The Wedge (Australian TV series)

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The Wedge
Wedgetitle.jpg
Season two logo
Created by Ian McFayden
Developed by Cornerbox Productions
Starring Dailan Evans
Rebel Wilson
Cal Wilson
Jason Gann
Adam Zwar
Opening theme Sounds Funny sung by Hunter Kaine
Ending theme Sounds Funny Instrumental
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 48 (4 unaired) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Steve Dundon
Season One
Andy McIntyre
Season Two
Producer(s) Michael Horrocks
Location(s) South Melbourne
Running time Approx. 22 minutes
Release
Original channel Network Ten
Picture format 16:9/1:85:1
Audio format Stereo
Original release 30 May 2006 – 29 December 2007
Chronology
Related shows Mark Loves Sharon (Spin-off)
External links
Website

The Wedge was an Australian sketch show created by Ian McFadyen and produced by Network Ten. The show stars Dailan Evans, from the ABC sketch show Eagle & Evans; Adam Zwar, best known for his roles in Wilfred, Rebel Wilson, 'Toula' on the comedy show Pizza; and Jason Gann, himself, two time winner of best actor at Tropfest for his roles in Wilfred.

It ran for two seasons, airing 2006 and 2007. A spin-off mockumentary of one of the show's characters, Mark Wary, was produced by Network Ten in 2008. The show, titled Mark Loves Sharon premiered at 9:30pm on 30 June 2008.

History and premise[edit]

The program was first advertised by Network Ten in December 2005, with promos depicting Wedgedale, a stereotypical Australian urban sprawl suburb. The show’s pilot debuted on Network Ten on 30 May 2006. It is a sketch based format similar to Fast Forward or The Comedy Company. The difference is that nearly all the sketches take place in the same town, so the transition from sketch to sketch often involves a reference to the previous one. Most transitions involve a timelapse shot that takes the audience from one location to another, but sometimes the reference is more direct and seamless. This is used so often, that a sketch based on it was made. In one episode, the character, Sandra Sultry said "Next up, I'll turn my head to the TV behind me; it's a clever transitional device which will put you through to the next item..."The first season finale was broadcast on 21 November 2006. "Sounds Funny" is the show's theme. Hunter Kaine was recommended as the singer by a production team member's friend.[1]

A second series was commissioned by Network Ten;[2] production began in September,[2][3] and was filmed in South Melbourne. The second season's status was updated by a news bulletin posted on its official website, which was advertising for a live taping with an audience.[4] The second season was broadcast on Network Ten in 2007.[5][dated info]

The second season was first hinted on Network Ten in 2007 promoting a Mother Energy drink, featuring the character, Sandra Sultry (played by Katrina Mathers) and unknown voice actor as a frog. Along the bottom of the screen scrolled a web address for the Mother energy drink.[6]

The official website was relaunced with new information on the second series on 10 August.

The second season began on 12 August 2007, with two episodes screened back to back with the new rating of 'M' at 9.40 PM. However, from 19 August onwards, the timeslot was inconsistent from week to week. The season took a break for almost a month and was continued at the later time of 10.25 PM on 16 September with a single episode airing. It was dropped from the timeslot was once again due to the Rugby World Cup. Despite such movements from Network Ten, the show retained a much more popular feedback than its first season and has been having consistent ratings of around 500,000 viewers per episode.[citation needed] On 26 October the show returned with a 10.30 PM timeslot, and was not renewed for a third season.

Cast and crew[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Cast

Cast Role Occupation
Dailan Evans Various Characters Actor/Comedian/Writer
Rebel Wilson Various Characters Actor/Comedienne/Writer
Jason Gann Various Characters Actor/Writer
Julie Eckersley Various Characters Actor/Writer
Anthony Ahern Various Characters Actor
Katrina Mathers Various Characters Actor
Kate Jenkinson Various Characters Actor
Adam Zwar Various Characters Actor/Writer
Marney McQueen Various Characters Actor
Aidan Fennessy Various Characters Actor
Cori Hooper Various Characters Actor
Julia Zemiro Various Characters Actor/Comedienne
Brandon John Various Characters Actor
Frieda McKenna Various Characters Actor
Ross Daniels Various Characters Actor/ Comedian
Hunter Kaine Theme Song/Music Clip Singer/Songwriter

Crew

Crew Job
Steve Dundon Executive Producer
Michael Horrocks Series Producer
Steve Vizard Creative Consultant
Ross Daniels Supervising Producer
Nick Bufalo Director
Graeme Rowland Director
Ian McFadyen Co-Executive Producer/Writer/Creator
Andy McIntyre Co-Executive Producer
Brendan Luno Writer
Tal Brott Writer
Paul Calleja Writer
Catherine Deveney Writer
Des Dowling Writer
Craig Eagle Writer
Russell Gilbert Writer
Andrew Maj Writer

Season 2[edit]

Cast

Cast Role Occupation
Dailan Evans Various Characters Actor/Comedian/Writer
Rebel Wilson Various Characters Actor/Comedienne/Writer
Jason Gann Various Characters Actor/Writer
Julie Eckersley Various Characters Actor/Writer
Anthony Ahern Various Characters Actor/Writer
Katrina Mathers Various Characters Actor/Writer
Kate Jenkinson Various Characters Actor/Writer
Adam Zwar Various Characters Actor/Writer
Damian Callinan Various Characters Actor/Comedian/Writer
Cal Wilson Various Characters Actor/Comedienne/Writer
Ross Daniels Various Characters Actor/ Comedian/ Writer/ Supervising Producer
Hunter Kaine Introductory Song/Music Clip Singer/Songwriter

Crew

Crew Job
Michael Horrocks Series Producer
Daniel Scharf Series Producer
Andrew Power Assistant Director
Steve Vizard Creative Consultant
Daniel Scharf Producer
Kevin Carlin Director
Ian McFadyen Co-Executive Producer/Writer/Creator
Nicole Minchin Line Producer
Andy McIntyre Executive Producer
Tal Brott Writer
Michael Chamberlain Writer
Paul Calleja Writer
Des Dowling Writer
Craig Eagle Writer
Russell Gilbert Writer
Jo Gill Writer
Greta Harrison Writer
David Lawrence Writer
Andrew Maj Writer
Garry Macaffrie Writer
Ray Matson Writer
Gerard McCulloch Writer
Lulu McClatchy Writer
Anita Punton Writer
Matthew Vaughan Writer
Vin Hedger Writers Coordinator
Matt Cameron Writer

Characters and sketches[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of The Wedge characters and sketches.

DVD releases[edit]

DVD Title DVD Cover Release Date No. Of Episodes Running Length Rating
We're Moving We're Moving.jpg 9 October 2006 6 134 mins M
Lucky Lucky- The Wedge DVD.jpg 9 October 2006 7 156 mins M
Thanks For Coming Thanks For Coming.jpg 20 November 2006 156 mins M
That's Valid That's Valid.jpg 16 December 2006 7 156 mins M
  • ¹The 20th episode of season one was repeated in the 'That's Valid' and 'Thanks For Coming' DVDs.

Episode guide[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of The Wedge episodes.

Critical reception[edit]

The Wedge had mixed success with audiences and critics during its first season. The ratings for the first season were initially strong, with the first episode receiving 1.5 million viewers[7] and later episodes averaging over one million viewers.[8][9] The shows recent popularity waned nearer the end of the first season, with episodes reaching a much smaller audience (681,000 viewers for the episode that aired on 21 November 2006[10]). Despite the show's first season initially receiving high ratings, it was criticised by some TV reviewers. Issue was taken with the perceived over-use of canned laughter[11] and what they considered to be poorly written, dated, cheap humour that attacked easy targets and propagated offensive stereotypes.[12][13] Shortly after the series debuted, Catherine Deveny, one of the writers, wrote an article for The Age in which she revealed that the producers had insisted on re-writing and blanding out the scripts in the hope of appealing to a wider audience,[14] but maintained that the writers and performers were themselves talented comics.

Although the show had its share of negative reviews, critics from Famous magazine quoted that it had "Some of the most outrageous, loopy, and colourful residents God ever put on this world",[15] while Sean Fewster from the Adelaide Advertiser remarked that "This could well be the first truly great ensemble of the 21st Century" and "The Wedge is a near perfect blending of The Comedy Company's family-friendly, occasionally bizarre jokes and Fast Forward's nasty, satirical edge.... Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Australian sketch comedy".[16] Sean Lynch remarked that "We may very well look back on this...as the beginning of one of Australia's greatest comedy shows of the new millennium", Neil Mitchell from 3AW remarked that the show was "one of the freshest things on TV" and a writer from newspaper The Age said "Such a rich vein of comedy, you can't help wonder why someone hasn't mined it sooner". Memorable TV remarked "At last we have a comedy sketch show worthy of the mantle of Fast Forward and Full Frontal. Very funny." shortly after the release of the DVDs.[17] The show's second season had a much more popular feedback from audiences during its second season, hence reflecting from its consistent ratings at its 'dead-zone' timeslot. The Age, who had panned the show's previous season remarked, "... (The Wedge) delivers enough flashes of brilliance to confirm it's on the right track".

British television and radio presenter Jonathan Ross recently reviewed it on his film 2009 show, in which he condemned it saying "it tries to hard to follow the much better British alternatives and fails badly" in which he added "not one to watch".

Side projects[edit]

  • Karingal Park Secondary College won a competition called "Art Cooney Comes to Your School" that was first advertised on the The Wedge website. As a part of the prize, the school received a visit from Adam Zwar, portraying the character Art Cooney. Another competition to get on set of 'The Wedge' was set, winners were invited onto the set for a tour.[18]
  • The Wedge characters Mark Wary (Jason Gann) and his manager (Dailan Evans) made an appearance on the 50 Years of Comic Relief show broadcast on Seven Network. In addition to this, Russell Gilbert, Kate Jenkinson and Rebel Wilson also made an appearance on the show.
  • Cal Wilson, Dailan Evans and Kate Jenkinson have made an appearance on Australia's improvisation show, Thank God You're Here during its second season.[19] Rebel Wilson has also made appearances on the third season of Thank God You're Here (as well as Kate Jenkinson's second appearance).

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.myspace.com/hunterkaine Official Hunter Kaine Myspace. Retrieved on 15 March 2007.
  2. ^ a b Bridget McManus, "Wedge drives through", theage.com.au, 31 August 2006, URL last accessed on 24 November 2006.
  3. ^ The Wedge at the Internet Movie Database, last updated 26 September 2006.
  4. ^ Official Wedge News Page
  5. ^ Official Wedge News Page
  6. ^ A Force Of Nature
  7. ^ "The Early News - 5 June 06", Network TEN Corporate, 5 June 2006, URL last accessed on 24 November 2006.
  8. ^ "The Early News - 13 June 06", Network TEN Corporate, 13 June 2006, URL last accessed on 24 November 2006.
  9. ^ "The Early News - 19 June 06", Network TEN Corporate, 19 June 2006, URL last accessed on 24 November 2006.
  10. ^ David Dale, "The Tribal Mind: Slow bowling", The Sydney Morning Herald Blogs, 24 November 2006, URL last accessed on 24 November 2006.
  11. ^ David Dale, "The freedom not to laugh", smh.com.au, 18 July 2006, URL last accessed 18 November 2006.
  12. ^ Craig Platt, "Last Laugh: Sockin' the suburbs", smh.com.au, 31 May 2006, URL last accessed on 18 November 2006.
  13. ^ "Wedge Politics", The Blurb, URL last accessed on 18 November 2006.
  14. ^ The Age, 24 June 2006 reproduced here: I did a few weeks' writing for The Wedge but you will be pushed to find a word of my stuff on screen. This is because when they said, "What we are after is new, fresh and young", I didn't realise that what they actually meant was "boring, safe and dumbed down". Most of the scripts have been rewritten so many times that the guts of the joke has been diluted severely or obliterated entirely.
  15. ^ The Wedge: Lucky DVD cover
  16. ^ The Wedge: We're Moving DVD cover
  17. ^ "Long Shot Film Entertainment's 'The Wedge' page"
  18. ^ "The Wedge: episode guide", Australian Television, URL last accessed on 29 November 2006.
  19. ^ "Thank God You're Here's Episode Guide", Australia Television, URL last accessed on 29 November 2006

External links[edit]