ABC2’s eight part dramedy I Rock wrapped up last week and I think I could probably quite neatly sum up my reaction to the final two episodes with the following in-depth commentary: “Meh.”
OK, so there were a few moderately amusing moments as Nash, the lead singer of Boy Crazy Stacey, found himself reduced to playing acoustic open mic nights and being drowned out by the pub’s ATM machine. I definitely snorted out loud a little when the performer before him announced her song as being the first step in her post break-up healing journey, “It’s called “I Love You, But I Don’t Really Think Much of Your Heroin Addiction.’” I even cracked a smile when during their big showdown Nash referred to his rival — lesbian rockstar Cara Killjoy — as “the Queen of the Pixies” (she’s so tiny and angry!) but otherwise all the jokes were pretty hollow.
And what exactly, you ask, happened to Comet and Cara’s relationship? Believe me, I’m asking the same thing. [Warning: full spoilers ahead] As the final episodes progress, the relationship between the two women sort of fizzles without explanation. Episode Seven shows Nash’s insecurities played out in force as he witnesses the two women laughing together about his failings with their friends. The couple are shown being affectionate and making out in public, although tensions are obviously building as Cara rubbishes Comet’s on-stage banter to the crowd mid-show, saying “Don’t listen to her — she’ll say anything to get people to like her!”
The next time we see Cara, she’s storming down the street and crying, telling Nate that Comet has packed her bags and left without a note. In the final episode, she turns up at Nate’s house, blind drunk first thing in the morning, saying she messed up because she really loved Comet. Her last scene consists of her collapsed and sobbing on Nash’s bed, being comforted by the whole band who keep making everything worse. Comet on the other hand is assumed to have left the same way she arrived, hitching her way out of town and onto the next gig, a hard living, rock’ n roll free spirit.
The finale culminates in Boy Crazy Stacey attending the Aria Awards (Australia’s Grammies) since their disastrous attempt at a music video has found fame on YouTube as an unintentional spoof.
Once on stage they attempt to channel Nirvana’s infamous Top of the Pops performance by deliberately sabotaging their own set in a show of rebellion against the workings of the music industry that’s ignored them for so long.
The punchline to Comet’s story occurs as she turns up just in time to hear Nash dedicating a fairly cringe-worthy love song to her. While the whole band is on stage accepting their music video award together she tells him there’s something she needs to say. He has a declaration of his own to make so on the count of three, they decide to say it together. “I’m in love with you!” he blurts out, at the same time as she admits “I’m 16! And three months! I got the train here from my parents’ house.”
ABC confirms that there are no plans to make a second series of the show, so it appears the story ends here: Cara brokenhearted, Nash smitten with a schoolgirl and Comet’s story unraveling, while Boy Crazy Stacey have either just trashed their career for good or finally made a name for themselves.
Over all it’s been a fun and silly ride, with a few amusing one-liners I totally intend to steal and while it’s not been exactly groundbreaking it has at least portrayed a couple of queer women (including a bisexual woman, er, girl who remains in a relationship with a woman for the entire series) as being no more dysfunctional than anyone else…and rocking out just as hard, while I Rock rides off into a slightly mediocre, beer-stained, greasy-haired horizon.