Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fresh Eggs - Cave Of Cool Hall Of Cool Award Winner

First of all someone needs to stop all these cultural apartheid barriers that keep you from seeing this great show on NZ TV. It's people like me who are happy to talk up the show that you want everyone to see. Why can't some guy in Brazil enjoy this dark and funny gem? Why was I blocked from seeing it because my address is Canadian. But this got made and with only six brilliant episodes, it will find it's way onto Netflix where it will get the attention it so richly deserves. The product and story is that good. I never lie about cool and this is a heaping serving of the coolest of cool.
Comedy is hard to write because what one person finds funny is much different from another. I have a taste for dark humor so this one was right up my alley. I admit there were times that I laughed out loud and I still giggle when I think of that evil pony. His name is Cirel and he is the Devil's own tiny pony.
This one is the real deal and as dark and glorious as one could hope for. Sometimes gallows humor is the best humor for these dark and unpredictable times. Written by my buddy Nicholas Finlay Thurston Ward it's unpredictable, twisted, and laugh out loud funny and weaves an unforgettable story of two good people who just want to assimilate to life in the countryside. And you know the countryside is like the circus - they are both places where bad things happen to nice people. Seek it out. Certified cool from the Cave of Cool.

In the trailer, they joke about everything from city-slicker Aucklanders to straight-up racism. But more notable is the sex, drugs and bloody violence - completely juxtaposed with some classic Kiwi humour and awkwardness.
The series sees Chitham as Penny, an Aucklander who craves a peaceful life in the country with her husband Wade (Holloway), but they get swept up in all kinds of small-town, high-stakes drama that - judging by the trailer - does not end up well.

Netflix needs to buy this season and allow people to binge out on a very dense six hours of quality entertainment. I love that it's written by Kiwis and is ABOUT Kiwis. Like most countries there is a balance of nice people and batshit crazy loons on New Zealand and Nick brilliantly found the perfect combination of characters - each one fully formed and put them in a story that sticks with you. I am proud of my friend because I don't have to fake my love for this sweet project. Labor of love and everything on screen SCREAMS it for all to hear.

It's a wonderful creation. that never wavers from the high concept and as you all know, my mantra for entertainment success is, The HIGHER the concept the more FULL RETARD you must go on the execution. This is textbook is that regards. I want to know what New Zealand TV wouldn't let him do because what they allow to air is way out far on the ledge but my buddy kept it all together and the final project is something I will talk about to anyone willing to listen.

Nick is the one with the beard.

Ever dream about trading it all in, going off the grid and retreating to a nice, quiet life in the country?

When Penny (Claire Chitham) and Wade McCarthy (Cohen Holloway), a nice, normal Auckland couple unhappy in their jobs, sick of the rat race and craving a more peaceful existence, decide to move to the small rural town of Alberton it seems as though that dream is about to become reality – that is until they meet some of their new neighbours.

Labelled 'fresh eggs' by locals for their obvious ignorance of rural life, suddenly the couple are confronted with some very bad eggs - including overstretched mother and psychopath Lulu (Danielle Cormack), her equally psychopathic career criminal husband Pig (Dave Fane), grumpy country vet Chalky (Stephen Papps), bent cop Greg (Paul Yates) and surprisingly volatile miniature horse Black Cyril.

All too soon Penny and Wade find the simple life is more complicated than they imagined – and after an unfortunate, fatal accident, realize that not only is their happiness at stake, but their lives.

Co-created and co-written by Nick Ward (Stickmen, Second-Hand Wedding) and Kim Harrop (Shortland Street, The Coffin Club), and featuring an all-star cast of New Zealand’s best, brightest and beloved performers (as well as acclaimed Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies), Fresh Eggs is a brand-new direction for local television.

A black comedy with a deliciously twisted sense of humour, Fresh Eggs is a darkly funny look at a couple’s quest for the good-life gone wickedly awry – and one of the most exciting local productions to hit our screens in years.

My journey to the end of Season One of Fresh Eggs was been a weird one. Sometimes I like a show so much that I can't bear to let it go. Umbrella Academy, Matador, Firefly and Lost in Space are just four great shows whose endings I held onto for a very long time. I didn't want my love of them to ever end. Fresh Eggs is in that envious group. But today was the day I finished what was one of the best comedic rides I have ever been on.

First of all the New Zealand locations and actors place this one in it's own Universe. Like being in Canada but different. It must be how other people see us through our programs because when someone mentions Kiwis from now on I will think of the actors in Fresh Eggs. That is how I know this show would be a huge hit in Canada. CBC or CTV need to pick this one up because Canadians, especially would get this dark humor. We talk like them and we look like them but we are not Kiwis. They have their own special quirks but quirks that every Canadian can understand.

We all know that circuses and the country are places where bad things happen to nice people. And there are no nicer people than Penny and Wade, two urbanites who left it all behind for a happy, quiet content country life. Get back to their roots on the land as it were and have chickens that produce fresh eggs - hence the title. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Nothing so idyllic can last forever and soon Clair and Wade's lives intertwined with all the crazy doings of the less normal denizens around them and then things really start spiral out of control. And just when you think nothing worse can happen, something worse does. In fact it's not a spoiler to tell you that two people get killed by the end of episode one and one of THEM is the local cop.

You can never predict what will happen because you are too busy laughing at what is happening in the moment to really worry about that. Nick Ward has built a story on such strong foundations that every bit of weird seems perfectly normal because, like the delicate motions of a cuckoo clock, Nick knows exactly where he is going and I never doubted that all of this crazy would lead to a great conclusion.

Then there is John Rhys Davies at his very best. He chews the scenery like the great Thespian he is. And the man knows how to do comedy. Every one of his arrogant pronouncements is brilliant. He is having a great time with this role and the more over the top he is, the better the story gets. And that voice! He hasn't lost a step since Sliders, another of my favorite JRD roles.

Davies also narrates the beginning of each episode where he passes on whatever pearl of wisdom we will learn from all the chaos unfolding in front of us. Smart comedy is the best comedy and this is smart comedy.

Of course Davies who plays a world famous author and Penny's boss totally takes over the situation and the troubles get worse, especially when the two local drug gangs meet to deal with this new 'threat' to their business. No one can be trusted, even friends turn out to be just as predatory as their worst enemies. God bless human nature. The worst of our instincts will always come out in moments of crisis.

I would defy anyone to predict where this one is going at any given time. One minute you think everything will work out fine and the next it's all gone to shit again. Each episode ends with a wonderful cliffhanger that compels you to watch the next episode. This is six hours of binge watching dark comedy GOLD!

And there is Lulu. Damn if that woman is not trying to seduce me. She is, to me, the end result of all those Gypsy Wedding shows that I love to watch so much. She is scary as shit and a force of nature.

And that ending was a doozy too. I defy you to find even one remotely sane character in all the madness. A thrill ride with dozens of twists and turns that in the end finds it's way home. I laughed and I fell in love with it all. I didn't care much about a happy ending. I was a fool to ever thing I deserved one after all the single minded selfishness that has been on display before me for the past six episodes.

"I can pay you holiday rates." Best line ever given to a mute assassin. Of all the cool parts, the one I like the best is the story arc involving the mute assassin and his son with the paper bag on his head.

Every one of those words will make sense to you when you see the show. If you want to pirate it it's on EZTV. Go pirate it and stick it to the man. After that, tell all your friends. You deserve a show this good. Everyone deserves a show this good.

Click HERE to listen
Yeh, he did our show and now that I have finished Season One he has to come back so I can gush like a giggling fan girl all over again.
The hit New Zealand TV series FRESH EGGS! In which our heroes, Cal and M.D., talk to co-creator and writer of FRESH EGGS, Nick Ward about his series which is currently running on New Zealand television! Plus amazing stories about the series' co-star JOHN RHYS-DAVIES (the best digger in Cairo!). We also talk about his short films, FIRST CONTACT and DAS TUB and his development deal with HBO. This Week From the Cave of Cool goes down under!
There needs to be a show like this made in Canada which is the highest praise I can give. The story and characters would totally translate with only a twinge of change to the script. In fact I would love to see Finland TV do THEIR version of Fresh Eggs. Am I mad to dream of such a thing. I am. Yes I am. I really want to see it in a country with right hand stick drive. Working the clutch with my right hand and the shifter with my left would totally spin my brain around.

I let this one sit in my brain for a day and then did this post. Nick's friendship means a lot to me and that is not just because I am now ONE degree of separation from Gimli, my favorite character from Lord of the Rings. I am proud of what he has done here. Remember his name. He's not done with entertaining you yet. He's just getting started.

"Sweet Lady of Inspiration" - the source of all good ideas.

A black comedy with a deliciously twisted sense of humour, this six-part drama follows a couple's quest for "the good life" that goes wickedly awry. Penny (Chitham, Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune) and Wade (Holloway, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Eagle vs Shark) crave a peaceful, picture-perfect existence. But when they make the move to the small town of Alberton they find themselves in the middle of something odd and slightly sinister. After a fatal accident, Penny and Wade find themselves face-to-face with some very bad eggs, who threaten not only their happiness, but their lives. Award-winning actress Danielle Cormack (Wentworth, Rake) stars as Lulu, an overstretched modern mother and career criminal who's married to Pig (Dave Fane, Sione's Wedding), a criminal psychopath. Acclaimed actor John Rhys Davies (The Lord of the Rings) plays Penny's boss, Cutter, a narcissistic crime author who finds himself at the centre of a real murder mystery.

You sneaky bastard, Nicholas. You really got me with that ending. This isn't a wickedly dark and twisted fairy tale. It's a love story. Well done Nick. Well done, Mate. You stay true to your vision. It will never let you down.
The speech about love with 'god' is especially inspiring as is what I will forever call the 'Roomba scene. Way to contaminate a crime scene.
"I didn't shoot him. Sure I was yelling at him and I am holding a gun and now he's dead, but I didn't shoot him." - Wade


Nick Ward said...

BEST REVIEW EVER. Thanks my friend I should've known you'd dig it.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I can bear to edit it down. It hit me where I live.