Winning TVNZ’s New Blood Web Series Competition last year with all episodes now available on TVNZ OnDemand, Oddly Even is a typical character comedy about two clashing sisters who are opposites in all respects, sharing their home in Auckland with a bunch of kooky friends in their twenties.
Liv, played by Beth Alexander, is a driven and ambitious woman looking to start up her health food business. Sister Frankie, played by Lucy Suttor, is the wild, reckless traveller, looking to cruise by in life and party down. In pursuit of her dream, Liv finds herself in all sorts of ridiculous predicaments, usually fuelled by the antics of her irresponsible sister. The show makes light of the struggles faced when trying to be an adult, when no matter how hard you strive to do the right thing, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
After finishing the eight episodes, roughly fifteen minutes each, I have mixed thoughts about Oddly Even. Initially, I wasn’t sold. For the first few episodes, I wasn’t laughing or even convinced by the main characters. Things felt a little stiff and no parts of the script or performances shone through as being particularly clever, funny, or different. Essentially, I could see that the show was trying to be roll-your-eyes-relatable and that was just too obvious for me.
In saying all that, things definitely picked up further down the track. When I got into the rhythm of the characters and story I started enjoying it a lot more. It’s not necessarily my favourite style of comedy but there were some fun moments; I particularly enjoyed all the references to the NZ music scene and the creepy fishing-store assistant.
What kept me watching, however, was simply wanting to find out what was going to happen to our cast of characters. Despite lacking some originality, the unfolding of the story was interesting and I was pleased to be hooked by the end of the series.
Oddly Even may not have been the standout comedy I was hoping for but it certainly provided a couple of hours of entertainment. I’m sure there are a lot more people out there who would love it and I would encourage anyone to watch it.
More than anything, I’m excited by the growing opportunities for original New Zealand television, and with enough support, shows like Oddly Even are going to get the chance to grow and improve. I’ll be keeping my eye out for more local shows like this and I’m excited to see what else kiwi creators have to offer.
17 May 2018
2 hrs 15 mins