Hulu’s Koala Man creators explain the show’s unique twist

Despite the certifiable “adult animation” boom, a few series released by streaming services in recent years have struck a balance between comedy and sensation. family has been strengthened. Soon Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers like S rank. But Koala can become one of them.

Created by Michael Cusack (Smiling Friends), a new Hulu series centered on Kevin (Cusack), a tough middle-aged father of two who is struggling with his lowly day job working for the Big Crocodile Hunter. Greg (Hugh Jackman) while disguised as the helpless crime fighter Koala Man at night. To tie the show together, which revolves around family life with Kevin and his wife, Vicky (Sarah Snook), and the more accidental, magical feats of Koala Man, Cusack teamed up with Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty) and hosts Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit (Detective Pikachu).

Samit told Polygon: “In this day and age, it’s difficult to launch any kind of show because there’s so much out there. “So we knew from the start that we needed something to set the show apart from everything else out there. We have a couple of things that work for us: Michael Cusack’s distinctive voice and perspective; Australia of all makes it a little more unique than most things you see on American TV; And we tried to put in the movie a little more optimism and heart than what I think you see in a lot of adult cartoons these days. There is not much doubt in Koala.”

Creators can easily size the adult animation scene, calculate trends, then predict exactly what the market might be looking for. If the viewer cannot distinguish between Chicago Party Aunt and Paradise PD, they can view both. But Hernandez said, while sitting on the hot seat of a comedy like KoalaIt’s almost impossible to “read what people might want” and is really funny.

“So I think for us, one of the things that we also decided very early on was: Let’s just do what we think is the best show we can. And let’s free ourselves from the results and really focus on what we as a team and us as the showrunners, think what’s funny and what’s not. makes us laugh as well as what’s specific to this show and doesn’t shy away from some of the weirder things.

For Samit and Hernandez, that included an episode involving a “giant alien sex demon,” an action-packed take on the cowboy bebopand an episodic homage to the 1971 chase movie Disappearance point, in which Kevin must cross the Outback to return his son’s coat. And because the team didn’t have to “make it less Australian, or get rid of some of the crazier stuff,” Hernandez said, there’s obviously also a Mad Max moment, the final franchise from the bottom up.

Koala Man tells giant tomato monster to take down his daughter

Image: Hulu

But as Samit emphasizes, clinging to the emotional core of Koala was the final twist to a familiar formula – and its writing partners came to it from a slightly different place than most of their contemporaries. While the two started acting in more adult-themed comedies like 1600 PennSamit and Hernandez have spent the past few years in the trenches about G and PG fares like Detective Pikachu, Addams Family 2, and the upcoming Disney film based on EPCOT’s mascot Figment. Series of projects culminating in Koala.

When you’re a scriptwriter for something like our first show, 1600 Penn, much of what you’re doing is learning how to mimic your host’s style and capture the voice of what your boss is looking for. So you’re spending a lot of time writing what you wouldn’t write in a vacuum; I would write in the style of Bill Pullman or Jenna Elfman or Josh Gad. When we wrote the movie The Addams Family, it wasn’t very different – you know who the fourth is. And it’s really an invaluable lesson because sometimes when you’re the host, someone can introduce something that’s actually the coolest thing you’ve ever heard, but makes the character sell out. exceed. And a joke can be really funny, but you might have to say, ‘Based on who Kevin is, I don’t think he would say this.’

“So the jobs seem different, but for us it’s always been about the big characters, the big world, and how to keep the structure of those things intact while telling the stories now. .”

If that sounds too sincere, please keep in mind: Koala Part 1 features a giant alien sex monster.

All eight episodes of Koala season 1 is now streaming on Hulu.

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