Wolf like me

Wolf like me

There’s a reason Mary (Isla Fisher) always runs away when honesty is demanded of her Wolf like me. He has baggage.

Just not the type that Gary (Josh Gad) – or any other thinking, rational human being – would expect to find on a first date.

Stan’s new 6 × 30 min drama filmed in Adelaide is described as “a genre bender” and to say much more would be something of a spoiler. But when he was heavily hinted at at the end of the first episode it was an unexpected surprise.

Up until that point I was settling into another modern relationship drama, about a single father and daughter looking for their perfect wife/mom (hey Gary, try Blue for some nice parenting skills?).

American Gary also has his cross to bear as he struggles to move on after the death of his Australian wife. But he chose to stay in Adelaide with his daughter Emma (Ariel Joy Donoghue), given his strong ties to her mother’s family: Aunt Sarah (Emma Lung) and Uncle Ray (Anthony Taufa). Emma wants her father to be happy, but still has panic attacks, exacerbated by a bad car accident with Mary’s vehicle.

When Mary, an advice columnist, later drops by their house to apologize for the collision, she begins a connection with Gary that takes them both to dark places. Did fate bring them together? Can they fight it? Could they love each other enough to love someone else?

The metaphors, dramatized in writer/director Abe Forsythe’s genre twist, fly thick and fast once unveiled, becoming the most interesting thing about an otherwise sweet and small relationship drama.

Dad Gad in a suit and quirky Fisher handle the stuff with sincerity. It’s probably one of his more adventurous roles, but was it really necessary for Fisher to fake an American accent? Press releases refer to Mary’s flight from the US to Adelaide as part of her backstory, but it just seems like a choice to engage US viewers (it will screen on Peacock).

Both also rather unrealistically pass by a serious car accident, flirting with red wines well before any insurance claims are settled. Be careful, there are many car accidents, but the police are absent.

Daughter Emma is often tasked with adult responses (“You don’t have a life. You’re miserable.”) which I guess makes her something of an old soul with young eyes. Veteran Robyn Nevin will also appear as a woman with dementia, who can still offer life experience.

Having set his metaphor/twist Wolf like me it might even need to bump up the budget to live up to its genre bent and hopefully plunge into a hellish, hellish descent into mythology.

This may help distract from the lingering question of why Australian stories need to be dipped in American syrup,… a much greater baggage than what Gary and Mary have to deal with.

Wolf Like Me airs Thursdays on Stan.