Melanie Bracewell says she has no intention of ragging on “television’s night of nights” and has embraced her nomination for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent with absolutely no sense of irony.
The decision to admit she’s excited for the Logies and could be in with a chance to win – with the acknowledgement that anyone could take it out because it’s a “stacked” category – appears to buck the comedic trend of making fun of the event, its pomp, its politics and its personalities.
“I genuinely, I love an event. I love something to get dressed up for and go out. There’s no sense of irony for me. I feel like I’m going to the Oscars. I’m going to get my tan. I’m going to get my facial this week. I’m going to get my nails done. I feel like it’s my wedding, you know? That’s the sort of preparation I’m putting into it,” she told Variety Australia ahead of the event.
“So whilst I love being a comedian, I, more than that, love free food and the chance to wear a nice dress.”
She doubled down on her Logies love, saying even as a New Zealand-native, the Australian television sector’s awards carried a certain weight and sense of occasion.
“The Logies, as a New Zealander, is something that I was aware of and know of. So it’s got a real legacy, even to people who haven’t lived in Australia their whole life,” she said.
Perhaps what she wasn’t aware of though, was just how seriously Australians take television, and how much they engage with it.
“I think my biggest challenge was [that in] New Zealand, the engagement with television, I think, is so much lower than the engagement with television in Australia. People still watch TV [in New Zealand], but you’ll never see someone tweet a hashtag about a TV show. People are watching it so passively.
“Whereas I think in Australia, people are actively putting things on and have stuff to say about everything, so that can sometimes get overwhelming.”
Despite the constant feedback loop, Bracewell said she loves working on Network 10’s “The Cheap Seats” alongside Tim McDonald and its small crew.
“We had so much fun making the show and everyone has been pretty much positive and really kind about it, and people stop us in the street and say ‘We love the show’. So I think most of the time, it’s been positivity and love.”
Plus, she said, markers for success were initially set very low for “The Cheap Seats”.
“The great thing about the show is that we kind of had low expectations for ourselves. The network had low expectations. We were just filling a slot that was usually “NCIS” repeats. So there was a really low bar to sort of clamber over,” she laughed.
“So every time we get another season, or we do an episode that we’re proud of, we are stoked.
“Essentially, me and Tim, our biggest worry was that, we’re working with Working Dog, who are this amazing company who have put out gold after gold after gold, and you just don’t really want to be the person that ruins their legacy, where people go ‘Oop, that’s where they jumped the shark.’ That’s essentially the bar we’re trying to clear.”
Bracewell might have a slightly higher bar to clear on Sunday night as she faces off against Alessandra Rampolla (“Married at First Sight”), Carlos Sanson Jr (“Bump”), Matt Evans (“Home and Away”), Tony Armstrong (“News Breakfast”) and Will Lodder (“Love Me”) in her category.
She admitted the category is “stacked” and she hadn’t invested much in the way of campaign slogans (“Yea, go and vote for me if you like,” she quipped at the end of the interview).
“My chances? I don’t know. I’d like to think I’ve got a shot, but it’s a stacked field of people from all sorts of different things, so I’d be happy for anyone to take it out,” she said.
“This year is a special year as well because it has been cancelled the past few years, [so] it’s a bigger pool from the last three years of shows. To be picked out, it’s a real honour,” she added.
As it’s such a big night, she said she hasn’t planned too far ahead.
“I think it would be a bad omen to write a speech or anything,” she said. “It looks awkward when you watch the awards shows and then you see someone sort of put a bit of paper back into their pocket quite sadly.
“So I’m more focussed on having a really good night and putting a little bit of a campaign out there, but for the most part just looking forward to having a party, having a boogie.”
The full list of nominees for the 2022 TV Week Logies is available here. Voting for the nominated actors, personalities and shows is open until the Red Carpet segment of the evening ends. You can vote here.