Series / Feral TV
An Australian television series from the mid-1990s, a successor/spin-off to the 1994-95 series The Ferals
. The series' basic premise was that the titular Ferals had been evicted from their former dwelling and, searching for a new home, found the media cables for a television station. They promptly made camp around the cables and set up their own pirate TV channel: "Feral TV". Though this initially drew the wrath of the station from which they were pirating, resulting in the dispatchment of cane toad manager Kerry and his Scottish Terrier security guard/muscle Jock, their popularity with the in-series fan audience prompted them to change their minds and "adopt" Feral TV
as part of their official channels.
Each skit lasted for only five minutes and usually parodied some manner of movie or televised trope.
This show includes examples of:
- Beware the Nice Ones: Mixy is generally the least offensive of the Ferals, but when she wants, she can be just as bad as any of them. Modigliana liked to pass herself off as a prima donna, but was one of the nastiest of the group, and a frighteningly skilled brawler when she got her temper up.
- Black Comedy: Much like the original series, this show runs its comedy primarily on a mixture of morbidity and grossness. For example, one skit revolves around the Ferals trying to advertise products from the "Dodgy Company" in order to make more money for themselves, culminating in them tripping their boss into a sink and using it as an opportunity to show off the built-in garbage grinder. In the middle of a live production of "Goldilocks And The Three Bears".
- Buccaneer Broadcaster
- Butt-Monkey: Rodney the cockroach, a starstruck cockroach on work experience at the station.
- The Cameo: One episode has a brief appearance by one of the ABC's main anchors on the 7:00 news. It turns out that despite the fact that he is reading the news on TV in that appearance, he can still respond to what Rattus is saying.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Seeing the Ferals abuse each other and their coworkers was part of the fun. Of course, the Ferals didn't get off scott-free either. Whether it be running their boss through a garbage grinder, deliberately feeding noxious chemicals to each other for the sake of the show, and getting kicked out of their own station by the intern, Feral TV had no workplace health and safety plan, and that was just the way they liked it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Rattus definitely had his moments.
- Dumb Is Good: Derryn the dog is the nicest member of the group, almost never motivated by malice, and is dumb as a termite-riddle stump.
- Hypno Fool: One episode has Derryn take up Sleep Learning to become more assertive. The others immediately hijack his tape recorder for Teach Yourself French, Teach Yourself Karate, and towards the end, 1001 Uses For A Dead Cane Toad...and their boss is a cane toad.
- Interspecies Romance: Late into the season, Mixy and Rodney (feral rabbit and introduced cockroach, respectively) are implied to become a couple, though most of the details happen "off screen".
- Ship Tease: A couple of episodes, most notably the "bachelor number one" routine, hint that Rattus and Modi would be a pretty solid pairing had they not long ago sworn eternal hatred.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Modi and Mixy suffer alongside the rest of the cast. Modi often brought it on herself.
- Sleep Learning: Derryn tries, bless him. It would probably have worked perfectly if the others hadn't found out about it and engaged in a spot of sabotage for fun and profit.
- Shout-Out: Dozens of them, to all manner of other television shows and movies. One of the most notable skits, a parody of television merchanidising, is pretty much five minutes of parodic Power Rangers Shout Out, and ends with a blatant Shout Out to Bananas in Pyjamas.
- Take That!: The cash-obsessed cane toad manager shares a first name with now-deceased media tycoon Kerry Packer. It's not hard to believe it's deliberate.
- The Television Talks Back: It certainly does, rat features. Admittedly, this was only for a momentary gag during The Cameo listed above.
- Toilet Humour: "I put enough prunes in Kerry's toad juice to keep him running to the dunny for a week." - Rattus