Benjamin Law’s ability to hit hilarious, moving and mortifying in the same paragraph has afforded him a rich and diverse writing career and made him one of the most beloved writers in the country. The Brisbane based author has published two books, The Family Law, a thoroughly revealing anthology of personal essays in the key of Sedaris, and, a few years later, an eye opening travel tome called Gaysia. He has written for TV, for publications such as The Monthly, Frankie and The Courier Mail and has been known to slip into Super Charming Smart Guy mode as a talking head on shows such as The Book Club, Randling and Q&A.
Now, he will try his hand at creating a TV show.
A comedy series adapted from Law’s debut novel exploring the funny side of familial dysfunction is reportedly in production at Matchbox Pictures – the same production company which brought us The Slap.
When we interviewed him at the book’s release, Law had this to say: “I feel like there are stories out there that go straight for laughs and that’s great. And there are stories that go straight for the heart and that’s fine as well. But I’m probably weary of each of those things, you need a balance of both. If you’re just going to be funny and snide that doesn’t always appeal to me. And if you’re going to be incredibly earnest and sentimental that doesn’t really appeal to me either. It’s a difficult balancing act.”
That should give you some indication of the general vibe of the show which is reportedly now in development at SBS.
He continues: “There’s this one story where my Mum, in a way, basically fakes her own death. She turns off all her phones so no one can call her and just sends us into this despairing panic about whether she’s okay or not. And at the time I thought that was crazy but given some time away from the situation and after some heated words you can start to see why someone would react in that way.”
Producer duties will reportedly fall to Matchbox Pictures co-founder and Australian film and television veteran, Tony Ayres.