Super City

One of the bravest NZ comedies I’ve ever seen, and nothing less than you’d expect from Madeleine Sami, whose five characters range from Linda, a rich arts-loving divorcee with a daughter with Tourettes, to Jo, a fitness trainer with a frosted merkin and a crush on her (engaged and straight) colleague. It’s also restored my faith in director Taika Waititi after the egregious Radiradirah, which thankfully seems to have vanished from NZ comedy history.

It’ll probably be unfavourably compared to Summer Heights High, but the only similar character is blue-eyed party girl Pasha, just as vile as Ja’me King, but more worried about turning thirty than sponsoring 85 Sudanese children. This is what should make it a good series: the characters are Auckland stereotypes but their motivations are well-defined, and Sami is very, very good at inhabiting them.

The satire isn’t too shabby either, whether it’s status-obsessed art patrons who compete to discover the most fashionably degraded artist, or the exploitation of newly-arrived Iranian taxi driver Azeem by his employer and passengers alike. The only character who edges a bit too close to pathos is mentally-ill homeless Georgie who finds an abandoned baby – this is probably not going to end well.

It’s beautifully shot on digital video with an impressive amount of slightly famous actors in the foreground and background – I even spotted Virginia Frankovich from FB:L4G on an exercycle.

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