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Colin From Accounts – season 2 review: there’s more to the story

Season 2 of Colin From Accounts proves there's life in the old dog yet.
Colin From Accounts season 2. Image: Binge.

The first season of Colin From Accounts wasn’t exactly Australia’s version of Normal People, but it did tap into the tail end of the lockdown-era’s desire to watch messed up people find love on the small screen.

A hit both here and overseas, the story of two aimless inner-Sydney semi-professionals (played by series creators and writers, married couple Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer) brought together by the dog they accidentally crippled seemed like a done-in-one series. But as Jane Austin once said, no happily ever after ending can withstand the global demand for content: there’s life in the old dog yet.

Gordon (Brammall) and Ashley (Dyer) are now officially a couple living together at his place. But there’s a problem: Colin, the special needs dog that brought them together, is now with another family, and Gordon and Ash would like him back. His new owners have no intention of giving him up, and as they repeatedly remind our increasingly desperate leads, ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law’.

This shouldn’t be a huge problem for Ash and Gordon – after all, they do have each other – but without Colin all the other little tiny issues around their relationship come bubbling to the surface. There’s the age gap, the way they have nothing in common, the fact that for both of them this is really their first stab at a proper grown-up relationship and they’re a little uncertain about it all. Do they really need a dog to make their relationship work? Do they really want to risk finding out?

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Are we the drama?

Colin From Accounts isn’t exactly a one trick pony (or puppy), but it does like serving up a lot of awkward conversations. If Ash and Gordon have an interaction with someone else, chances are that third person is going to end up pissed off. One or two times, sure: the other person’s a dickhead. But when it’s every time, it’s hard not to think hey, maybe these guys are the real problem here.

There are plenty of dramedies where we’re expected to find the leads lovable despite all the evidence to the contrary. To this show’s credit, it’s clear that Ash and Gordon really are the kind of people who often do rub others the wrong way. Ash’s hospital job usually involves annoying her supervisor; Gordon’s not quite a doormat at the brewery he co-owns, but he does seem to be the kind of guy that lets other people step on him so he can complain about it.

When their relationship is in jeopardy in the first few episodes (firstly due to Colin’s absence, then due to some surprising and possibly physically impossible news), it does feel like they really could break up. They both have issues, and it’s something of a miracle they’ve made it this far. It’s a rare ‘will they or won’t they’ situation where it’s possible they just … won’t.

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Double dog dare

While the relationship side of the series is strong even when the relationship itself isn’t, awkward conversations will only get you so far when it comes to comedy. While there’s usually a few good laughs each episode, there’s times when a character being strident or creepy or blunt doesn’t really deliver much beyond the surface uncomfortableness. Keeping the relationship between the leads authentic cuts down on the opportunities for comedy between them, at least early on: everyone around them has to be a dickhead because what’s happening between them is too serious to laugh at.

Fortunately, this is pretty much a logical extension from season one. That started out as a fairly broad comedy that gradually ditched the wackier stuff to focus on the relationship. Now the wacky stuff is whittled down to the bare minimum – a one-liner here, a sight gag there. The joke used to be that they gave a quirky and memorable dog a settled-down, lived-in name; this season, that doesn’t seem like a joke anymore.

Colin From Accounts season 2 drops on Binge on 30 May 2024.

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4 out of 5 stars

Colin From Accounts

Actors:

Patrick Brammall, Harriet Dyer, Celeste Barber

Director:

Trent O'Donnell, Matthew Moore, Madeleine Dyer

Format: TV Series

Country: Australia

Release: 30 May 2024

Available on:

Binge, 8 Episodes

Anthony Morris is a freelance film and television writer. He’s been a regular contributor to The Big Issue, Empire Magazine, Junkee, Broadsheet, The Wheeler Centre and Forte Magazine, where he’s currently the film editor. Other publications he’s contributed to include Vice, The Vine, Kill Your Darlings (where he was their online film columnist), The Lifted Brow, Urban Walkabout and Spook Magazine. He’s the co-author of hit romantic comedy novel The Hot Guy, and he’s also written some short stories he’d rather you didn’t mention. You can follow him on Twitter @morrbeat and read some of his reviews on the blog It’s Better in the Dark.