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Series: Welcher & Welcher


When it comes to making television, we Australians suck. Apart from epic wartime dramas, the Australian content that appears on our screens is more often than not low brow and insulting attempts at comedy, which is designed to (and successfully) appeals to… well, morons. Yes, I’m looking at you KATH AND KIM fans. Over the last couple of decades we’ve had numerous sketch comedy shows, and horrifically insulting attempts at situation comedy forced on us. And the saddest part of all is that they are often successful. However, in amongst the cavalcade of class clowns, every once in a while we’re treated to a true comic genius.

Shaun Micallef’s genius has been demonstrated in many forms over the years, most successfully — in terms of eyeballs on screens — when he’s shown that he can play along and appeal to the lowest common denominator, as he did for FULL FRONTAL. And even more so when he lets fly with the complete arsenal of his intellect. Unfortunately the latter are the shows which are the least commercially successful, thanks to the dull witted Australian viewing audience.

Now, clearly when I speak of dull witted Australian viewers, I’m not talking to anyone who’s reading this post. Obviously, you’ve proven yourself to be discerning and of abnormal intellectual capacity by coming here, to the bastion of sombre reflection that is elroyonline. No, I’m talking about the dullards who still regard Con the Fruiterer as comedic gold, or can’t wait for Wednesday to come around so that they can watch the rotting corpse of Hey Hey it’s Saturday ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ its way across our screens.

While Micallef has found success again, with TALKIN BOUT YOUR GENERATION’s perfect balance of satirical self mockery, some of Micallef’s best work has remained undiscovered by most Australians. I’m made even more frustrated by that fact, because I’ve only now just discovered a series that he made back in 2003: WELCHER & WELCHER.

Staring Micallef and Robyn Butler as the title characters, married lawyers Quentin Charles and Kate Welcher. Welcher & Welcher is as much a comedy about running a law firm as FAULTY TOWERS is about running a hotel. While Quentin Charles (who is constantly reminded that QC are only his initials) is the cause of the law firms mishaps, he is not completely at fault. Santo Cilauro plays Griffin, the IT manager who never seems to manage to get the company computer systems to work, and who begins tech support with the instruction “open the chooser.” Furthermore the firm must deal with the constant disarray left by two daft painters who can’t seem to get the job of painting the office (the correct colour) finished.

Obviously filmed with a low budget this series showed brilliant potential. The series only lasted for eight episodes, but is one of the best examples of a situation comedy ever to be made in Australia. It’s sharp and witty, and thanks to Micallef’s broad experience there are more than enough silly moments and self deprecating humour to appeal to just about anyone.

I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve only experienced this show seven years after the fact, but hopefully now that it’s been released on DVD, it’ll find a new audience to appreciate its brilliance. [source]

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1 Comment

    Finally, someone has the nerve to stick up to Kath and Kim fans; it’s not funny! Newstopia, on the other hand, was brilliant.