Dark sci-fi comedy Creamerie is back with more juicy satire and increased intensity

New Zealand dystopian comedy Creamerie impressed at the height of the pandemic, set in a world where men have been eliminated by a plague (or have they?). Its new season ups the ante, writes Amelia Berry.

In March this year, bizarro far-right thought leader Jordan Peterson tweeted out a video of male-milking fetish porn. It’s… pretty much exactly what you would imagine, if you’ve got quite a filthy imagination. With his accompanying caption “such fun in unbelievable techno-nightmare CCP hell”, you have to guess that he mistook the video for illicit footage, smuggled daringly from some communist prison camp-cum-torturous human sperm farm (‘cum’ here being Latin for ‘with’, obviously).

That this is pretty much exactly the premise for NZ dark sci-fi comedy Creamerie, speaks to the juiciness of the show’s satire—tapping into anxieties around gender, scarcity, ‘Wellness culture’, and cults of personality, years before even Mr. Cult-of-Personality himself even thought to be anxious about them.

Now back for season two, Creamerie picks up right where season one left off. A terrible plague has destroyed 99% of men. In a small town in rural Aotearoa, three women who run a dairy farm (JJ Fong, Ally Xue, and Perlina Lau) discover a lone surviving male (Jay Ryan). In trying to discover the truth about men, the virus, and The Safe Place, they discover that [SPOILERS] the wellness cult that runs their village has set up Jordan Peterson’s nightmare—an evil jizz-milking prison complex in a bid to take full control of human reproduction!

While season one wrung a lot of drama from tensely-played social pressure, season two throws us right into action-adventure mode. It’s a ratcheting up of pace and intensity that feels like a natural evolution for season two, and director Roseanne Liang carries it off well with some of the best-looking scenes of the series so far. And while the first season certainly wasn’t afraid to tackle difficult content, the new season ups the ante again, managing some chilling set-pieces without ever crossing the line into gratuitous (that being said—big CW for lynching).

Shifting the focus away from the Handmaid’s Tale-meets-Wicker Man cult of season one, season two immediately manages to give more context and dimension to our existing characters. Jay Ryan’s Bobby gets to play his staunch stoicism off against an array of Dorito-chewing man-babies. Meanwhile, Xue and Fong as Alex and Jamie find themselves at odds with their long-sought freedom fighters who don’t quite live up to the title.

The supporting cast was already stacked with local legends—Tandi Wright, Kimberly Crossman, Rachel House—but with the discovery of a few more men, Creamerie adds David Correos and Josh Thomson to the mix. Anybody who saw the second season of Taskmaster NZ will be overjoyed to see a bit more Correos on the screen, and while he’s more or less playing himself, his self is pretty damn fun to watch.

Thomson, on the other hand, brings a surprising amount of gravitas to a role that could have been quite silly. A former advertising exec, left to craft wooden toothbrushes in a run down survivalist camp, he delivers a monologue in episode two about something so mind-bogglingly stupid, and with such Shakespearian earnestness, that it becomes a memorable high point for the show.

Creamerie has always walked a difficult line between its goofy sense of humour and its often gruesome content. With season two managing to be both goofier and more harrowing in just its first two episodes, this is definitely going to be a sticking point for some viewers—but even if a scene or two doesn’t land, its four central characters feel so lived-in and its storytelling is so compelling that it’s more than worth sitting through a few tonal roadbumps.

Season one of Creamerie was very of the moment—a plague story that dropped in lockdown, with a premise that drew more than a few comparisons to zeitgeisty TV shows Y: The Last Man and The Handmaid’s Tale. But even in our not-actually-post-pandemic world, and with the power of hand cream and raw water influencers seemingly on the wane, season two proves that Creamerie is long-life, shelf-stable, and with that full-cream taste that’ll have you coming back for more. Such fun in unbelievable techno-nightmare Hiro Valley hell!