Twentysomething is a six part dramedy which tells the story of Jess (Jess Harris) and Josh (Josh Schmidt), best friends who are trying to pull their life back together after hitting rock bottom. Rather than grow up and settle down, they’ve partied hard and lived life for the moment since they finished high school. It all catches up with them, leaving them unemployed and homeless, starting from square one. The show co-stars Hamish Blake (Andy’s friend), Simon Russell (probably best known for a couple of Kia commercials) and Leah de Niese (Offspring).

For a series that sounds like it could be close to Spaced, or even The Young Ones, Twentysomething plays it pretty straight. The story is grounded, the central characters are scarily believable, if not exactly likable. Self centered, narcissistic and naive, they compliment each other well, with Jess being the domineering one, and Josh being a bit more innocent and easily manipulated. They seem to be friends out of force of habit, with everyone else moving on with their lives around them.

The set-up of the show is quite solid, with the first episode taking away their job and home. From there on in, the rest of the series seems to follow the ‘money making scheme of the week’ format. Guided tours showing young backpackers around Melbourne is featured in the second episode, but it seems that these two have a Goodies-style partnership, with babysitting, erotic cleaning, and bounty hunting for lost dogs on the agenda of future episodes.

You’ll laugh at how outrageous the characters are – they act outside the norm of society, but manage to keep it completely believable. It’s jaw-dropping with both shock and laughter at the same time. A highlight (or perhaps a lowlight) was the end of the second episode, when Jess and Josh sneak away and leave a bus load of backpackers completely stranded on the road to Philip’s Island. No normal person should even think of doing something like that, but I’m sure it’s happened before.

Is it worth your time? Yes, even if it’s just to see what happens to Jess and Josh. They play their roles well, and the script is funny, if a tad ‘spoon-feeding’ with the plot at times. The first episode will be previewed on iview tonight, and it starts proper from 6th September, 9pm on ABC2.


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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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