Every single year, I rewatch the same Christmas show. From start to finish, it has become a tradition to binge watch this incredible series in about 2 days. It is one of my favourite Christmas pieces of entertainment ever made and more importantly one of my favourite shows ever created and I truly believe not enough people know about it. It is none other than A Moody Christmas.
A Moody Christmas was released in 2014 and created by Phil Lloyd and Trent O’ Donnell. It is a 6x20minute Australian comedy show. Each episode is set in a different year as Dan Moody returns home from London to celebrate Christmas with his very dysfunctional family. Before I continue, if you haven’t seen it go watch it so you can appreciate this show as much as I do.
The writing of this show is incredible. If you didn’t know, Trent O’ Donnell (one of the writers) has an extensive history working in comedy. The Chaser’s War, Brooklyn Nine Nine, New Girl, The Good Place, No Activity, Hacks and Ride the Eagle – fucking insane. But perhaps his talents shine most in A Moody Christmas. Trent and Phil create characters that are true to them and the audience watching it. On top of this, there is a joke in almost every single scene as well as heartfelt and touching moments. Trent and Phil have written a show that is a perfect balance of what we love about Christmas – comedy and family.
Directing comedy often goes unnoticed. Most audiences just assume you stick a camera on a medium and close up shot and let the actors and writing do the rest. But as I was rewatching a Moody Christmas for probably the 6th year of my life, I remembered how pivotal good directing is. Trent truly understands exactly where the camera needs to be and how it should cut together to make it as funny as possible. There is a one take in episode 1 that perfectly highlights each character in the space of 5 minutes. We understand the entire family and effectively feel as if we are stuck there with Dan – a perfect example of excellent directing.
A Moody Christmas has one of the best Australian casts I have ever seen. Every single actor in this brings an amazing comedic performance and timing to their character that just could not be replicated in America. In particular, Patrick Brammall and Darren Gilshenan create these hilarious characters that are so relatable to an Australian audience. Ian Meadows has this awkwardness and nervousness that feels so natural and Jane Harber bounces off this perfectly. In fact, it feels like everyone in this family is someone I know or have met before – a true compliment to the actors and director.
There are many many reasons why I love this show so much. Good writing, directors, actors, editing. But ultimately, I think there is one core part that makes me obsessed with A Moody Christmas – it’s Australian. Seeing good Australian productions is always so satisfying and inspiring. It makes me want to keep making Australian content and as a result, is so pivotal in ensuring we are not always driven to make American shows. Shows like the Moody’s, Upper Middle Bogan and recently, Colin from Accounts have pushing the Australian film scene in the right direction. When people bag on about Australian TV or Movies it is often because they haven’t even watched shows like this.