Superwog: Series 1 (TV)
R0 - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (4th August 2019).
The Film

"Superwog: Series 1" (2018)

Theo (played by Theodore Saidden) is a suburban teenager in Sydney that lives the "gangsta" style, with posters of Scarface and Tupac on his bedroom walls, copying the talk and faking the funk and going by his nickname "Superwog". His best friend Johnny (played by Nathan Saidden) is on the same page, being not so brilliant in studies and the two of them mostly thinking about getting girls, getting money, and also not being embarrassed... Superwog's dad (played by Nathan Saidden) is a grossly odd man that wears a wifebeater shirt and shorts at all times, constantly yells in his particular accent, and doesn't mind leaving the bathroom door open when he uses the toilet. On the other hand, his mother (played by Theodore Saidden) is one that has a little more sense but also is weirdly quirky in her own way, somehow both tolerating the father and keeping him in place. Through the episodes these weird characters go through everything from family separation, finding long lost treasure, Bitcoin investing, as well as a zombie apocalypse.

Real life brothers Theo and Nathan Saidden are the sons of an Egyptian father and a Greek-Egyptian mother that gained much attention for their YouTube videos of comedy sketches, crafting the dysfunctional "Superwog" characters by exaggerating their school life and family life stories to the boundaries. Their father may not be the heartless and/or brainless buffoon as portrayed but incidents such as him busting down his son's door did in fact come from a real life happening. Over the years the short skits have received millions of views on their "Superwog1" YouTube channel and they even had a national tour performing in front of large audiences. Interesting to think that the Theo and Nathan were not from a particular comedy background but crafted their talents from childhood and found success through the Internet, rather than on the comedy circuit, as they had day jobs in the earliest days.

In 2017 the story of "Superwog" was taken further with a pilot episode for a television series for ABC TV Australia in conjunction with YouTube, and with a full six episode series commissioned, it became the first Australian TV/YouTube partnership, airing the episodes in 2018. The formula is a basic sitcom style, usually with an A and B parallel storylines of the characters in each 25 minute runtime. Language-wise it hasn't been toned down at all, filled with F-words galore, and keeping with the original shorts, and shot with mostly handheld single cameras. Stylistically it resembles the shorts but obviously with a larger budget and production values. Each episode ends with a series of flubs and outtakes along with a short preview of the upcoming episode.

"Superwog" doesn't break new ground and some of the comedy can be cringing at times with some of the racial and sexual humor, but it also provides a lot of laughter in many absurd and hilarious situations. With the brothers playing two major roles each (with Theo playing Superwog and his mother / Nathan playing Johnny and Superwog's dad) they are able to make interesting exaggerated characters for each and viewers shouldn't try to look at things logically. Theo and Nathan are obviously a lot older than high school students. Nathan is obviously too young to be Superwog's dad. Theo as the mother... somehow works fairly well. There are a fairly amount of supporting actors for episodes mostly making a one off appearance and only a few reappearing subsequently, so the show is held on the shoulders of the Saidden brothers, and their chemistry is the key to making the characters work.

The following episodes are presented:

Episodes (with Play All) (134:04)
- Breaking Dad (24:33)
- The Family Jewels (23:28)
- The Final Exam (21:33)
- The Formal (21:54)
- The Power Trip (19:52)
- Zombie Apocalypse (22:42)

There is no particular order to the episodes as there is no continuous storyline for the season, and they can be watched in differing order which will not affect any spoilers. Even the "Zombie Apocalypse" episode which shows a world overrun with zombies does have a "reset" ending.

Note this is a region 0 PAL DVD.

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the episodes in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic enhancement. Shot digitally, colors are on the natural side without any particular color manipulation applied. The handheld photography is sharp and clean, with very little errors to be noted. There is one episode with one bizarre shot of a car suddenly appearing in the frame during the scene of the mother and father talking in their car. It is stated in the commentary that this was done by combining two separate takes through morphing and it is an odd segment. Overall the transfer is quite good for all the episodes, comfortably fitting on a dual layered DVD.

The episodes are all uncut.



















Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
The original stereo track is presented here for all episodes. Mostly center based for dialogue, there is separation during music and effects which sound very well balanced with the voices. Dialogue is always clean and clear (even with the dad yelling and screaming constantly), and there are no errors to speak of.

There are no subtitles provided for the episodes, though there are some minor Mandarin language moments that are given burned-in subtitles.

Extras

This is a single disc release with all episodes and all extras contained on the disc.

Audio commentaries on all episodes with Nathan Saidden and Theodore Saidden
In the commentary tracks, the Saidden brothers discuss about the characters, the behind the scenes process, trivia about the situations, and more. These are not particularly in depth commentaries as they don't go into the making of the series, though they do talk about the many injuries Nathan went through during the shoot as well as some of the good and bad performances.
in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

"The Pilot" episode (with optional commentary by Nathan Saidden and Theodore Saidden) (23:13)
The 2017 pilot in which Superwog and Johnny work at a fast food restaurant is seen here as a separate episode from the six episode in the first series. The commentary with the brothers like the others is not particularly in depth but includes some fairly fun information.
in anamorphic 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

"Behind the Scenes - Breaking Dad" featurette (1:40)
"Behind the Scenes - The Family Jewels" featurette (1:46)
"Behind the Scenes - The Formal" featurette (1:40)
"Behind the Scenes - The Power Trip" featurette (1:49)
"Time Lapse - The Power Trip" featurette (0:32)
"Behind the Scenes - Zombie Apocalypse (3:26)

A series of behind the scenes clips of the making of the series is presented here, with some comments from the cast and crew.
in anamorphic 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles


Though it seems like a good amount of extras, it would have been good to hear an interview with the brothers talking about the evolution of the series from clips to 25 minute episodes, as well as hearing about their inspirations more.

Packaging

The packaging says it is region 4 only, but is in fact a region 0 disc.

Overall

"Superwog: Season 1" is wacky, bizarre, absurd, racist, and of course funny, though it does have its hit and misses in the brief six episode first season run. But as the characters have been fully crafted over a lengthy period of time, things are consistent and bring in a lot of humor. Umbrella Entertainment gives the series a good release on the DVD format with extras making the set recommended.

The Film: B Video: A Audio: A Extras: B- Overall: B

 


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