Tiarnie Coupland, Ned Napier and Laurence Boxhall star in Worst Year of My Life, Again.
Tiarnie Coupland, Ned Napier and Laurence Boxhall star in Worst Year of My Life, Again. ABC TV

Schoolboy's worst year on repeat in ABC original comedy

THE iPad generation probably isn't familiar with Groundhog Day.

But the 1993 movie has a lot of similarities to the ABC's new original teen comedy, Worst Year of My Life, Again.

The series, currently airing on ABC3, centres on 14-year-old Alex King who is forced to live the "worst" year of his life all over again.

He wakes up on what he believes to be his 15th birthday, only to discover he's 14 again and all of the embarrassing and awkward moments of the past year are being repeated.

But Alex eventually realises it's also a chance for him to right some wrongs and learn from his mistakes.

Filmed in Melbourne and based on scripts written by the Australian Children's Television Foundation, the 13-part series stars a crop of young new actors.

Ned Napier plays Alex in his first major acting role.

The Scotch College graduate, who was juggling his Year 12 studies while filming the show, had some stage experience and a small, unnamed role in the Foxtel drama Tangle before auditioning for Alex.

"Apart from that, I'd never done any screen work and that was one problem in the auditions," Napier told The Guide.

"I was acting like I was on stage and luckily Louise Mitchell, who cast it, could see through the major overacting that I would be able to tone it back."

Alex tells his two best friends Simon and Maddy about his groundhog year dilemma and they help him try to alter his fate.

Through the course of the series it becomes clear Maddy wants Alex to be more than a friend.

"Alex has no idea," Napier said.

"It's all over the top of his head. He doesn't expect it from the girl he's been friends with since they were three or four years old."

Alex's time warp also helps him get the better of his arch nemesis and bully Parker.

"I think Parker bullies Alex because he's a bit intimidated by Alex," he said.

"In every situation they get into, Alex almost always ends up coming out looking better or stronger because nearly everything goes his way."

 In this week's April Fools episode Alex uses his second chance to turn the tables on Simon to become a champion prankster, rather than the butt of the joke.

Worst Year of My Life, Again - ABC3 - Saturdays at 6pm



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