The fourth of eight shows in Ten's Pilot Week initiative - DeciderTV.com's Steve Molk reviews TABOO.
HOW DID TEN PITCH IT?
Taboo has broken audience records in its country of origin, Belgium. The premise is as confronting as it is simple. The very funny Harley Breen spends five days and nights with members of a disadvantaged group in society and uses the experience to perform a stand-up routine about them – with the subjects sitting in the front row.
WHAT IS IT REALLY?
Part "You Can't Ask That", part stand-up special; 100% heart.
WHO IS IN IT AND WHO RESPONSIBLE FOR IT?
Harley Breen is front and centre as host and comedian who delivers a stand-up set spread across the episode after living with those at the focus of the ep for five days.
The show was produced by Lune Media.
WAS IT ANY GOOD?
Harley Breen is a stellar performer, and possibly one of the few comedians in Australia who could deliver the stand-up set with the laughs and aplomb as he did. The critical part of this success is how he plays the gags - it's all about being invited in to laugh with those the jokes are about, and not at. This takes a deft touch and Breen proves to be more than up to the challenge.
Also incredible that Sam, Dee, Khoa & Jason would involve themselves in the pilot process, as much to demystify their situations as be open to laughs about their life and experience. Their honesty and pragmatism is sobering and amazing. Nothing is off the table.
"Trying to get the toilet paper to rip from the thing. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. It just doesn't happen." - Sam
"It just keeps unravelling." - Harley
"Yes! It just unravels. It's just unravelled, like the last five years. It's just unravelled. It's the simple things in life that I took for granted before that make me angry." - Sam
SHOULD IT GO TO SERIES?
It would make for a very interesting (and worthwhile) move by Ten - delivering a show with a conscience - amidst a schedule filled with vacuous and flippant reality and no quality drama.
"I think it's such a wonderful idea, to give people people in society that feel like they're invisible and don't have a voice and don't get seen a vehicle so that they can. And I think it's really great that they've used me, because clearly as an able-bodied, straight, white male I'm the perfect guy for the job." - Harley Breen
Taboo is simply brilliant.