Pilot Review: Tim Minchin’s Road Trip Drama ‘UPRIGHT’
Tim Minchin is known for his tightrope performances of comedy and acute seriousness. If you need a reminder of this talent, it’s on full display in his 2016 song Come Home, Cardinal Pell, a comedy track about the cardinal of the Catholic Church and convicted child sex offender who was avoided trail by chilling in Rome. It’s DARK satire, and he uses it to explore the grittier things in life – mental health, the existence of God, and what it means to be human. ‘Upright’, his new Australia road trip drama, has all the makings of a classic Minchin track, although this one happens to be an eight-part series.
Created by Chris Taylor (‘The Chaser’s War on Everything’), ‘Upright’ stars Minchin as it’s leading “down of his luck” protagonist, Lucky, who is driving from Sydney to Perth while dragging a piano behind him in his trailer. Lucky is heading to see his dying mother when he pulls out in front of another vehicle, crashing in the middle of the outback. The driver of the other car? Headstrong teenager, Meg (Milly Alcock, ‘Pine Gap’, ‘Les Norton’), armed with a foul mouth and a newly broken arm. After Meg insists Lucky drives her to the closest town to seek medical assistance, their love/hate bond begins to form, as they continue on their onward journey to Perth.
‘Upright’ is a buddy road-trip comedy with real potential and from the little hints given in episode one, I’m keen to learn more about both Lucky and Meg – what they are running away from and driving toward. I read a tweet from Joss Whedon saying it was his favourite series since Phoebe Waller-Bridge made ‘Fleabag’. I’m going to trust Joss on this one, and dig into another.
FOR THOSE WHO LOVED? ‘Fleabag’, ‘End of the F*cking World’.
‘Upright‘ airs weekly from Thursday, 28th November 2019 at 10:00 pm on Sky One, or binge all 8 episodes via Sky On-Demand and NOW TV.