Michael Cusack has had quite the year. As an Australian-based artist, Cusack quickly rose to prominence thanks to the resounding success of his Adult Swim series Smiling Friends, in addition to the renewal of his other Adult Swim series, YOLO: Silver Destiny. Its simplistic yet appealing art style combined with surreal humor based on Australian culture proved to be a hit, catching the eye of streaming titan Hulu. After contributing a short film for Hulu’s Paloni Show Halloween Special, Hulu will now host Cusack’s latest Australian-themed series: Koala Man.
The series will be yet another comedy under Cusack’s belt, though it’ll take a more traditional sitcom approach, relatively speaking, of course. Instead of a pair of Australian partiers or a duo trying to make people smile, we have a family man who also moonlights as a marsupial superhero, presumably facing both the external threats and the internal struggle of his work-life balance.
That’s all we know about Hulu’s Koala Man.
Koala Man: the plot
The official plot synopsis for Koala Man provided by Hulu is as follows.
“Koala Man follows middle-aged father Kevin and his not-so-secret titular identity, whose only superpower is a burning passion to follow the rules and quell pretty crime in the town of Dapto. Though it may look like any other Australian suburb, the forces of evil, both cosmic and man-made, are waiting to pounce on unsuspecting Daptonians. On a quest to clean up his hometown and often dragging his frustrated family on his adventures, Koala Man stands ready. He’ll do whatever it takes to defeat evil masterminds, supernatural horrors, or worse: morons who don’t take out their trash cans on the appropriate days. »
Given a setup like this, we can expect a litany of goofy situations. Koala Man stands alongside Pim and Rachel from Cusack’s previous works as some of the most grounded characters in reality, a necessity to give audiences a break from all the mania. Koala Man, however, seems like someone who cares enough about his home to take matters into his own hands, and while his efforts might be a bit misguided, that makes him someone the public will likely want to cheer on despite his shortcomings.
Cusack’s work often descends into insanity when it comes to conflict: warring “Bush wizards,” overly aggressive partygoers, and lethargic giants often take situations to hilarious extremes before resolving them the way they do. the most nonchalant. A verbal disagreement can often start from scratch, quickly escalate, and then just as quickly dissolve into nothingness as the parties involved go on with their day. It will be interesting to see how this kind of humor is used with a traditional sitcom cast, especially with some of the more offbeat elements featured in recent promotional material.
Koala Man: cast and crew
Much like Cusack’s other projects, Cusack himself will star as the eponymous Koala Man, with Australian voice actors Sara Snook and Demi Lardner likely making up the rest of the Koala Man family. Snook is one of the main cast members of HBO’s Succession, in addition to making appearances in films like Winchester, An American Pickle, and Steve Jobs. Lardner, meanwhile, has collaborated with Australian comedy group Aunty Donna on a handful of projects and had a few minor roles in Drunk History: Australia.
What’s particularly interesting is that Hugh Jackman has been confirmed as a guest voice for the series, per Entertainment Weekly, marking one of the few times the Australian-born actor has taken on a voice acting role. Other guest voices include Hugo Weaving (The Matrix), Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarok), Jarrad Wright (The Big Lez Show), and Jermaine Clement (What We Do In the Shadows).
Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty fame will also join the show’s team as executive producer. Given his previous partnerships with Cusack, that’s a good sign of the quality Koala Man will bring to the table.
Koala Man will premiere on Hulu on January 9, 2023.
Koala Man: everything else
Cusack’s previous work has always been a little off: goofy humor, esoteric references to Australian culture, and a lack of coherent logic often lead to hysterical, surreal storylines. This is especially prevalent in YOLO: Silver Destiny. However, with what we know about the series, it’s possible that Koala Man will try to slow things down a bit, presenting a more digestible series that can appeal to more people while retaining the hallmarks of Cusack’s previous work.
If you didn’t know, a pair of characters from one of Cusack’s web series, Damo and Darren, can be found in Koala Man. The web series followed a pair of lower-class Australian bogans, essentially boorish Aussie rednecks, on their boring daily adventures, often accompanied by swearing after every other word and petty misdemeanors. The two can be briefly seen in a video showcase of the series and in the background of the show’s official poster.