Here comes an absurdist Indigenous comedy ahead of the end of the world.

Batten down the hatches. Preppers is as kooky as they come.

If all your doomsday prophecies were bundled up into one bunker, it might look a little something like ABC’s new comedy -except that this comes with an Indigenous lens. Having survived 40,000+ years so far what’s a few hundred years between last drinks?

Landing as an absurdist yarn in the bush, the 6 part comedy stars Nakkiah Lui, who is also co-creator with Gabriel Dowrick.

Lui plays a WakeUp Australia TV host Charlie engaged to her phone-obsessed producer (Grant Denyer) whom she suspects is cheating with her co-host (Brooke Satchwell). While she’s surrounded by success,  morning television and all its corporate trappings constantly frustrate her, especially when it comes to celebrating sausage sizzle Australia Day. Bewdy.

The series opens with Charlie awakening in Eden 2, a cluster-camp of doomsday preppers preparing for the end, on land belonging to her grandmother. And what a motley crew they are.

There’s alpha-male Bear Grylls wanna-be Guy (Meyne Wyatt), Christian converts Kelly (Ursula Yovich) and Lionel (Chum Ehelepola), defiant anti-colonist Jayden (Aaron McGrath) and theory-obsessed podcaster Kirby (Eryn Jean Norvill).

Leading them all to salvation, oblivion or something in between is the all-knowing raconteur Monty (Jack Charles) who has negotiated a 10,000 year lease for the land with Charlie’s grandmother -a deal he insists is as “fair as a black fella’s bum.”

What has driven them all to Eden 2 is a collective fear of zombies / the rapture / global warming / white people / asteroids… take you pick, really, although pandemics don’t rate a mention on this richter scale.

Charlie is thrust into a boot camp of audacious doomsday exercises, in readiness for the end whenever it may be. While it’s deliberately bizarro stuff, the key to it all lays in the words of the wise Jack Charles: “We’re always trying to survive something, Charlie.” Honestly the man could make a take-way menu sound mellifluous.

There are constant flashbacks to Charlie’s career in television before it veered off course, and it’s hard not to draw parallels with Indigenous subjects that have been badly handled in the genre (the orange strap at the bottom of the screen is a dead ringer for Sunrise). Brooke Satchwell could easily double for Sam Armytage / Melissa Doyle / Georgie Gardner etc.

Luke Arnold also appears in the first episode as a mostly-shirtless white recruit trying too hard for acceptance while episode 2 sees Kate Miller-Heidke as herself, at least until a dream sequence as theatrical as Eurovision.

The melting pot of ideas, conspiracy theories and disenfranchisement stirs with anger, cynicism, but also the ability to laugh at oneself.

Preppers may not be as scary as the real rednecks in Doomsday Preppers, and you may not always know quite what to make of it, but if the end really is nigh at least you’ll die with a smile on your face.

Preppers screens 9:10pm Wednesdays on ABC.

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