Death, grief and mourning surround the sixth episode of Woodley after Frank’s (Frank Woodley) grandfather Vern (Jack Charles) died. But that is not to say that there is no humour. In fact, the humour is rather pointed, and offers a cathartic release. One afternoon, Ollie (Alexandra Cashmere) inquisitively asks Frank what happens when you die. Frank’s answers are of no help, as he is unsure himself of what happens.
While meeting about his Vern’s funeral arrangements, Frank stumbles into a funeral service and naturally trips over a centrally placed urn midway through a service. The second he enters the room, anxieties rise. The uttered gasps of those in attendance at the service are understandable as they match those likely to issue forth from the mouth of the viewer.
Moments of sentimental whimsy are seen with flashbacks and dreams of Vern where warm autumn colours are used to represent memories. These brief moments are matched well with the comedy that plays out throughout the episode.
Not willing to miss an import opportunity, Frank becomes quite opportunistic in his grief and uses it to make the odd advance on ex-wife Em (Justine Clarke). The most hysterical moment however, in the episode comes after Frank’s pants get caught in Greg’s (Tom Long) car and naturally rip, exposing his bare buttocks. In a moment of genius, Frank decides to pain his backside black, and the results are of comedic virtuosity to say the least. More highlights come as Greg and Frank fight at the gravesite, during the burial. Mud is flung in the process, bringing a madcap sense of joviality to the scene.
Adorable and loveable, Frank is constantly enjoyable as his namesake character. His hysterical actions offer a childlike innocence and echo back to the sad clown we first met in the first episode. His anxieties and heartache over his wife’s new relationship bring an interesting dynamic to the series. Unable to avoid awkward and troubling situations, Woodley thrives on comedic misadventures through coordination, divorce and (in this episode) grief.
Woodley airs Wednesdays at 8pm on ABC1. Woodley also screens on ABC2 and iView. Click here to read other episode reviews.