Thursday, November 09, 2023

Colin from Accounts, on Paramount+

In this Australian series, as is so often the case in real life, a great deal of trouble results from a government worker’s incompetence. A negligent postal worker accidentally lets a cute, Benji-ish dog slip out of his yard. His first encounter with Gordon Crapp (yes, that is definitely a source of comedy) and Ashley Molden is painful, but he will be the catalyst for a stormy Hepburn-and-Tracy relationship in star-creators Patrick Brammall & Harriet Dyer’s eight-episode Colin from Accounts, which premieres today on Paramount+.

Technically, Crapp hit the adorable little fur ball with his car, but Molden distracted him. Its complicated and she’s mess, so yadda yadda, they’re in the veterinarian’s office together. Dr. Yvette (the vet, they go there too) happens to be Crapp’s ex, so it is super awkward. The poor guy has severe spinal damage and will need special care for the rest of his life, but neither can bring themselves to euthanize him. They do not know his real name, but they start calling him “Colin from Accounts,” as part of goofy in-joke.

As a result, they embark on dysfunctional joint custody arrangement that gets even weirder when Crapp reluctantly allows Molden to moves in temporarily. It certainly makes dating other people a bit of challenge, but, of course, there is also plenty of sexual tension percolating between them.

Unlike most recent sitcoms,
Colin from Accounts is actually funny. That should be a prerequisite for the genre, but a lot of showrunners forgot that part. It is immediately obvious why this one works and so many others don’t. As writers and co-leads, Dyer and Brammall are never afraid to mine humor from Colin’s inability to go #2 without manual assistance, Crapp’s treatment for cancer of the junk, and Molden’s binge-drinking and stalkerish behavior. At one point, Crapp offends a tinder date by making pronoun jokes, but it is clear the humor is intended at the expense of her hyper-sensitivity.

The bickering couple’s appealing hot-and-cold chemistry also goes a long way. Both show a knack for sarcastic one liners and physical slapstick. They have the skill sets to land nearly any joke on the humor spectrum, which they regularly do throughout the series.

Of course, they are consistently upstaged by the real star, Zac Fedderson, who is quite the four-legged charmer playing Colin. Genevieve Hegney also gets a lot of laughs as Crapp’s caustic but protective business partner, while Annie Maynard is scathingly acidic as Yvette the vet.

Considering how Crapp and Molden meet, let’s hope they do not adopt a child in season two. Regardless, they should keep the jokes coming and maintain the defiant lack decorum. It is probably the best “new” sitcom since
Son of a Critch, but tonally it is not so far from Am I Being Unreasonable, except deep down it really has a romantic soul. Recommended with surprising enthusiasm, Colin from Accounts starts streaming today (11/9) on Paramount+.