TV

‘Homecoming Queens’ Is The Hilariously Messy Comedy That Australia’s Been Waiting For

A very funny and real story about two best friends and chronic illness.

According to its creators, the original real-life inspiration for SBS On Demand’s new comedy-drama Homecoming Queens came from the purchase of “a comically large vibrator”. We won’t spoil exactly what happens with said vibrator when it features in the show, but it’s kinda gross and hilariously funny, like the rest of the series.

The show is created and co-written by Michelle Law (Single Asian Female) and real-life best friend Chloë Reeson, inspired by their own relationship, shared health dramas and absolutely cooked sense of humour. It takes the form of seven short episodes, with a kind of Broad City-in-Brisbane feel to the vignettes.

Homecoming Queens on paper is about two twenty-something friends navigating life as young people with chronic illnesses, which doesn’t exactly sound sexy. But so much of the humour (and drama) comes from a very frank and real look at what life looks like for people living with illness.

Law said that a lot of the motivation to write the show came from there being “nothing out there that quite represents our experience.”

In the show, the character of Michelle escapes back to her hometown of Brisbane after an alopecia diagnosis throws a spanner in her ambitions, while Chloë has just finished chemotherapy after breast cancer. And while that sounds like it could be quite grim, it’s very clearly only one facet of their lives. The friends also juggle their relationship, dating, queerness, frenemies, pretending to enjoy house parties — all the normal young things.

“When you’re chronically ill,” said Michelle Law at a screening of the show, “you’re not really allowed to be young, but you’re not quite old yet.”

Homecoming Queens

And the show is incredibly funny: there’s an element of gross-out humour that is quite refreshing to see on Aussie TV. There’s a magnificently disgusting scene featuring discharge and a wig, for example.

A lot of the humour comes from the chemistry between the two actors on the show, who perfectly deliver dead-pan lines or wonderfully freak out with equal competence. Michelle Law plays herself on screen, in her first credited acting role, opposite the wonderful Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet, Top of the Lake). Keep an eye out for Yassmin Abdel-Magied (yes, that Yassmin Abdel-Magied) who plays Michelle’s arch-nemesis, a delightfully mercenary wellness blogger.

There’s really not a lot on TV like Homecoming Queens, and certainly not in Australia — and while the show almost delights in its uniqueness, the story of two weirdos struggling to make sense of their weird life is somehow infinitely relatable.

Homecoming Queens will be available to stream on SBS On Demand from 12 April.