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Morningside for Life!

Bro'town is the first attempt of TV3, one of the five free terrestrial broadcasters in New Zealand at an adult orientated animation series and was shown in spring 2004 to initially mixed reviews. To be correct, this the first time any Kiwi broadcaster had a go at animation for grown ups. Ruder than the Simpsons (and far less subtle), Bro'Town has managed to achieve cult status after a first series of only 6 episodes. Not bad for a country partly inhabited by the least excitable people in the world.

Vale and Valea (loosely translated Dumb and Dumber), Sione and Mac are a bunch of male teenagers from various pacific communities living in a deprived suburb of Auckland, joined by their indiginous friend 'Jeff da Maori'. Morningside is a collection of ramshackle houses, pennyshops and off-licenses, populated by Pacific Islanders and Maoris, resembling the real thing rather too acurately. The two brothers Vale and Valea live in a house with their beer-guzzling, porn-loving father who believes in improvement of intellectual performance by beating his children around the head. Jeff da Maori lives in a car shell in the garden of his mom's and eight dads house, Mac is an obese gay boy with surprisingly normal parents and Sione is a bit preoccupied with girls, especially with his cousin Keisha Castle-Hughes. The whole gang is attending St. Silvestre, the local highschool run by a cross dressing principal right out of La Cage aux Folles, and they are battling the typical issues of adolescence as a Pacific islander: racism, deprivation, christianity and sex, all spiced up with cameos by famous New Zealanders: Prime Minister Helen Clark, rapper Scribe, Lucy Lawless and other various Kiwi celebrities, not really known outside this tiny pacific mini cosmos.

The show was written by The Naked Samoans, an immensely popular Polynesian comedy troupe who used the material of their stage shows for the creation of the series. Animated in India and New Zealand, the series took 3 years to produce and was a huge gamble on TV3's part: would the rather conservative Kiwi audience warm to Polynesian toilet humour, wacky accents and complete political incorrectness? Fortunately the whole thing was a total success, and the next series is currently under production, with a possible airing late 2005.

A DVD has recently been released and should be seen by everyone thinking of moving to Auckland.

Peeouw, Peeouw!!


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