Laid the Complete First Season DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 3.0
Video 7.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features   N/A
Total 3.0
Distributor: Roadshow Visit's Soph's modelling profile and interview at Impulse Gamer
Running Time: 160
Classification:  M15+
Reviewer: Soph

3.0


Laid the Complete First Season

Watching the full season of Laid from start to finish is kind of like eating a soft serve ice-cream - light, inoffensive, and pleasant enough for what it is - only to discover an anchovy at its core. At its best, Laid is little more than “nice enough”, but by the end it is offensively bad.

The premise is this: a trendy 20-something inner-surburban woman (the less charitable amongst us would describe her as a “latte-sipper”, as if that were really an epithet and not just a statement of beverage-preference) discovers that death is coming for every boy she’s had sex with - and not in an “STD sort of way”. This leads our protagonist and her housemate on an ineffectual and undramatic quest to discover the cause of this bizarre scenario, with a view to rectifying it.

It’s basically like an adult Paul Jennings story, who himself could be properly described as writing children’s versions of Neil Gaiman stories. Unfortunately, this syllogism does not have the happy result that Laid is of Gaiman-esque stature. The reason for this is that it’s written by Marieke Hardy. It is instructive that every time someone recommended that I watch Laid, the recommendation came with the following disclaimer: “I don’t like Hardy either, but this isn’t bad for something she’s written.”

For the blissfully unaware, Hardy is an Australian opinion piece writer whose modus operandi consists of incessantly reminding the reader of two things: firstly, that she is totally, like, “plugged-in” to the zeitgeist (she tweets and everything, you know, and has a Facebook page, el-oh-el), and secondly, that she’s irreverently progressive and socially liberal, and as such is beholden to no taboos. Consequently, her prose speaks from a yawning chasm of boredom which repeatedly and self-consciously declares that the author has freed herself of improperly restrictive social norms, and can prove it by dropping jokes about vaginas and bisexuality into every other sentence.

Honestly, I find myself agreeing with those who recommended Laid to me: it isn’t quite as bad as Hardy’s work usually is. Perhaps that’s because there’s a narrative, unlike her opinion pieces, which simply preach a particular perspective through confusing and obtuse attempts at political witticisms. There are several times each episode where Hardy’s trademark “I’m-free-spirited-and-I-say-what-I-want-whether-or-not-you-look-at-me-but-seriously-look-at-me” mannerisms come across, but ultimately that nonsense is much less frequent than in her columns, and when it does happen, it’s much less wearying. The first few episodes are quite light, easy television, with a few laugh-out-loud moments, and many more occasions for restrained smirks. Some of the actors succeed in bringing quirky characters to life in a rather entertaining way.

Then the show pitches sharply right and tumbles off the rails at high speed, as viewers discover that its premise is a pony competent at only one trick. The “investigations” of Ruth and her housemate are necessarily useless given the surreal nature of the problem, and are therefore pointless and unrewarding to watch. When the contours and suggested causes of the problem are explored, and solutions to it are attempted, the show forgets how to be funny and throws itself wholeheartedly into some utterly asinine dross that doesn’t even have the benefit of a good spot of self-awareness. The last episode in particular will have you questioning what exactly the show turned into, and why you’re still watching.

And so, with great regret (but not much surprise) I report that Laid joins the scrap-heap of Australian television labelled “almost”. Ominously, the DVD cover bears the words “the complete first season”. If the show does get renewed, there is certainly a chance that it could lift itself off that scrap-heap and find a more respectable home. But I wouldn’t be counting on it.






 
 



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