Mates on a roll

MATTHEW HOGAN

Before they garnered heaps of hits for their bromantic comedy Bondi Hipsters, Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier were carving individual paths to internet superstardom.

Van Vuuren's tale was told on a recent Australian Story, which chronicled his unexpected bout of tuberculosis leading to six months in quarantine, where he passed the time by making YouTube videos as The Fully Sick Rapper, some of which earned over a million views.

Meanwhile, Boshier had struck viral gold in 2008 with his Trent From Punchy video, a crudely shot film in which he featured as a foul-mouthed enigmatic junkie with a mullet, which led to millions of hits and countless conspiracy theories debating the character's legitimacy.

A few months after the Trent video, Boshier debuted a cartoon he helped write and direct, Beached Az, another success leading to an ABC TV show.

The pair's online hits led to them being invited to talk at a YouTube seminar, where they first met.

"Christiaan had recently gotten out of hospital and that was the first time that I'd seen his videos and they were hilarious," Boshier recalls.

"I creatively courted him after that. I thought 'He's really good and he's really funny and I want to work with him because he's really funny'."

The wooing soon led to an idea of Van Vuuren's coming to fruition. Dom and Adrian the Bondi Hipsters were born and their highly viral videos led to music festival appearances, television commercials and now their long-awaited ABC2 six-part series.

Instead of following just the hipsters in their attempt to get their underground fashion label on to runways it was decided that an additional six characters from three different time periods would be brought in to complete the show.

Set 50,000 years ago, cavemen Rocky and Sticks are discovering life and love for the first time, while Kiwi assassins Roger Blade and Terry Thinge are helping protect New Zealand interests in 1981, with their first assignment seeing them attempt to bring a young Russell Crowe back to his homeland.

"Gladiator is Christiaan's favourite movie and I think he is a phenomenal actor, he's just so masculine and alpha," Boshier explains.

"Because Australia has stolen Russell Crowe in many ways - he was born and bred in Auckland - we play into the point of owning him and try to change history a little bit, so we thought it would be hilarious to have Kiwi assassins come and reclaim Rusty at a young age."

The fourth incarnation of the best mates is set in 2093 and sees the two working together in a time-travel agency in tropical Antarctica.

The completely melted polar ice cap isn't the only thing that's changed, as the team decided to play on fears of the Tony Abbott government.

"We made it a feminised, independent world where time travel exists, instead of painting the future as this Blade Runner-like bleak place because we just thought it would be fun," Boshier explains. "Everything was recycled, everything was female dominated and straight white men were the oppressed minority."