Patrick Brammall with his co-star ‘Colin’. Photography: courtesy of Binge

PATRICK BRAMMALL IS NOT above scatological humour. The first season of Colin from Accounts — the romcom television series he writes, creates and stars in alongside his wife, fellow Australian actor Harriet Dyer — includes plot points about an indestructible turd thrown out of a window, a sleepwalking urination incident, workplace flatulence and the implications of dating someone whose last name is Crapp. “It turns out people love that stuff,” he says, speaking to me from the car in LA, where he and Dyer now live.

Colin from Accounts, which – never fear – has nothing to do with accounting, kicks off when Ashley, an erratic medical student in her late 20s, spontaneously flashes her bare breast at Gordon, a chronically single, 40-something brewery owner, leading to a minor car crash, an injured dog (the show’s namesake) and an eventual romance. While it’s a meet-cute that undeniably leans into silliness, the show’s absurd humour is a Trojan horse for earnest examination of the emotional complexity and blurry motivations of two people who share an obvious connection but can’t get out of their own way enough to let it develop.

“We started with broad comedy, then wound that back a little once we got your attention and trust,” explains Brammall. “The second half of the season actually has a lot of dramatic moments.”

Although the couple were already living in the US when Dyer began writing the show back in 2017, it’s set in Sydney, with a distinctly Australian lexicon and point of view. “That’s our foundation – what we know and grew up with — and the Australian vernacular and way of communicating is just funny to us,” says Brammall. “We weren’t necessarily making a show for the world; we were making a show that we thought was good and that was really just for Australia.”

Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall as Ashley and Gordon in Colin from Accounts Season 2. Photography: courtesy of Binge
Michael Logo as bartender Brett in Colin from Accounts Season 2. Photography: courtesy of Binge

Colin from Accounts has resonated with local audiences, winning the Gold Logie for Most Outstanding Comedy and Silver Logies for Most Outstanding Actor and Actress at last year’s awards and securing a second season with streaming platform Binge. But while Australians are used to consuming foreign content, Brits and Americans are coming around to television with quirky Aussie accents and niche references that may go over their heads; the show achieved word-of-mouth success after being picked up by the BBC in the UK and Paramount+ in the US.

Brammall only fully realised the extent of its international cachet when he and Dyer were invited to London to present the award for Best International Series at last year’s BAFTA Awards. “I’ve been lucky enough to have people occasionally recognise me throughout my career,” he reflects. “You get used to that look that people give you before they say, ‘Hey, I like your show’ or whatever. But at the BAFTAs, everyone was greeting us like we were long-lost friends. I’ve never experienced anything like it and neither has Harry. We were like, ‘Oh, wow, this show has really done something here’.”

“Brits and Americans are COMING AROUND to television with QUIRKY AUSSIE ACCENTS and niche references”

Across his 20 years as a professional actor, Brammall has played a young Rupert Murdoch, a cop dealing with his ex-wife’s unexpected return from the dead, and as the voice of Uncle Rad in Bluey, an animated canine who works on an oil rig. At face value, the daggy but endearing Gordon — the kind of guy who visits LA once then names his craft-beer business after the trendy neighbourhood Echo Park — is on the more relatable end of the spectrum.

“Energetically and tonally, I can inhabit Gordon very easily,” says Brammall. “But there are circumstances of his life that I don’t relate to: he’s a Peter Pan who’s never settled down and has all these fears about life and commitment. That’s not me at all.”

While Brammall and Dyer may pilfer their own witty repartee for their onscreen counterparts, in their actual relationship, they’ve embraced commitment with zeal. In an extremely romcom turn of events, the pair got married in Florida in 2021, just five days after Brammall proposed. Later that year, they adopted their daughter Joni. Between working on Colin from Accounts and raising a toddler, Brammall and Dyer have fused their personal and professional lives to the extent that they basically “do everything together”.

“It’s a balance that you have to give a lot of energy to . . . Like anything, if you leave it untended, it could get out of control and be too intense,” admits Brammall. “We’re very careful to make space for each other and ourselves.”

However, during intensive periods of shooting and editing — Brammall is in the final stages of editing season two when we speak — they let go of any semblance of work-life balance. “Knowing that it won’t always be super-busy helps you appreciate those times,” he says.

“It’s a bit feast or famine in our business. You’ve got to try and enjoy the feast, even when you’re feeling full.”

Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall as Ashley and Gordon in Colin from Accounts Season 2. Photography: courtesy of Binge

When we left off with Gordon and Ashley at the conclusion of season one, they were regretting their decision to rehome Colin with a smugly pristine family whose bratty daughter was determined to rebrand him as Peppi. In addition to resolving Colin’s fate, season two promises to add depth to Gordon’s backstory by introducing his family and interrogating whether he and Ashley do, in fact, make sense as a couple.

“That first season was asking, ‘Will they or won’t they?’” says Brammall. “By the end of the season, they did. Thematically, the next season will ask, ‘Well, should they have? How good of a fit are they actually?’”

Season two of Colin from Accounts premieres on BINGE on May 30.

This story appears in the May/June 2024 issue of Esquire Australia, on sale now.


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