays multiple characters in The Edge of the Bush. But there is a link and a through-line to them all that allows her to underpin her schtick with story. And that gets a ‘schtick’ from me.

It opens with Rebecca, an irate wanna-be whose audition video was rejected by The Voice.

“You made a big mistake!!! I am the X Factor and you’ve thrown it all away!” she declares.

Rebecca appears hell-bent on wreaking revenge upon producers, or anybody who will listen, but brother Glen (Damien Power) and father Craig (Greg Larsen) may just stop her video vindictiveness -especially given her webstreaming reveals Craig’s phony neckbrace to WorkCover.

Then there is elderly loner John whose new Community Health worker (Scott Brennan) struggles to fill out an case application form on his behalf.

“I want the internet in the walls!” shouts John.

Meanwhile rural busker Dusty has 2 dead-keen fans in a local mall, but is shocked when they produce a long lost album that nods to family secrets.

And wait until you meet enthusiastic Calisthenics Masters guru Karen (whose moves could take out an eye). She may be the best of her kind since We Can Be Heroes rolling champion Pat Mullins, but there’s just something a little bit wrong about the tactile family togetherness in this home.

Edmonds seamlessly transitions from one bizarre character to the next, displaying a keen observational eye for suburban Australians we all know (and possibly avoid).

Hanging it all together is a torrid history of a calisthenics dynasty that is both camp and merciless.

Edmonds is also creator and writer, while Get Krack!n‘s Kate McCartney directs and go-to producer Andy Walker chalks up another winner for Guesswork Television.

These episodes are just 12 minutes long, but take it from me we should be hearing more of Anne Edmonds, possibly from school yards and offices mimicking her the next day.

The Edge of the Bush airs 9:35pm Wednesdays on ABC.

7 Responses

  1. The comparison to Chris Lilley & We Can Be Heroes turns me off a little bit (well, ok … a lot), but it sounds like it might be better than that. Off to iView to check it out…

      1. Ha, I thought exactly this while I was watching it last night. I thought We Can be Heroes was good, quite liked Summer Heights High, but haven’t enjoyed anything else he’s done since. So I was hoping this was going to be more like early Lilley if at all.

        The characters were very keenly observed, brilliantly drawn in fact, but they were difficult to connect to. I find that you usually need at least one that you can even just partially identify with or who at least doesn’t make you feel icky.

        If it had been a 25 minute show, I don’t know if I would’ve stuck it out to the end. However, I’ll check it out again next week (I know it’s all up on iView but I think I need to wait a week anyway).

      2. Different strokes, I guess – I sat through the first 2 eps of WCBH when it first aired & found them unpleasantly cringeworthy, & the bits of SHH I’ve seen were even worse.

        But, reporting back after watching the first couple of eps: although it’s definitely in the vein of Chris Lilley’s work (& owes more than a tiny debt to Catherine Tate as well; another one I never really got), it’s its own thing. It plays along with its tropes & stereotypes, the individual segments are generally funny & don’t outstay their welcome (though I suspect I’d feel different if it was 30mins/ep & not ~10), & the evolving thread between them all pulls the whole thing together – it’s more “League of Gentleman” or “Psychoville” in that respect. Enjoyed it, and will watch the remaining eps later.

        Definitely worth watching even if – like me – you’re not a fan of Lilley, Tate, or the Katering…

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