If The Moodys and Upper Middle Bogan were to have a love child, it might be something like Sando.
Victoria ‘Sando‘ Sandringham (Sacha Horler) is the matriarch of a dysfunctional family ripped apart by a bitter estrangement with daughter Susie (Krew Boylan) after Sando slept with her fiance Gary (Firass Dirani) 10 years ago -and kept the love child. That’d do it.
“Make ‘Em a Deal” Sando is working class-excess, mutton-dressed-up-as-lamb, and the country’s discount package queen. The star of her own obnoxious TV advertisements, complete with jingles by hubby Don (Phil Lloyd), she is a whirlwind at hogging the limelight.
“You’ve burnt every bridge you’ve ever had with anyone who ever loved you,” her CFO (Rob Carlton) tells her, adding that her own Board want her to stand down.
Trying to patch things up with Susie at her granddaughter’s birthday party isn’t just bad timing, but a stage for all manner of cartoon escapades. Son Eric (Dylan Hesp) tries out his worst stand-up comedy routines at a kid’s party. Ex-hubby Don is cavorting with Susie’s best pal and live-in life coach Nicky (Adele Vuko) behind closed doors, and Susie’s new husband Gary (Uli Latukefu) struggles to keep the peace.
When Sando gatecrashes the party (on horseback no less), Susie is not in a forgiving mood.
ABC’s new sitcom directed by the Van Vuuren Bros chugs along thanks to the chemistry between Sacha Horler & Krew Boylan.
Horler, perpetually wearing gaudy power suits, brings an abrasive, steamrolling performance with a vernacular that is like fingernails down a blackboard. Boylan impresses in a comedic role, worlds apart from her dramatic outings in Schapelle, Molly and Cliffy. Dylan Hesp has kooky fun as the not-quite-right son and there are cameos to look out for including Maggie Kirkpatrick (Ep 1) and Sigrid Thornton (Ep 2).
Yet again ABC paves the way in narrative comedy, where so few others venture. Pop culture and Australiana references pepper the script from Phil Lloyd & Charlie Garber, including nods to Joyce Mayne, Agro and dining at Centrepoint. Just wait for the Sando ads advertising stores in Fadgetown, Poondup & Yag.
Dysfunctional TV families work best when we can identify unconditional love underneath the hot mess. Here there are still conditions attached on Susie’s part, but we want Sando to find forgiveness, even if she insists on a 2 for 1 deal, this weekend only.
Sando is unashamedly clearance sale fun and a steal at the price.
9pm Wednesdays on ABC