Rural Drift

10:30pm Wednesday, December 29 on TV2

TV2’s brand new local comedy series, Rural Drift, follows the fortunes of a hapless Auckland resident, Orlando Stewart (Orlando Stewart, Feedback), as he heads blindly into the country in a desperate attempt to downsize, escape the stresses of the city and set up a small rural-based business.

When Orlando Stewart inherited his Grandma’s house up North he had a choice; sell the house, pay the bills, return to Pizza Hutt and get back on the poverty cycle, or escape and start a new life in the country.

It’s an easy choice for Orlando, and he heads to his house in the Hokianga to set up a small lifestyle farm specialising in raising featherless chickens. The dream: set up house in paradise, live off the land and bring the family down to enjoy a life of rural splendour…but the reality is something quite different again.

The majority of the series was filmed on location in the small town community of Horeke, Hokianga, and Stewart was amazed by the welcoming nature of the locals. “I’d recently visited Japan and it was astounding that four hours drive from Auckland existed a place that felt more like I’d entered another world than being in the heart of Tokyo had,” exclaims Stewart. “It was a wonderful place and the people who helped us there were incredible, as they all say up there ‘that’s how we roll in Horeke’.”

Working with family and friends was another amazing aspect of the production. Stewart says, “it’s my real life family playing themselves and many of the characters who appear are old friends playing themselves. An awesome crew and a wonderful producer – Meg Douglas – made it a deeply rewarding experience.”

Although playing yourself may seem somewhat daunting, Stewart believes this makes for a more interesting acting experience. “I’ve used my own name in quite a few shows now so it’s nothing new,” he says. “It’s kind of fun blurring the lines between yourself and a character, inventing a back-story and re-imagining yourself. The perverse exploration of a parallel version of your life gives you the free range to be a bit silly.”

Not only did Stewart enjoy toying with his split personality, the story within Rural Drift itself was a bit of wish fulfilment. “The notion of a rural lifestyle holds a certain attraction,” says Stewart. “I was also interested in the mythology of the Kiwi male and how even though the notion of the good, keen man pervades our culture, we’re basically a fairly useless bunch.

“Apart from that it was also the idea that there’s this other world that is pretty alien to suburban Pakeha existence. Having some fun with what happens when these worlds collide was at the heart of it all.”

When Orlando Stewart inherited his Aunt’s house up North he had a choice; sell the house, pay the bills, return to his job at Hell Pizza and get back on the poverty cycle… or escape and start a new life in the country.

It’s an easy choice for Orlando and he heads to his house in the Hokianga to set up a small lifestyle farm specialising in raising miniature kunekune. With no farming experience he enlists the help of his best mate Nathan an unemployed landscaper.

The dream: set up house in paradise, live off the land and bring the family down to enjoy a life of rural splendour… The reality is something quite different again.

Our camera pick’s up the action as Orlando drops his family to stay with the in-laws while he and his mate Nathan head towards Hokianga to set up a sustainable business farming miniature pigs and prepare the rundown house for Orlando’s family to move in.

Over six weeks we’ll follow their struggles to come to grips with manual labour, buying and raising animals and fitting into the Nga Puhi community who view the shabby Auckland residents with a mixture of suspicion, pity and hatred.

Armed with both limited skills and a threadbare budget, Orlando’s family’s financial future is at stake. His complete misapprehension about both rural living and the community he has imposed himself on, make his chances of success even slimmer.

Can our boys survive and thrive in a community so resistant to change?

How will our protagonist save his rural dream from becoming a nightmare?

Will Orlando fit into the tight-knit community of Maori radicals, hippies and red-necks?

Will bromance blossom between Nathan and Orlando as they embark on this rural adventure…or will their friendship be irrevocably damaged?

How will his family respond to his rural gamble?

Will Orlando’s plan to make a living raising miniature pigs as children’s pets be as successful as he thinks?

Find out and join us on Rural Drift, a satiric comedy series that deflates the number 8-wire mythology of the kiwi male and skewers the dreams of a rural lifestyle.

Like the series’ Wayne Anderson: Singer of Songs and Wayne Anderson: Glory Days the series mixes real life with scripted encounters, creating a tension between what’s been written and what’s real…

F***ed up and seriously funny Rural Drift is a cautionary tale for city folk who’re thinking of heading to the country.

A new local comedy series is set to premiere on TV2 over the Christmas holidays called Rural Drift.

The series, described as a “totally f***ed up comedy from heartland NZ”, is written by and features Orlando Stewart who viewers may remember from another new TV2 offering this year, Feedback.

The series will follow Stewart as he attempts to set up a life in the country alongside his best mate, Nathan.

The series’ Facebook page provides details of the plot:

“When Pakuranga stalwart Orlando Stewart inherits his Aunt’s house up North he has a choice; sell the house, pay the bills, return to his job at Hell Pizza and get back on the poverty cycle… or escape and start a new life in the country. 

“It’s an easy choice for Orlando and he heads to his house in the Hokianga to set up a lifestyle farm specialising in raising miniature pigs.

“With no farming experience he enlists the help of his best mate Nathan an unemployed musician. The dream: set up house in paradise, live off the land and bring the family down to enjoy a life of rural splendour… 

“The reality is something quite different again….” 

Rural Drift begins on TV2 on December 29 at 10:30pm.