‘Colin From Accounts’ Creators Take Inspiration From Their Own ‘Insane’ Love Story for Comedy Gold

TheWrap magazine: Australian creators and stars Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer reflect on Season 1 of their underdog Paramount+ series

Colin From Accounts
"Colin From Accounts" (Credit: Paramount+)

“Colin From Accounts” is an unlikely comedy hit, but its easy charm—and outback smarm—make the Australian half hour a winning rom-com worth rooting for. Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer, husband-and-wife creator and stars who met on the set of the Australian comedy series “No Activity,” never expected their show to reach audiences beyond their home country, where “Colin” has already been named Best Narrative Comedy Series at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. But that Down Under focus was to their creative benefit. 

What has it meant to see this modest Australian comedy find traction in the U.S. on a major streamer like Paramount+?

Patrick Brammall: It’s been so satisfying and gratifying. We only ever made it for an Australian audience in the very beginning. We didn’t have our own international sales. But we were aware it was a possibility because obviously Paramount is behind it. And so there were questions as we’re making it in terms of an international market and the way we speak and some of the idioms we use. But we decided early on that it’s funniest when it’s most authentic, so we didn’t filter the way we spoke at all. We made it really true to us and our own experiences and influences from Australia, because we grew up watching American stuff, British stuff. You don’t get all the references, but it feels authentic. And if it’s funny or if it’s good, you just engage anyway. It doesn’t matter if you miss the odd word. 

Harriet Dyer: There was definitely a moment where we got some notes like, “Oh, I don’t know if Americans will really understand that.” And then we thought, well, we don’t even have a guarantee this will ever play out of Australia, so all we can do is try to make it for Aussies. Anything beyond that was a bonus. And, I mean, it’s gone to, like, 20 countries. We are not sure how that happened, but we are trying to just stay the course. Because then, of course, when you go into making a second season, you wonder, What was it that was popular? And it was just us doing our thing. We’re just going to keep doing that, follow our own tastes and sensibilities.

P.B.: I recently saw an interview from the late great Barry Humphries, and he talks about being in the “cheering up” business. And that really struck a chord with me. The whole point of [this show] is to delight people, make people feel good, make people feel connected. The show is funny, it has lots of funny stuff in it, but it’s really about embracing the chaos of life and just embracing the s–tstorm. 

H.D.: And you used to be in the “making people depressed” business, didn’t you?

P.B.: I had stock in the “making people depressed” business. But honestly, it just doesn’t pay enough. 

I’m glad that you point out that thesis of embracing the mess of life. Through these two characters, you see the craziness of falling in love. One of the lines in the Season 1 finale is that you feel “insane” for feeling the way you do for each other. Does that dynamic mirror your own? Do you write to that? 

H.D.: We definitely write to our strengths because we’d shoot ourselves in the foot to not. But I’ve gone and made Ashley a medical student and a doctor, which is someone who is … 

P.B.: Heaps smarter than you. 

H.D.: Heaps smarter. “Hot Dumb-Dumb,” that’s what they call me. But, you know, I tried to make her a bit more of a grown up. There’s certain things about Ashley and Gordon that don’t really feel like us, but I definitely feel like it’s our comedy and the way we use language, for sure.

P.B.: The way the two characters connect with banter and sort of one-upping each other and finishing each other’s sentences, that is very similar to a version of us. 

H.D.: And also, definitely, Patty said that he felt insane.

P.B.: Yeah, that line is from when we were falling in love. Before that, I never really understood the expression – of course, understood – but felt “falling in love.” Why falling? And it did feel like falling – completely out of control, insane. You know, what the f–k is going on? And so there was a big part of that that went into this.

H.D.: You crashed a lot of cars during that time.

P.B.: Killed a lot of people. But it’s very different now. And look, seven arrests, but no actual convictions. Untouchable.

A version of this story first appeared in the Race Begins issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.

Read more from our Races Begins issue here.

Feud: Capote vs. The Swans cover
Photographed by Molly Matalon for TheWrap


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.