The Big Issue : Edition 555
THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 9–22 FEB 2018 37 SQUINTERS IF YOU’RE A Sydney resident you may already know what a “squinter” is, but ABC comedy series Squinters opens with a helpful description for the rest of the country: “Person who commutes to work...squinting into the rising sun in the morning and again into the setting sun in the evening.” So, like production company Jungle’s previous sitcom No Activity, this is a show about people sitting in cars riffing on humorous topics – only this time, the cars are moving. Slowly. Squinters revolves around five cars making their way to (and later, from) Kosciuszko headquarters. The first is carrying middle-aged Lukas (Sam Simmons) and his mum Audrey (Jacki Weaver); he’s hoping for a promotion, she’s taking her (possibly farting) dog to a breeding session. Meanwhile Paul (Tim Minchin) has clearly set up a fake carpool to get his unknowing crush Romi (Andrea Demetriades) into his not-at-all-suspicious white van, while Macca (Justin Rosniak) and Ned (Steen Raskopoulos) have known each other since high school – where Macca bullied everyone around him. The serious Simoni (Susie Youssef) is taking her free-spirited bestie Talia (Rose Matafeo) to a job interview so she can contribute to their small business dreams, and Bridget (Mandy McElhinney) isn’t even trying to hide the fact she’s trying to relive her life through her teenage daughter Mia (Jenna Owen), who in turn is disgusted by her mother’s attempts to date. Subtle this isn’t. Macca takes his pants off to keep his balls cool while saying “at school everyone looked up to me and now I’m a goon who rubs one out at work”. Romi refused to become a concert pianist because it would have required her to cut her long fingernails, leaving Paul puzzled: “Don’t they get in the way of...” “Masturbating?” she finishes. And Lukas has a whole riff about how his mother’s wish that her corpse be turned into a diamond tongue stud is wildly inappropriate because “those things are meant for pleasure”. Who knew commuting was such a sexual hotbed? Still, this is a fun ride. Snappy editing and strong performances keep things moving even when the jokes stall, and while the pairings don’t all start strong – Simoni and Talia owe a heavy debt to Broad City – there’s plenty of promise across the board. Being stuck in a car with someone can tell you a lot about who they really are; the Squinters seem worth getting to know. by Anthony Morris (@morrbeat) » Squinters is on ABC and ABC iView now. SELECT Covering the standouts in film, music, books and home entertainment SUSIE YOUSSEF (LEFT) AND ROSE MATAFEO DO SOME SQUINTING.