Humorous heavyweights: SBS to the rescue

SBS is coming out swinging for the start of the year, with some funny and fascinating new shows to save us from sport overload.

The multicultural broadcaster is known for its sometimes controversial and hard-hitting shows such as First Contact and Go Back to Where You Came From.

But two of the channel's new January offerings are more light-hearted, packing a heavy comedy punch.

This Thursday marks the start of the family comedy The Family Law, based on journalist Benjamin Law's memoir (episode one can be previewed now on Facebook).

The touching series follows a pivotal summer in Law's childhood, from his struggles as an awkward teen and the middle child of a brood of five to the challenges of growing up Chinese in suburban Australia and his parents' divorce.

Law's observations and recollections are hilarious but also touching and poignant at times and I think everyone will relate to his teenage longings for validation and social acceptance.

This is the first of several TV projects for Law and he's quickly proving to be a bright new screenwriting talent.

Cheeky parody series The Wizards of Aus pokes fun at the popular fantasy genre (think Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) over three nights on SBS 2 from Tuesday, January 19.

The series follows a wizard, Jack, who flees his magical realm to live a "rational" life in Melbourne but struggles to control his powers and finds himself facing discrimination as a migrant.

In one scene Jack frustratingly tries to navigate the complexities of applying to his local council to get a recycling bin; it's the sort of tongue-in-cheek humour reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (with more foul language).

Guy Pearce makes a funny cameo as a conservative TV host in the series, from writer/director/actor Michael Shanks of the popular YouTube channel Timtimfed.



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