Life in rural Asphodel Heights isn’t so exciting for teenager Chester (Henry Strand), who dreams of becoming a graphic novelist.
But at least she has best friend, the vivacious Mapplethorpe (Stacy Clausen) to inject some spark into the routine.
The boys are big as thieves, skateboarding to school, where goofy teacher Ms. Wiest (Judith Lucy) welcomes new teenager Violetta (Hannah Ogawa) into class.
There’s local bully Ricky (Hugh Nakamura) and parental pressure (Bernard Curry, Katherine Tonkin, Alexandra Schepisi).
But there’s also an abandoned theme park, Crazy amusement parkhome to a rundown carousel, rickety old roller coasters, a clown sideshow alley, and all kinds of pinball machines and fortune teller booths.
This is where Chester, Mapplethorpe and Violetta bond when the latter takes pictures for a photography project. Having free rein on the empty park is like a teenage dream come true, but be careful it doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Because there are spirits lurking in the electrical system and a ghostly presence in these old rides.
But when Chester and Violet get close, the boisterous Mapplethorpe finds himself outside, prompting him to visit Crazy amusement park late one night. This is where the series makes its biggest shift where the afterlife comes to the fore.
Writer/director Nicholas Verso takes a vivid new approach to death as a subject for his teenage audience, and with only one episode available to preview I’m not entirely sure where the series travels from here.
But the young cast, led by Henry Strand, Stacy Clausen and Hannah Ogawa, is strong, while production designer Paddy Reardon is to be commended for building a convincing empty theme park, no doubt on a budget.
Crazy amusement park it’s much darker than it suggests, but with a sense of wonder, which should entertain children looking for something offbeat and Aussie.
Crazy Fun Park airs Sunday January 1st at 6pm on ABC ME.