Australia isn’t known for being a bit ‘nippy’ outside but it’s certainly an ostentatious start to a sit-com.
After a ‘thank you’ flash causes a stray doggy vehicular collision, equally culpable strangers Ashley and Gordon are reluctantly brought together to the tune of a $12,000 veterinary bill.
Unforeseen financial closeness is hardly an aphrodisiac, but Colin From Accounts slips its romance in between the invoices.
Written and performed by husband-and-wife team Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall (Glitch), Colin From Accounts is filled to the brim with the kind of fizzy back and forth realism that comes from two people who have mastery over their creations.
In between some tried and tested stalwarts (a bit of breaking wind here, a touch of pee pee humour there) is that most essential ingredient: well rounded characters.
What Is Colin From Accounts About?
Ashley (Dyer) in particular is a lead that avoids the usual shorthand pitfalls of female characterisation.
As a trainee doctor she has a decent whack of smarts, but when we meet her she is struggling with a recent break up from a co-worker and an overbearing boss on her case.
Poor living arrangements, financial woes, and ‘about to hit 30’ listlessness are relatable rough edges that avoid the usual ‘car crash’ or ‘boggle eyed wonder girl’ swings of the female character pendulum.
On the male side, Gordon (Brammall) has one foot strongly in reality also. “Why do you think you are still single?” Ashley asks. “Honestly? I don’t know,” he replies.
12 years older than her (as he is in real life), Gordon has more middle-aged problems.
He has the uncertainty of health checks-ups; a micro-brewery business that suffers due to his inability to get tough on unpaid invoices; and a home filled with guitars, dumbbells, online poker games, and the trappings of singleton life.
Brought together by “Colin” – the dog they are forced to co-care for – Ashley and Gordon’s co-irritation slowly makes way for attraction.
The first half of the show lets this grow by sparkly dialogue, whilst the second half chucks adversity at them in the form of things like their age gap, ex’s, and self-centred parents.
Colin From Accounts Official Trailer
Is Colin From Accounts Worth Watching?
Colin From Accounts keeps a good pile of side-character rebate forms to hand.
On Ashley’s side there is alluring best friend Megan (Emma Harvie) and a drama loving mother, Lynelle (Helen Thompson).
Lynelle slots neatly into the standard ‘negging nag’ trope, but also is the recipient of a wonderfully written and performed dressing down which is satisfying all round.
On Gordon’s side we have aggressively exasperated but protective friend Chiara (Genevieve Hegney) and well-meaning but dopey employee Brett (Michael Logo).
This pair come out strong in a wonderful ‘cross phone call’ scene during Ashley and Gordon’s speakerphone dog negotiations, although once we get into weird attraction triangle territory they do slide away somewhat.
Colin From Accounts reaps the benefit of great writing and great central characters.
The last two episodes struggle to regain the high of a particularly fraught birthday dinner, but by that point the groundwork has been well and truly laid.
It’s finely balanced and never swings too hard into schmaltzy or zany, always retaining the core layers of real, if heightened, people at the centre of it.
Your invoice has become due, so pay up and make Colin happy.
Words by Mike Record
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