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Colin from Accounts season two review – still delightfully catty



Colin from Accounts season two review – still delightfully catty

Sweet and sassy is a fun combination, as co-creators and stars Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall remind us in their comedy series Colin from Accounts. The second season, like the first, has an enjoyably dichotomous tone: charming and personable, yet so very catty and intemperate. Even during its quieter moments, nobody’s far from spewing obscenities or snark, albeit never in ways that sour the pleasures of the show and its cast.

Also: juxtapositions are funny – like the giddy gag that opens season two. Director Trent O’Donnell deploys blithe visions of Ashley and Gordon – Dyer and Brammall’s lovebirds – frolicking around in the park with old mate Colin, the wheelchair-using pooch whose story is entwined with the trajectory of their relationship, introduced in a meet-cute in the show’s very first episode.

Real-life married couple Brammall and Dyer’s ribbing comes across as second nature in the show. Photograph: Joel Pratley

But this supposed moment of jubilation is revealed to be a cruel chimera. The happy energy violently ends when Colin’s (gasp!) new owners tell the central pair to fob off: he’s our dog now, they say. Ashley and Gordon did the unthinkable, giving Colin up only to change their minds one hour later, after he’d already been adopted. And so the immediate plot trajectory is clear: the couple must get their canine companion back, as we become reacquainted with their lives and circumstances.

The second season picks up where the first left off: Gordon is still the owner of a bar and distillery in Sydney’s trendy inner west, where the show mostly takes place, and Ashley is a trainee doctor, dealing with situations including a patient with a habit of lodging fruit in his rectum. The pair are very much a couple after a will-they-won’t-they first season. It’s the foundational question for all romances – but if the characters share this much chemistry, then the inevitable answer is satisfying all the same.

In the case of Ashley and Gordon, it’s not just chemistry but tension; their squabbling has an almost volcanic quality. Being officially together doesn’t mean the bickering ends, nor are they the only ones who are highly strung: the people in Colin from Accounts, generally speaking, are quite thin-skinned and outburst-prone. The first 10 minutes of the new season drop lines that could’ve come from Fat Pizza: “Youse are fuckin’ dumb” and “Wackadoo – found a park, fuckheads!”

There isn’t a lot of plot, more a series of key events that trigger lengthy bursts of dialogue – including a beer industry bigshot (Broden Kelly) who shows interest in acquiring Gordon’s brewery, and the unexpected arrival of Gordon’s brother Heavy (Justin Rosniak, who has perfected portrayals of rough-as-guts Aussie men, including the best friend of Mr Inbetween’s hitman protagonist).

‘A high point’: Colin from Accounts. Photograph: Lisa Tomasetti

The tempo swings from laid-back to lacerating: sometimes characters chew the fat at length, only to unexpectedly raise the temperature or jump down somebody’s throat. Despite the tonal changes, the show doesn’t feel like it’s working hard; core to its appeal is the illusion of effortlessness. And core to this are Dyer and Brammall, who are married in real life, so perhaps – unsurprisingly – they feel like the genuine article, their ribbing coming across like second nature.

Both have demonstrated their dramatic chops in previous roles: Dyer delivering a terrorised performance in the camping horror Killing Ground and Brammall impressed as a country cop in Glitch despite that show’s bland characters and drip-drip-drip pace. But Colin from Accounts is a high point; they’re quite delightful, and have a knack for playfully stretching out moments that in other hands might have felt long and laboured.

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