‘Inky Pinky Ponky’: A New Kind of Teenage Romcom

Inky Pinky Ponky, co-directed by Ramon Te Wake (DEGANZ), offers a new take on the classic high school romcom, cementing itself in the hearts of young LGBTQIA+ and Pasifika viewers.

Based on the real-life experiences of co-writer and lead actress Amanaki Prescott-Faletau, the show opens as Lisa, a fakaleitī (transgender) student, starts at her fourth high school after countless struggles with bullying. However, this year looks like it could be different when the captain of the first XV rugby team, Mose, takes an interest in her. Unknown to Lisa, Mose’ friends dared him to make her fall in love with him. Surprisingly to Mose, he catches genuine feelings for her in the process.

Through the single hour-long episode, Lisa navigates intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry in her day-to-day life as a high school girl. In addition to typical struggles teenagers face, like insecurity and self-discovery, Lisa grapples with bathroom politics and the school’s use of her dead name. The show also explores the early stages of Lisa’s relationship with Mose, highlighting how the relationship will come with more baggage than the typical high school relationship.

Lisa’s home life is also highlighted through her strained relationship with her conservative Catholic Tongan mother, who struggles to accept Lisa’s identity.

The show has received great praise for its accurate and authentic representation of the Pasifika and rainbow communities. While acknowledging Lisa’s traumas, the show ultimately celebrates the triumphs of queer adolescence.

You can watch Inky Pinky Ponky on MĀORI+2 now before it streams internationally on The Coconet TV on 20 July!

Last updated on 6 July 2023