Meet the Aussie Couple Behind Disabled-Pet Comedy Colin From Accounts

During the process of writing Colin From Accounts, the spiky Australian comedy with a sweet center that launched this year on Paramount+, creator and star Harriet Dyer decided she didn’t want to make a “doggy show,” she remembers. “She didn’t want it to be cutesy,” her co-creator, co-star and husband, Patrick Brammall, added.

Dyer was dissuaded, however, from changing the central premise, in which two lonely people, played by Dyer and Brammall, are drawn together while caring for a disabled dog, whose injury they are both inadvertently responsible for. (The alternate version: replacing the canine with an elderly woman.)

The show starts off as Ashley (Dyer), a medical student, cheekily flashes her boob to microbrewery owner Gordon (Brammall) while she’s crossing the street and he’s behind the wheel of a car. In his distraction, he hits the dog Colin, who is wandering the streets. They end up co-parenting the pup — and awkwardly falling into a relationship with each other.

Dyer started writing the pilot way back in 2017 after she had just moved to Los Angeles with Brammall, who was working on an American adaptation of his Australian series No Activity. “I was very used to working in Australia as an actor,” she says. “I had never been still.” During a hike, she thought she might try writing something. When she showed Brammall what she came up with, he was impressed. “I was like, ‘You didn’t tell me you were actually a writer,’ ” he recalls. “She said, ‘I’m not. It’s the first thing I’ve ever written.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s annoying.’ “

The title came almost “verbatim,” Brammall says, from a conversation he and Dyer had when they took on a foster dog and were throwing out potential names. “What about ‘Colin from accounts payable who’s working on the big merger,’ ” Dyer says. “We literally just said that. So that’s where Gordon and Ashley and Harriet and Patrick have some crossover. Everything is fiction, but the banter is something that we definitely rob of our own lives and put it in the show.”

And while Dyer had a moment of worrying that the inclusion of a dog might make the series too saccharine for her taste, Colin ended up being a way to mark the ways in which Gordon and Ashley’s connection evolves over the first season. “It’s almost like Colin’s a barometer for where they are,” Brammall says. But that was a happy accident: “That wasn’t a metaphor we plugged in. It was all story-based.”

This story first appeared in the June 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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