Chris Schulz 's Opinion

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Schulz: Why we need a second season of Hounds (+video)

39 comments
TV3's brilliant comedy show about dog racing has come to an end. But will there be a second season? Chris Schulz investigates.

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.

I haven't seen TV3's other recent comedy show Golden, but ratings have been low and Herald reviewer Greg Dixon called it "more of a mystery than a comedy". Maybe that's why I didn't watch 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.

Follow Chris Schulz on Twitter.

Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

A subscription to RTR Countdown magazine as a teenager kick started Chris’ inspiration to become an entertainment reporter. After finishing a grad-dip at journalism school, he discovered the magazine no longer existed. So he instead begged for a reviewing job at Rip It Up, then took over a local news website’s entertainment section in 2004 when no one else wanted to do it. It’s as much a surprise to him as it is to those around him that he’s been doing entertainment reporting ever since, utilising his diehard love of popular culture (specifically music, TV, movies and games). His career highlights including interviewing heroes like Billy Corgan and Trent Reznor, discussing the best sheep-docking techniques with Courtney Love, and breaking his nose during a Shihad concert. The last thing left on his entertainment reporting bucket list is to ride a rollercoaster with Dave Grohl, something he’s hoping to achieve in the next 12 months.

Read more by Chris Schulz

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 25 Dec 2014 14:14:47 Processing Time: 354ms