Thursdays, 9.30pm, ABC1
What's it all about
Adam Zwar returns for a second season (two years on) of his tabloid journalism comedy series, in which he stars as Alex, the perennially failing journo, boyfriend and human being. Tonight Alex publishes revealing photos of the Families Minister that turn out to be stills from Ukrainian porn.
Once you get past the game of "hey isn't that...?" (The quick answers are — yes that is Geoffrey Rush as the narrator, yes that is Beth Buchanan from Hey Dad as Alex's girlfriend Rita, yes that is Nick Cave singing the theme song, and yes that is Shane Jacobson as Clay the unbalanced ex-boyfriend) ...
Once you get past the awesome headlines and front pages casually placed around the office of The Sunday Sun. "Elton takes David up the aisle", a stand-out from this episode, was a real headline from The Sun in 2005 ...
Once you get past Geoffrey Rush's rapid transition from story narrator to acidic inner-monologue in less time than it takes to repeat the phrase "that's a decision she's going to regret", providing the perfect self-deprecating answer to any accusation that Lowdown — or Zwar — is trying to be too clever by half ...
And once you get past the running gag of Bob's unrequited love for Alex, Bob's whistling nose and Bob's inability to get a normal reaction from anyone to having been injured by stepping on a mine ...
... Lowdown is a very funny show.
With a script whose every line has a sting, barb or terrible (yet wonderful) pun, a cast who can make even the most passive-aggressive argument on the stairs or momentary sub-editor encounter seem like Oscar Wilde-worthy banter, and a central bromance that is delightfully dysfunctional, yet genuinely developing, Lowdown delivers a sumptuous half-hour of humour.
In a sentence
Puns. There aren't enough of them on television.
The litany of people completely nonplussed when Bob explains that his heavily lacerated leg was caused by a landmine.
Alex's (re)break-up with Rita feels forced, but ultimately is worth some heavy-handed storytelling.
Worth watching again
Worth re-watching! Definitely tune in.
Grade: A for Alex the asinine journalist.