Just don't look them in the eyes, & move on quickly.

I’m a late comer to The Librarians, but I’m so glad I borrowed the book. It’s witty, well-paced, has a stellar cast, & delivers great gags sans laugh track week after week (suck on that, Two and a half Men).

Set in the Middleton Interactive Learning Centre, The Librarians focuses on Head Librarian Frances O”Brien (Robyn Butler) & her long-suffering, Midnight Oils tribute band loving husband Terry (Wayne Hope). This is their story – one of order, insanity, faulty wheelchairs, cover bands, lust & passive aggression. To offer a glib summary of the back story of the past two and a half seasons would do you an injustice – go to the website and catch up for yourselves.

Season 3, now almost at an end, has seen not only some of the best cast performances in an Australian comedy in some time but also the inclusion of some of the best behind and beside the camera – not least of which is Tony Martin directing the last few episodes of the season (including this one, with complete style) & Bob Franklin’s companion web series delving into the seedy underbelly that is the behind the scenes cast/crew on the show too.

Tonight’s episode (airdate: 10/11/2010) was the first Martin has directed and it didn’t disappoint. The script from Butler & Hope – it’s not enough they star in it, they write it all as well – was perfect, fleshing out Christine’s (Roz Hammond) post-baby breast feeding blues & further developing the trauma that is the Libraries of the city having to “pay their own way”. Angus Sampson is deviously brilliant as Mr Fisher, the germophobe council sleaze in charge of Restructuring Structural Infrastructure, & architect of the plan to bring the Libraries into liquidity. The following scene is complete character gold for both Fisher & anti-heroine Frances.

The supporting cast are brilliant too. Frances’s mother has moved in with them because her house got sold to pay for her retirement home but she’d already ordered a container full of tuna requiring payment. Nada’s mothers continual attempts to marry her off. Dawn & her wheelchair. Kai’s failed gay wedding. Matthew’s failed everything. Neil’s failed to clean, yet still he manages to deliver sense into the midst of the chaos that is Middleton.

It’s smart, it’s funny, & it will not patronise you. It’s not afraid to make fun of the stupid taboos we place on ourselves and society. The Librarians has a stellar cast, a brilliant guest cast, & an idea that the networks should have believed in before the ABC. Their loss… and thank you Aunty for gifting us with another comedic gem for the ages.


The Librarians – Wednesdays 8:30pm, ABC1
Image/Video sources: ABC.