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Crazy Fun Park

There are spirits in the electrics of ABC's twisted new theme park for kids.

Life in rural Asphodel Heights is not that exciting for teenager Chester (Henry Strand), who dreams of becoming a graphic novelist.

But at least he has best friend, the lively Mapplethorpe (Stacy Clausen) to inject some spark into the routine.

The boys are thick as thieves, skateboarding to school, where droll teacher Ms. Wiest (Judith Lucy) welcomes new teen Violetta (Hannah Ogawa) to class.

There’s the local bully Ricky (Hugh Nakamura) and pressure from parents (Bernard Curry, Katherine Tonkin, Alexandra Schepisi).

But there is also an abandoned theme park, Crazy Fun Park, home to a run-down carousel, rickety old rollercoaster, clown sideshow alley and all kinds of pinball and fortune-teller booths.

It’s here that Chester, Mapplethorpe and Violetta bond when the latter is taking snaps for a photography project. Having free rein over the empty park is like a teenage dream come true, but be careful it doesn’t become a nightmare. For there are spirits lurking in the electrics, and a ghostly presence in these ol’ rides.

But when Chester and Violetta grow closer, the boisterous Mapplethorpe finds himself on the outer, prompting him to visit Crazy Fun Park one late night. It’s here that the series makes its biggest shift where the afterlife rises to the fore.

Writer / director Nicholas Verso takes a novel and vivid approach to death as a subject for his adolescent audience, and with only one episode available for preview I’m not quite sure where the series travels from here.

But the young cast, led by Henry Strand, Stacy Clausen and Hannah Ogawa are strong while production designer Paddy Reardon is to be commended for building a convincing empty theme park, doubtless on a limited budget.

Crazy Fun Park is a lot darker than it suggests, but with a sense of wonder, that should entertain kids looking for something both offbeat and Aussie.

Crazy Fun Park airs 6pm Sunday January 1 on ABC ME.

2 Responses

  1. Hi David. It’s a real shame that you only received 1 episode to preview. That’s a bit strange considering the series in question. What is the official rating? I presume PG. What would be your opinion for a minimum age to view?

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