Lawrence Leung will almost single-handedly drag the ’80s back to Aussie telly.
This unassuming comedian punctuates his new comedy series with references to Rubik’s Cube, breakdancing, Tiffany, INXS, The Karate Kid, MacGyver, movie soundtracks, TV themes and more.
In his 6 part series, Leung revisits aspects of his adolescence as episodic missions, in much the same way that Earl has a weekly challenge in My Name is Earl.
In the first week he tries to track down his childhood sweetheart, Angela, whom he hasn’t seen since high school. He Googles her, finds his former best friend (now also a stand up comedian), and gets some guidance on how to impress Angela once he finds her.
Leung, who is the show’s writer and creator, even goes as far as Los Angeles where he gets tips from the creator of the ‘Speed Seduction’ method. ’80s pop star Tiffany also helps him write a potentially romantic love song on his guitar. It’s a charming moment.
Charm is a key to Leung’s personality. There doesn’t appear to be a sinister bone in his body as he self-deprecatingly explores amusing ambitions, rooted in a suburban upbringing. Shot in a pseudo-video diary style, Leung isn’t too far removed from the social observances and documentaries of John Safran, but with more humility and obedience to law.
Assisting Leung are Doris and Leo, his Hong Kong-born parents, who serve as supporting characters, advising, assisting or dismissing his weekly tasks. Who else would put their mother and father into their own comedy series? Doris and Leo really wanted Lawrence to be a doctor instead of a comedian. Take note, these two are set to become new cult heroes. Their joyous honesty brings forth some inspired (and possibly unscripted) lines and reactions.
In episodes to follow Leung will pursue becoming a rock star, breaking a world record, becoming a man, and learning to be cool. Other guest stars across the series will include Dicko, Margaret Pomeranz, David Stratton, Kerry O’Brien, Tim Rogers, and Shabba Doo.
Produced by Martin Robertson and Julian Morrow (Leung used to write for The Chaser, all of whom are creative consultants), this is a series that champions the little (and geeky) guy. He’s a lovable loser, who should easily put a smile on your face.
Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure airs 9:30pm Wednesday on ABC1.