Hilarious and heartfelt: the searing new series from the Perth suburbs

Indigenous filmmakers Luke and Dan Riches are behind KGB, a new comedy web series that offers viewers a whole lot of heart, wrapped in a whole lot of laughs.

The series is based on the Perth suburbs of Koondoola, Girrawheen and Balga—a.k.a ‘KGB’.

The Western Australian brothers, who grew up in Koondoola, take on big issues with a sense of humour.

“It is about being light-hearted, having a laugh at some serious topics,” said Luke.

“With comedy and having a laugh, it’s always been a coping mechanism for Aboriginal people. When things happen, you have to laugh about it, otherwise things can get dark and gloomy. This is directed in a way to bring out that Indigenous humour.”

The web series follows two rookie detectives, tough guy Jack, and gentle giant Nigel, as they navigate their wild jobs.

Luke said he and his brother drew inspiration from real life events.

“At the very beginning, there’s a police line-up and a white lady has to identify a suspect. She points out the only Aboriginal person in the line. But it turns out she didn’t see the crime—she pointed at the Aboriginal person because he was the fastest one there. And that really happened,” said Luke.

The brothers, founders of Ardiol Media, left their day jobs to pursue their dreams in the film industry.

They’ve recently worked on the soon-to-be-released NITV documentary Lost Diamonds.

But this web series has been an entirely new ball game for the pair.

“The process was a lot different to the documentary … it was our first scripted project. The process of writing took a while and making sure we had a good story. If we came up with a good story that was funny, we would get it passed,” Dan said.

“We were reading it in rehearsals a few days before the shoot and everybody was in tears laughing—we knew it was good.”

“When we were rehearsing, everyone was buzzing. It was noticeable how happy they were to be a part of this. It was almost like they knew it was going to be something special, so that was so good to be a part of, it made the shoot a world easier,” said Luke.

The series hosts a stellar Australian cast including Clarence Ryan, Bjorn Stewart, Genevieve Morris, Mark Coles Smith, Aaron McGrath, WAAPA graduate Jesse Phillips and Indigenous theatre stars Lynette Narkle and Amy Smith.

The brother’s hope to bring viewers a second season.

“If it goes well, there has been talk about season two. If it’s successful there may be an appetite to continue it,” said Dan.

However, right now the team want audiences to sit back and get into it.

“I would say have fun, enjoy it, don’t come in with any idea of what it should or shouldn’t be –just watch it for what it is,” Luke said.

KGB was filmed in Perth earlier this year and will premiere on ABC iView on Sunday 7 July and nightly on ABC COMEDY from Monday 8 July to Friday 12 July during NAIDOC week 2019.

KGB is a Mad Kids production for ABC. Principal production investment is from Screenwest and Lotterywest, in association with Screen Australia.

By Rachael Knowles

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