SBS’s controversial comedy series Housos about dole bludgers living in housing commission houses has been released on DVD, and it is an absolute pissa!
Housos follows the lives of three houso couples Franky (Paul Fenech) and Kylie (Kiri Schmitt), Dazza (Jason Davis, a.k.a. Jabba) and Shazza (Elle Dawe), and Kev (Kevin Taumata) and Vanessa (Vanessa Davis). They all live in Sunnyvale, an absolute hole filled with all the bogans, criminals, corrupt cops, and all the other dregs of society you can think of. Their daily lives consist of scamming Centrelink, dealing with dodgy gangs and local councils, bonging themselves silly and drinking their problems away, rooting practically everyone that comes their way, doing jail time, and even getting into riots with the cops. They do all this hard work to avoid doing actual work.
The above plot description may not sound like much, but trust me, this show is bloody hilarious! Housos was created by its star Paul Fenech, who also created SBS comedies Pizza and Swift and Shift Couriers, and throws political correctness out on it’s arse and created a parody of the freeloading dole bludgers that you can’t help but scoff at when you see them in the streets. What makes Housos so funny as that many people live this lifestyle, and if you know anyone likes the housos on the show, then you know how accurate it is.
To give you an idea of what mischief the housos get up to, some of the most memorable moments in Housos are Kev stealing speed camera to use as a regular camera, Dazza wheeling his pregnant wife Shazza in a wheelbarrow to take her to the hospital when she goes into labour, Dazza trying to sell an Australian flag signed by all of the Aussies involved in the Cronulla beach riot (claiming it’s part of Australian history), and going to Thailand to smuggle drugs in a boogie board a la Schapelle Corby (Dazza actually says Schapelle is his cousin!)
The DVD extras include the actors, in character, interviewing real housos and interview the other actors who are also in character (e.g. Dazza talks to the local cop who has arrested him and his whole family many times over the years, and Dazza then says of the cop after explaining all that, ‘So we’re pretty close’.) Unlike most deleted scenes, Housos‘ deleted scenes aren’t boring as bat shit (including Shazza singing a Housos version of the Cold Chisel hit ‘Khe Sanh’, and the poor Centrelink case worker having to put up with Franky’s crappy attitude and ridiculous job suggestions). There’s also an awesome cameo from YouTube sensation Trent from Punchy who interacts with the housos and makes you wonder why he wasn’t put on the actual show.
As a Pizza and Swift and Swift Couriers fan, I was always going to be bias and give Housos the thumbs up. I did (kinda) try to find faults with the show to not appear bias, and perhaps how every episode appears to follow the same formula and doesn’t really have much of a plot could be considered faults, but the fact is the show’s so funny, so who cares? If you’re a fan of either of those other two shows, then you’ll notice many of the actors from those shows appear in Housos as virtually the same character from the other shows, but with a very slightly different name. There’s a very funny nudge-nudge wink-wink reference to Swift and Swift Couriers in the first episode that’s a nice acknowledgment to the other shows. While the actors will never win Oscars and many will say they were over the top, the actors all play their roles so (sadly) realistically, but unlike the real life bogans they are parodying, the actors miraculously make them likable.
In short, if you liked Pizza and Swift and Swift Couriers, you’ll like Housos, so let your inner bogan come out and enjoy the mindless laughs Housos has to offer.
Originally published on Thursday 26 January 2012 at primomag.com.au