After last week’s cliffhanger ending, Laid heads into emotional territory this week. Without spoiling who the subject of the “bad news” was, it can be revealed that a funeral surrounds this week’s episode. It can also be revealed that Judi Farr gets to whack a piñata with an interesting shape. Hopefully this reads as puzzling as it is in actuality.
Emotional fragility is at the centre of episode five, especially seen with E.J. (Celia Pacquola) and the breakdown of her relationship with Zack (Toby Truslove). Spending your time with someone who thinks he is Jesus took its toll, and now even Zack is aware of the mess that has been caused. Despite this fact, he still finds himself with dim witted best mate Johnny in Marcus Dwyer’s (Damon Herriman) office holding the fort. When an actual customer arrives asking which of the two is Marcus, the buffoonery hits new idiotic levels. Even in an emotionally fragile time, Zack’s stupidity still reigns supreme. And yet, he is not an unlikeable character thanks to the genuine foolishness.
Many of the characters exhibit moments of daftness, as Graham (Graeme Blundell) excitedly yells many a strange saying in the least appropriate place. Roo (Alison Bell) too displays a naivety that borders on foolish with her constant contact with Marcus, despite his clear indications of sexual healing disinterest. Though her behaviour becomes relentless in its pursuits, it is of course understandable (within the crazy suspension of belief already occurring). Some form of magnetism draws Marcus and Roo together through the polarising mires of sexual dysfunction that both share.
Kirsty Fisher’s script this week, while funny in many places, takes a sensitive look at the forlorn broken hearted losers in the love game. The cast is as usual enjoyable and Abe Forsythe’s direction is particularly comical within two scenes that will go unmentioned (due to spoilers – we’ll talk more next week!) A stronger sense of love and loss attempts to take this week’s Laid into a different arena, splashing in some drama and romance alongside the outlandish familiar comedy. It is effective, but doesn’t sit perfectly. Laid is strong as a quirky comedy, but intercutting stronger emotions is a trickier task. Though much of Roo’s story could be defined as a tragedy, this episode does involve more of the characters in bleaker situations and darker emotions.
Creatively, it is interesting to see where the team are taking the series, and kudos to Fisher and Hardy for attempting to expand and develop the series into other realms. With only one episode left, Laid still delights.
Laid airs Wednesdays at 9pm on ABC1. It repeats Thursday at 11pm on ABC2 and is available on iView. Click here to read more reviews from the series.