New Zealand Import Showcases Unique and Hilarious Comedy Style | TV review | Premium

“Wellington Paranormal”

Discard: Karen O’Leary (“What We Do In The Shadows”), Mike Minogue (“What We Do In The Shadows”), Maaka Pohatu (“Savage”)

Air: The six-episode first season premieres Sunday on The CW.

The premise: Constables O’Leary and Minogue are hardworking members of the Wellington Police Department’s paranormal unit, under the supervision of Sergeant Maaka (Maaka Pohatu). They are investigating supernatural events in the New Zealand capital.

“Wellington Paranormal” is a spin-off of the fake vampire film “What We Do In The Shadows”, by Jemaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”) and Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”), who are the executive producers of series .

Tops : Imagine if Mulder and Scully from “The X-Files” lived in New Zealand. Now imagine them as police officers instead of FBI agents and their IQs were about 30 points lower. This is essentially the premise of “Wellington Paranormal,” a funny and entertaining comedy-horror series that first aired in New Zealand in 2018 and eventually made its way to the United States.

The series follows the adventures of Officer O’Leary (Karen O’Leary) and Officer Minogue (Mike Minogue). New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world, and violent crime is rare, so for the most part the duo are working to solve petty crimes. Noise complaints, dog attacks, and petty theft are usually the issues the couple face.

Wellington is so sure that no officer even carries a firearm; their only weapon is a Taser they share. Minogue is often not allowed to wear one because he continues to mishandle his taser and shoot himself in the leg.

Although Wellington is not a hotbed of crime, it appears to be a haven for paranormal activity. This went unnoticed by everyone in the police department except the sergeant. Maaka. Within the department, Maaka has created a secret office where he tracks abnormal activities in Wellington. Needing more manpower, he enlists O’Leary and Minogue in a special secret unit.

The new mission leads the officers to all kinds of mystical phenomena. Ghosts, vampires and zombies are waiting for you. O’Leary and Minogue take on the paranormal with a straightforward approach, treating the walking dead or a demon like anyone else. Their flippant nature and clumsy tactics lead to a lot of silliness and antics. Besides the comedy, there are the specters and ghouls, who are just as inept as the police trying to catch them.

Bottom: If you have a hard time understanding strong accents, you will have a hard time with some of the dialogue in this series. I was born in England, I have a British mother and I went to New Zealand and even I sometimes struggled with what the characters were saying, especially Officer O’Leary. Make sure you have captions or else you might miss some of the jokes on this show.

More difficult for some will be the humor of “Wellington Paranormal”, which is more esoteric and abstract than a standard network comedy. If you like the US version of “What We Do in the Shadows”, which is an FX TV series based on the New Zealand film of the same name, or other projects by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this program is for you. . on the funny bone. But if you walk into this show expecting a typical network sitcom, you’ll be disappointed.

Note: (B +): The death knell for network comedy has been on the cards for years, but 2021 could actually see it happen. There are fewer new network comedies slated to debut this fall than ever before. And NBC, once the home of the “Must See TV” comedy block Thursday night, is going completely comedy-free this fall. If you want to see an NBC sitcom, you’ll have to wait until mid-season.

With pedantic comedies being canceled at a rapid pace, maybe it’s time for TV channels to rethink the American sitcom. Unique, daring, and downright funny, “Wellington Paranormal” is exactly the type of series network executives should embrace.

TV Gazette critic Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones

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