Welcome to Paradise … that is rather, some semblance of living that in no way, shape or form actually resembles paradise. You see, “Paradise” use in this context is quite satirical, and borderline sarcastic. The show, out of Melbourne Australia follows two borderline douchebags living in what I’d call ‘modern poverty.’ In other words their parents had enough money, and these kids could do well enough to survive on their own if not for their own behavior. Despite losing the roommates that paid their rent – ‘Bishop’ put Nair in the shampoo – the pair are industrious enough to accept an offer from Bishop’s dad to cover the rent in exchange for hosting Bishop’s half brother.

The pivotal plot point of bringing Glenn – Bishop’s half brother – into the mix Is what allows Bishop and Archie to get back to what they do best, arguing over the fair distribution of a box of cereal and bonding over a game of Halo on the ol’ XBOX.

Archie and Bishop have an interesting relationship that is the crux of ‘Paradise.’ While I described the two previously as being borderline douchey – a word I refuse to take back! – the show plays Archie as very much the straight man to Bishop’s general doucheyness. Well, at least at first. Archie is wound so tight that even the slightest things Bishop does can set him off, to the point that I almost believe that Bishop is probably a really cool guy when he’s not around Archie.

I love to see someone turn the tables on what is a very typical sitcom standby. As the show goes on Archie seems to slowly unravel. He goes from almost accepting of Bishop’s behavior to the point where I thought there was some chance Archie might try and kill him by the end. It’d be almost as if Jim from ‘The Office’ got so lost in the absurdity of Dwight that the audience actually began disliking Jim and fearing what he might do next.

Series creator Alex McDiarmid attributes this subtle growth through the series not so much to his own writing but to the growth of Alex Cooper and George McNab – the actors who play Archie and Bishop – as the series went on. “it was so awesome to experience. It started as straight guy funny guy but slowly evolved as George and Alex started acting. They really came into their own and added a lot of themselves to the characters.” Where the writing does shine through is in the subtle touch of a little heart, just a taste that tells us that these two roommates live together, not because they have no choice, but because despite all the annoying things they do to each other, they’re still friends.

One other thing that caught my eye with the series is the visually interesting openings. While the series is very much typical ‘apartment comedy’ the potential for monotony is broken up at the perfect time – the beginning. For example, episode four starts with Archie eating Skittles, but rather than simply show Archie eating the Skittles the show starts with a collage of Skittles constantly rearranged on the screen, almost like a music video, culminating in the reveal of Archie’s consumption.

The visual style is credited to co-creator Max Walter, who handles most of the technical side of the production, allowing Alex McDiarmid to focus on the actors and the writing. These are the kind of partnerships that are so beneficial in the creative community. With everyone doing what interests them most, and what they excel at productions can run rather smoothly. This production was an amazing two weeks from writing to the end of filming. The six episodes that constitute season one were filmed in just three days, something made possible by the fact that it takes place entirely in Alex’ apartment.

Lasltly, ‘Paradise’ is the second series I’ve covered recently out of Melbourne, the other being Chris & Josh, a show with a lot of similarities. After watching both shows my first thought was CROSSOVER!! Collaboration is the name of the game right? It makes too much sense! I was pleased to learn that Alex and Matt Smolen (from Chris And Josh) just happened to meet over coffee last week… let the rumor mill run. The official response to the idea was tweeted out by Matt following the twitter portion of #WebSeriesWednesday:

@snobbyrobot @a_mcdiarmid We at @chrisjoshseries do not comment on rumour and/or speculation. #WebSeriesWednesday

‘Paradise’ can be found on the YouTube’s at https://www.youtube.com/user/paradisewebseries