Bizarre. Abstract. Quirky. Off the wall. Random. Weird. Just some of the words you could use to describe Hounds, TV3's comedy show about dog racing that came to an end on TV3 last Friday night.
I'd also add in phrases like 'astoundingly brilliant', 'mostly genius' and 'ROTFLMAO'. Because at one point during the show's six unmissable episodes I found myself doing just that, snot smeared on the carpet, begging, pleading with them to dial back the laughs just for a bit so I could clean up the mess.
Hounds, I believe, is the best Kiwi comedy show ever made. I don't know much about the show's creators The Downlow Concept, but whoever they are, give them all of the TV money that we have, because they win.
It's often said that we can't make good comedy shows, and there's a very good reason for that: There aren't many around. Outrageous Fortune kept the laughs coming but was primarily a drama show, Eating Media Lunch was a reliable source of dodgy hijinks for eight seasons, Madeleine Sami's admirable Super City deserved a second season, and 7 Days still has plenty of snorting power.
Off the top of my head, that's about it.
But Hounds is something else. A scripted comedy show, designed to make people laugh, that succeeds at every turn. Instead of trying to cover up its Kiwiness, it revelled in it, powered by awesomely awkward characters and supremely odd events you could imagine happening on dog tracks in small towns all over the country.
It's so good it made me forget about Melody Rules. Almost.
I loved everything about Hounds. It felt like every scene, every character, every line, and every detail has been agonised over. I loved the little scene setters, like the tractor driver playing air drums as if he was in Megadeth, or the electricians putting a shaky ladder up a power pole that was too short to reach the top.
I loved the characters, from sweaty Marty's bumbling-but-means-well idiocy (the Bourbon poem!) to arrogant Lance's creepy posturing (and terrible taste in women), and Will's constantly awkward exchanges with pretty much everyone he met.
Some of the minor characters were worth entire shows of their own, like the "let down the drawbridge" Route 66 manager, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer's sour cafe owner pissed at having to microwave a Panini, Guy Williams' super intense fencing instructor, Jose Barbosa's dodgy garage sale fanatic, and the bar lady who tipped alcoholic dregs into the orange juice to create some kind of hellish rocket fuel punch.
Most of all, I loved Amber, the deluded Westie chick with an attitude. Every line she uttered was like something out of The Official Guide to Being the Worst Girlfriend/Human Being Ever. Which made her all kinds of awesome.
Her performance in what appeared to be her first time in a hotel room - from acting like she'd never seen a ranch slider before, to pretending to be suicidal for a photo shoot on the tiny deck - was the reason snot was smeared all over my carpet.
So, the question is, is Hounds getting a second season? Ratings seemed good for a 10pm Friday time slot, with an average of 157,700 viewers over the six episodes, with the first episode rating the best with 204,500 viewers across all platforms.
I asked/begged via Twitter earlier this week and got this response from @HoundsTVshow: "We don't know yet. We'd like to make one, so we can use some more cameos and hopefully well and truly jump the shark."
And TV3 told me it was too early to make a decision. If you're in the mood, you could email your love for the show to them via this website page. And re-watch episodes four, five and six here. Or just pick up the DVD, which is due for release shortly.
So, at this stage, a second season seems a bit iffy. Maybe we should just be thankful that we got six episodes of Hounds, the most perfect three hours of Kiwi comedy ever made.By Chris Schulz @chris__schulz Email Chris