Small-town New Zealand holds a strange appeal for a lot of city folk; affordable housing, land and space, fresh country air - the quiet, simple life.

It's easy to imagine packing up your tiny studio apartment, moving to a three-bedroom house - for the same price - putting some chickens in the yard and selling fresh eggs on the roadside.

And that idyllic lifestyle is exactly what TVNZ's new black comedy is based on - and where it got its name: Fresh Eggs.

It follows young Auckland couple Penny (Claire Chitham) and Wade (Cohen Holloway) as they move to rural New Zealand in search of the good life. Instead, they're hit with a series of twists and turns, which make for a hilarious display of classically awkward Kiwi humour, and some bloody, violent and straight-up macabre viewing.


From a racist neighbour and a redneck town meeting to sex, drugs and blood all over the kitchen floor, Fresh Eggs is packed full of surprises - and that's just in the first episode.

It feels like something New Zealand has never seen before.

"It's just going "holy f***, what are they possibly gonna get up to next?' We just pile on the shit," laughs Holloway

"It's pretty twisty; if you think it's funny, there's definitely something a little bit wrong with you - and I say that as someone who thinks it's hilarious."

It's an interesting new turn for the stars too; Holloway is known for comedic roles - usually alongside Taika Waititi - in things like What We Do In The Shadows, Wellington Paranormal and Find Me A Māori Bride, while Chitham is best known and beloved for her long-time role as Waverley Harrison on Shortland Street.

Now, they're wielding shotguns and wiping up pools of blood.

Shorty fans probably never expected to see Claire Chitham like this. Photo / Supplied
Shorty fans probably never expected to see Claire Chitham like this. Photo / Supplied

Chitham explains: "Honestly, the scripts were on-the-page funny and a bit bent and quirky, therefore it drew the bent, quirky people to make it."

Not only was it a chance to sink their teeth into something new and exciting, but it was also an opportunity to craft a "love letter" to New Zealand by embracing the side of us we used to call the "Kiwi cringe".


It's something Holloway and Chitham are all too familiar with, but also something they've been pivotal in combating.

"I came from Shortland Street, which started the cultural cringe but has now reached a place where it's been going for 25 years and people accept that it's a part of New Zealand's culture with affection, I think," says Chitham.

"And TV and cinema, no one can refute the work that Taika Waititi's done to change that landscape, and then there's this guy," she says, pointing to Holloway, "who you might know from such films as, literally anything Taika's ever made. That's our running joke; that chick off Shortland Street and that guy from that Taika film."

Things take a dark turn for Cohen Holloway in Fresh Eggs. Photo / Supplied
Things take a dark turn for Cohen Holloway in Fresh Eggs. Photo / Supplied

It might be a joke, but it's also true. Holloway was working with Taika Waititi way back in 2007, at a time when "everyone thought he was mad" to make the now cult classic Eagle vs Shark.

"There was a lot of stuff that could've been a disaster and I'm going, 'what are we doing? People are gonna hate this'. But Taika had dreamed that whole concept up...and now it's a Kiwi classic. And because of the likes of that and Flight of the Conchords, just seeing ourselves on the international it's okay for New Zealand to be proud of our exports."

Not only is it okay, but it's also ideal. New Zealand's particular brand of humour has become highly sought after in Hollywood, as evidenced by Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok, Julian Dennison's starring role in Deadpool 2 and David Farrier's hit Netflix series Dark Tourist.

What those productions provide - and what Fresh Eggs draws on perfectly - is the joy of seeing an awkward Kiwi in a Hollywood situation.

There's nothing quite like seeing someone like Waverley from Shortland Street - of all people - suddenly dealing with a dead body.

"I think that's part of the appeal of New Zealand and the way the rest of the world is starting to see us; we don't take ourselves too seriously and we shouldn't take life too seriously - especially in those serious parts," says Chitham.

"I think the rest of the world do take themselves very seriously and the dry way we laugh at ourselves is actually something that people overseas find appealing. So I think we're finally learning to celebrate ourselves, being confident about our abilities and celebrating our differences and lifting each other up and saying 'yeah we can laugh at ourselves but be proud at the same time'."

Who: Claire Chitham and Cohen Holloway
What: New Kiwi black comedy Fresh Eggs
When: 8.30pm Tuesday on TVNZ 2