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ABC TV: The Hollowmen

By 16 July 2008 24

[First filed: July 15, 2008 @ 10:31]

As many of you will be aware ABC TV launched a new comedy-drama last week called The Hollowmen. It is Working Dog’s latest creation and to quote the show’s website it is set “in the Central Policy Unit, a special think tank set up by the Prime Minister to help him in the most important job of all – getting re-elected.

Their brief is ‘long term vision’; to stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines and focus on next week’s.”

Okay, so it is not Canberra specific to the strict letter, but the show does concentrate on the working lives that many Canberrans would be very familiar with. I work in the private enterprise and am distanced from this world to a degree. Mrs Caulfield, however, has had her share of working with some highly charged policies in the past and she thought episode one was uncanny at times.

So what do we think Canberra, is this show devastatingly accurate portrayal of public service life or just another cheap bit of Canberra-bashing?

The Hollowmen airs every Wednesday at 9:30pm on ABC1, with repeats the following evening on ABC2 (9pm). You can also watch the show on their website.

UPDATED: Oooh, Tom Gleisner just got told all about you mob’s thoughts on the show live on 666.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The CT has a lengthy piece on the history of these style shows in Canberra.

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24 Responses to ABC TV: The Hollowmen
#1
poptop10:49 am, 15 Jul 08

Suffice to say, my workplace will never launch a 6 Point Plan ever again. Any other number plan is acceptable.

#2
Thumper10:50 am, 15 Jul 08

I laughed my guts out…

Brilliant, just like Frontline was before it.

And it’s not really about public servants, more about political advisors.

#3
Holden Caulfield10:56 am, 15 Jul 08

Thumper said :

And it’s not really about public servants, more about political advisors.

Yep, see, I told you I was distanced from this world, haha.

#4
G-Fresh11:12 am, 15 Jul 08

“I think we can do it in 18″

“Series of measures. Stakeholders. Oh yes this sounds good – can I get a pen Judy?”

It is about political advisers, the parliamentary secretaries and vicariously the public service.

#5
verbal11:17 am, 15 Jul 08

yeah, it wasn’t really anti-canberra, mainly because the actual canberrans in it (the PM&C advisors) were the only ones talking sense throughout the show, I like it.

#6
Whatsup11:36 am, 15 Jul 08

The show is brilliant, really good for a belly laugh ! If Canberra watches it and decides to laugh along it might encourage some locals not to take themselves so seriously.

#7
Bells11:47 am, 15 Jul 08

someone I know who worked for Howard absolutely hated it. Thought it was boring and pointless and that no advisers would ever be as dumb as Rob Sitch’s character.

I said if it was a drama, they’d have played him more straight but as it’s a comedy…..they can go hell for leather on the incompetence.

#8
staria12:47 pm, 15 Jul 08

This show is awesome! It needs more acronyms though…

#9
Primal1:10 pm, 15 Jul 08

Yes, some extras TLAs would round it out nicely.

#10
peterh4:08 pm, 15 Jul 08

Holden Caulfield said :

Thumper said :

And it’s not really about public servants, more about political advisors.

Yep, see, I told you I was distanced from this world, haha.

um, not really. it is just like private enterprise, except the stakeholders are the tax payer.

I have seen / met some people in private enterprise that are dead set accurate as the advisers in this show. go figure.

#11
miz5:50 pm, 15 Jul 08

Agree with Thumper’s comment – it’s more about advisers, who are not members of the CPS.
Actually, I struggled to enjoy the first episode, which was surprising as I have liked every other working dog production. I am hoping it will grow on me . . . I will persist!

#12
I-filed6:34 pm, 15 Jul 08

What was hilarious was that the following morning Kim Carr’s spokeswoman referred to a “raft of measures” on AM!

#13
Whatsup9:45 pm, 15 Jul 08

I-filed said :

What was hilarious was that the following morning Kim Carr’s spokeswoman referred to a “raft of measures” on AM!

It will be funny to observe people try not to repeat some of the quotes from the series. There could be some chuckling and giggling going on during presentations and/or meetings.

#14
Holden Caulfield10:08 am, 16 Jul 08

“UPDATED: Oooh, Tom Gleisner just got told all about you mob’s thoughts on the show live on 666.”

Haha, would like to hear more about that. Did anyone catch it?

#15
Holden Caulfield10:10 am, 16 Jul 08

I-filed said :

What was hilarious was that the following morning Kim Carr’s spokeswoman referred to a “raft of measures” on AM!

Did she say how big the raft was?

#16
johnboy10:12 am, 16 Jul 08

Holden Caulfield said :

“UPDATED: Oooh, Tom Gleisner just got told all about you mob’s thoughts on the show live on 666.”

Haha, would like to hear more about that. Did anyone catch it?

He answered the question he wished he’d been asked. Knows his stuff obviously.

#17
Skidbladnir11:18 am, 16 Jul 08

There are times I wish there was transcrips of what on earth you’re referring to, for those of us who can view almost anything we like on teh interweb, but not streamed things.

Can you give us a rundown, Jb?

#18
johnboy11:45 am, 16 Jul 08

She ran through the nicer parts of the poll, and the comment about six point plans being forbidden.

He then talked about how much expert advice they’d had in the writing.

#19
Kitchen Man1:10 pm, 17 Jul 08

Best TV I’ve seen all year. I’m worried that people in Melbourne and Sydney won’t get it as much as we will.

#20
Loose Brown1:23 pm, 17 Jul 08

I did find it amusing, and will tune in regularly.

However, if you want to watch a political comedy that really sets the benchmark – you have to watch The Thick Of It, a BBC series readily available on YouTube. Absolutely fantastic and puts Hollowmen in the shade.

#21
Holden Caulfield1:28 pm, 17 Jul 08

I thought last night’s show was the “difficult second episode”, it had its moments but wasn’t up to the heights of the first ep. I’ll keep watching for sure.

#22
Holden Caulfield9:22 am, 07 Aug 08

“Oh we need to highlight these points for the Prime Minister.”

** “Yeah, I’ve put asterisks there.”

“Oh, no he doesn’t like them, they need to be highlighted.”

** “When was that decided?”

“At the last meeting when we banned bullet points.”

Haha, that was champagne comedy!

#23
jakez9:41 am, 07 Aug 08

As a non public servant Canberran, who is involved in party politics, and is a small government libertarian, this show tickles me in just the right spot.

#24
peterh10:46 am, 07 Aug 08

last night’s ep was a good one. I hope the adf saw the joke, though.

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