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Series / The Hollowmen

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"Have we achieved anything at all for the Australian people?"

"We don't vote for them, we don't even know their names, and we're not sure what they do. But they wield enormous influence. They are the power behind the power. They are 'The Hollowmen'."

The Hollowmen is a satirical Australian Government Procedural from Working Dog Productions, arguably the Land Down Under's answer to modern political comedies like The Thick of It. It follows Only Sane Man David "Murph" Murphy, head of a (fictional) political advisory group called the "Central Policy Unit" that was personally set up by the Slave to PR Prime Minister to help him get re-elected.

Utopia (2014) can be considered a Spiritual Successor.

Not to be confused with The Hollow Men, which is a poem by T. S. Eliot.


Contains examples of:

  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of the cast, but prominently Nick and Murph.
  • Invisible President: The Prime Minister and his political party aren't named, though the timing and parallels suggest he's meant to be Kevin Rudd.
  • Mildly Military: The Australian Defence Force doesn't want to recruit "soldiers". It needs plumbers, accountants, dentists. Any hints of warfare, combat or even uniforms are kept out of the recruiting advertisements.
  • No Party Given: See above.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Philip and Warren, both from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Only Sane Man: Murph.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic
  • Running Gag: In "A Quiet January", no one but Nick and Theo has studied Australian history, though they have studied pretty much every other kind of history. Also, Tony can never seem to pronounce Vanmathy until the last episode, after which he is finally told that everyone else just shortens her name to 'Van'.
    • Not an episode goes by where someone doesn't make an excuse to avoid sitting through a Powerpoint presentation.
  • Scenery Porn: Canberra has never looked so interesting
  • Slave to PR: A huge theme. For example, in "Military Matters", the Central Policy Unit is tasked with an initiative to raise army recruitment numbers. Murph puts together the Mildly Military ad described above and recruitment inquiries go up by more than forty percent, but the ad gets shelved after a month because the PM is getting negative press about it, even though the ad works.
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  • The Watson: Nick, who doesn't question governmental policy so much as the dense political doublespeak that goes on in Canberra.
  • Work Com


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