02nd Dec2020

‘Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

I can honestly say that I have never imagined anything, in my entire life, as chaotic as Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun  – the new sketch-based comedy show available on Netflix. This series is brought to you by the creative team called simply Aunty Donna (comprised of Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly and Zachary Ruane), who I personally never heard of before, and they play strange characters based on themes levels in a weird cartoon-esque world. From my research, I have discovered that this team are based in Australia… and so there are many Australians specific references that I did not understand. I found a video which pointed out all theses references but I still did not understand any of these due to being from the totally other side of the planet. This show does promote this comedy groups which is fundamentally the main purpose that people create Netflix style shows. I believe that the show is a light comedy series that is a welcomed relief to the current Covid-19 pandemic but I also think it has been created as also a direct response to lockdown restrictions, as it is entirely set in the household environment. While I understand this is a studio that has been designed as such, I believe that the point of the strange cartoon elements and comedy inclusion is an attempt to convince people that they can still have fun at home… if they use their creativity correctly!

Each episode in Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun has a specific focus such as “treasure” and “housemate,” which does provide a logical story throughout the episode that viewers can follow. However, the episodes themselves do link to one another, which does make the show a very easy to watch. All the episodes in this series are only around 25 minutes and are full of short sketches and so naturally the pace of the show is very fast. However the creative team behind this comedy series has carefully thought about this fact as the sketches are long enough to not feel rushed at all, which is great to see. There are a lot of cartoonish elements in the show – for example they have a flying computer and a talking washing machine with eyes which in certain senses was childish but I think this was the whole point! Due to the cartoonish elements and short sketches, the show does have an overall almost pantomime feel to its delivery and I believe, in my personal opinion, lends itself well to a YouTube series. The show is full of ridiculous characters, cheesy songs (including an over-the-top number about everything being a drum which appears in the opening moments of the show).

Despite the cartoon-inspired elements, Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun is very much made for adults. There is constant strong language throughout the whole series and there are many jokes that a younger audience may not understand; but if an audience is mature enough for the strong language then they will absolutely be able to take something from the show. There are several guest appearances but overall my favourite had to be by one Awesome Kong. For those who don’t know Kia Stevens (who plays the wrestling personality Awesome Kong and Kharma from TNA and WWE respectively.) I have seen Kia in Glow (which is another Netflix original series about women wrestlers) but have never particularly thought of her as a comedy actress but her seriousness contrasted with the general theme of the show perfectly in a comedic way.

Overall, Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun was an easy watch that promotes this comedy group which is the main purpose of these types of shows. The show is very hilarious with a cartoon/pantomime inspired delivery throughout. There are many cheesy songs and wonderful characters which make a unique show to watch. I would recommend it to people who enjoy shows that dance between real-life experience and animated series with lots of comedy sprinkled throughout!

*** 3/5

Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun is available to watch on Netflix now.


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