2 best friends in a charming Aussie comedy about friendship

  • Celia Pacquola (right) and Luke McGregor in a scene from “Rosehaven.” SundanceTV via AP

  • This image released by SundanceTV shows Celia Pacquola, right, and Luke McGregor in a scene from "Rosehaven." The series is set in Australia, where McGregor's character returns to his rural hometown to run his ailing mother's real-estate business. Meanwhile, Pacquola's character lands on his doorstep after her marriage goes bust. (Scott Bradshaw/SundanceTV via AP) Scott Bradshaw/SundanceTV

Associated Press
Thursday, November 02, 2017

It’s time to make two new friends: Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor.

They are real-life best friends and the creator-stars of Rosehaven, an adorable comedy set in their native Australia that has now been imported by SundanceTV. It airs Wednesday night at 1 a.m.

Rosehaven is sweet and ever-so-gently absurd. It will tickle you.

“Every now and then I really wish we were super-edgy and dark,” says Celia with a big grin splashed across her face. “But it’s not our thing. We’re silly. We like putting ourselves down. So we just wanted to do something where we play characters who are silly and nice.”

“And we wanted a show that let us re-create the dumb conversations we have with each other,” adds Luke, whose red hair matches a just-as-bright smile.

Celia: “We pitched a bunch of stuff to the network: We were a married couple, we were psychics. There was even a haunted one. Rosehaven was probably our fifth and final pitch.”

Luke: “We prepared for about three hours. Our pitch was over in seven seconds.”

Celia: “It was ‘Best friends in a small country town in Tasmania selling real estate.’ ”

Luke: “My parents are both real estate agents in Tasmania, and Celia is from a small town. So we just kind of merged the two things.”

So there it is: McGregor plays Daniel, who returns to his rural Tasmanian hometown of Rosehaven to run his ailing mother’s real-estate business. Meanwhile, Emma (played by Pacquola), his best friend from the mainland, lands on his doorstep after her marriage goes bust during her honeymoon. Their staunch friendship, and their stumbling persistence in this quirky burg, fuel the charming humor.

Luke: “We went to live with my parents in Tasmania for about a week to research the show. We got in our suits and pretended to be real estate agents. If we ever got recognized (as TV stars) we just said, ‘Our comedy didn’t work out.’ ”

Celia: “When we initially pitched it, the network was assuming the two characters would get together romantically. We said, ‘Maybe. We’ll just see.’ But what we saw was, they’re better as friends.”

Luke: “I think the only way they’ll get together is if we get married in real life. But I’m in a full-time relationship. With another person.”

Celia: “He has a very understanding girlfriend. Luke and I spend more time together than they do. I spend more time with him than I do with all my Tindr dates.”