So, your ex-lovers are dying. So, your hippie OB-GYN has the habit of healing the aura of your lady-bits? So, you accidentally slept with your best friend’s boyfriend, and now he might die too. Laid will not be to everyone’s tastes. But if everyone told you to jump off the harbour bridge would you do that too?
The latest creation from the minds of Marieke Hardy & Kirsty Fisher, Laid is the 6-part series telling the story of Roo McVie (Alison Bell) as she winds her way through the latest developments in the Greek tragedy that is her love life, with best friend EJ (Celia Pacquola) helping her join the dots as to how this can’t be her fault – besides, she’s just met this wonderful new guy…
“If someone has been a total ass, do you ever have to see them again? What if they’re dying and it’s your fault?” offered Hardy when she spoke with MolksTVTalk recently. “Kirsty (Fisher) – who I write with – and I were interested in the idea of what social obligations follow a bad one-night stand.”
The series reflects this “beer garden” conversation between the long time friends and collaborators. Laid gives you the sense that, while entirely fiction, the ghosts of Roo are as much those of Marieke or Kirsty themselves. “I’m not very good at hiding true stories,” says Hardy. “It’s all been legalled, though. *breathes into paper bag*.”
Marieke Hardy has been no slouch in the writing stakes. “I can’t remember *not* writing, really. I wrote stories as a child, and was a voravious reader. It was a natural extension.” At this point she corrects herself, pointing out she meant “voracious”, but then corrects herself again: “Actually, scrap that. I like ‘voravious’. It’s like a cross between voracious and voluptuous.” It’s this sly, impish and directly sexual wit that has drawn fans to Hardy’s writing and her work on television discussing books on the First Tuesday Book Club.
When asked where she seeks her inspriation, Hardy proffers “a quote from Vonnegut: ‘Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world your story will get pneumonia’. I guess I just write for whoever I am secretly in love with.” Given the calibre of her writing, that’s one or more lucky people.
Hardy’s activities as an online columnist (writing for Crikey and The Drum) and tweeter only puncutate her love for all things pop culture – like the re-imagining of the famous ‘Derryn Hinch in bed’ photo, which she deflects with jest as a “chance to do something funny, and not soft porn at all”. Marieke is a long way from her child/teen acting career that included turns as Rhonda Brumby on Neighbours and Yesterday Hubble on A Country Practice. Yesterday. Hubble. (“Honestly. The writers of ACP must have been smoking crack.”)
These experiences however have helped her become one of the more popular scriptwriters in Australia today, racking up eps of shows like Packed to the Rafters & 30 Seconds, as well as her own series with “writing life partner” Fisher in the thoroughly under-rated Last Man Standing. It doesn’t necessarily all start out as gold (“The book I’m working on at the moment is probably half rubbish. But I keep at it, just for the sake of putting words on the page. Just sit there and keep writing.”) however viewers can be assured that with Laid, Hardy & Fisher have had significant creative control over the project – meaning it will be determined, pointed and hilarious.
“Fisho and I were completely involved. We were at auditions and workshops. Nobody was cast without discussion.” This has meant the planets aligned to deliver a stellar cast including Bell, Pacquola, Toby Truslove, Abe Forsythe, Graham Blundell and SHAUN MOTHER-EFFING MICALLEF! (Hardy’s emphasis, not lost on this TV tragic). Given this glut of talent, Laid rightly stands to be a high point in the ABC’s schedule for the next 6 weeks. “I’m looking forward to it going to air. After years of work, it will be somewhat of a relief”, adds Hardy.
With sex, dating, love in 2011 being such a minefield, Marieke offers this advice to those seeking any/all of the above: “Ask someone very politely if they might mind if you give them a kiss. I think this is the best way to move forward. Also: anybody you can read with is a keeper. For the rest of the time, be as nude as possible.”
(Extracts taken from tweeterview with Marieke Hardy & SteveMolk on 04/02/2011. View the full conversation here.)
Laid – Wed 9:30pm, ABC1
Image/Video sources – ABC.