The critics have spoken.
Frontline is Australia’s all-time best TV comedy.
TV Tonight has asked some of the nation’s top TV critics to choose their favourite Australian comedies* -either sitcoms or sketch- with Working Dog’s 1990’s satire on current affairs emerging at #1.
Michael Lallo from The Age said, “A quarter-century after its debut, this note-perfect satire of TV current affairs – and Australian journalism in general – still feels remarkably relevant.”
Co-creator and star Rob Sitch said of the honour, “That’s very gratifying. I still have PTSD from the pilot screening. The ABC were expecting something a little more Mrs Brown’s Boys and we delivered a laugh-track-free vérité style office satire. There’s silence and then there’s silence that needs a defibrillator. Credit to them for still rolling the dice.”
In second place was Jane Turner & Gina Riley’s suburban homage, Kath & Kim, which screened on ABC from 2002 – 2004 and Seven in 2007, as well as spawning a telemovie and feature film.
Debi Enker, also from The Age, said, “Crowd-pleasing, iconic characters seen in the context of Australian suburban life and its values.”
In third place was hit Seven sketch Fast Forward.
“Was this the greatest collection of Aussie comedy talent ever?” asks James Manning from Mediaweek.
Here is the Top 10 list. Did they get it right?
- Kath & Kim
- Fast Forward
- We Can Be Heroes / Please Like Me
- Mother and Son / The Norman Gunston Show
- The Chaser’s War on Everything / Summer Heights High
- The Letdown
- The Aunty Jack Show
- Big Girl’s Blouse / Rosehaven
Runners-up in no particular order:
The Moodys, The Late Show, The D Generation, CNNNN, The Paul Hogan Show, The Mavis Bramston Show, The Last of the Australians, Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Grass Roots, The Comedy Company, Wilfred.
Participating critics were:
Graeme Blundell, The Australian
Andrew Mercado, TV historian
Debi Enker, The Age
Colin Vickery, Herald Sun
Peter Ford, Entertainment reporter
James Manning, Mediaweek
Wenlei Ma, news.com.au
Michael Lallo, The Age
Michael Bodey, ABC
David Knox, TV Tonight
* Scripted comedy: sitcom or sketch, incl. variety or improvisation elements where scripted is predominant.