TV Review – Les Norton: Wrongside

TL;DR – Continues one of the best Aussie pilots I have seen in a while by taking everything up a notch.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Les Norton: Wrongside. Image Credit: ABC TV.


Last week I kind of stumbled upon a new gem in Australian TV with the show Les Norton that immediately stamped its presence in the media landscape. It was brash, it was funny, it also was a little absurd at times all while a friendly narrator (Angus Sampson) told us how bad poor old Les (Alexander Bertrand) was doing. However, getting out of the gate is one thing, but can you keep running the race, well that is a different question that we will try to find the answer today as we politely ignore why a horse racing metaphor is an apt description.

So to set the scene, in last week’s You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids, Les inadvertently helped cover up the murder of a local brothel madam Doreen Bognor (Rebel Wilson) by filling up a foundation at a new handball court for his boss Price Galese (David Wenham). All well and good, well sorry no, just one small problem, local muscle and slightly off quilter bodyguard Eddie Salita (Justin Rosniak) accidentally dropped his boss’ keys, for his expensive car, in the concrete with all that incriminating evidence. Well at least nothing else can go wrong, but wait what is that strapped to the engine of Price’s car. From here we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there may be [SPOILERS] ahead.

Les Norton: Wrongside. Image Credit: ABC TV.
Les Norton, jumps from serious to amusing to absurd in a heartbeat. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Last week’s episode had to do a lot of the heavy lifting with setting up the characters and the main story thrust. So it was nice this week that we got a bit of breathing room and some time to flesh out some of the supporting characters. We got to see a bit more at what drives our two coppers in Sgt Ray ‘Thumper’ Burrell (Steve Le Marquand) and Const. Emily Gold (Syd Zygier). For Thumper, it is all about being perceived as being in control, being the top dog, even though he is in all reality just the lapdog of Price, who paid for his kids’ education … among other things. Well if Thumper is the old order, the old regime, I think Gold is the oncoming storm and it will be interesting to see that play out.

This week we also doubled down on two things, the Australiana and the narration. I am not one that usually finds a narration necessary, but there are some shows where it can elevate things to the next level, one is Scrubs and the other is here in Les Norton. Angus Sampson’s deep register and calm delivery is a great juxtaposition to all the chaos on the screen. To add to this, Les Norton is clearly a show that is not afraid to drop the Australian deep-cut references, while also throwing in some real Adelaide and Canberra shade.

Les Norton: Wrongside. Image Credit: ABC TV.
Does everyone in Sydney flirt with Les? Image Credit: ABC TV.

The story in tonight’s episode is all fallout from what went down in the first episode, with someone out for Price’s head. There were a couple of things I found really interesting in this fallout. The first is that Les has jumped from unwitting accessory after the fact, to full-on accessory to manslaughter in two episodes. It will be interesting to see how deep he goes, and as I have not read the books this is based on, I don’t have any frame of reference for that yet. Also, does everyone in Sydney get their flirt on with Les? I mean I get it, but just asking. Finally, there is, of course, is the big reveal at the end, and I think only a show like this could pull off something as bonkers as that and still make it work.

In the end, do we recommend Les Norton: Wrongside? Yep, yep we do. It took up the ball from last week and continued to kick a goal with it today. Also, the ending is one of those moments when you want to start the next episode right now, but I still have to wait to next week. But I will be there to see how they get themselves out of this one.                    

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Les Norton yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Les Norton
Directed by
– Jocelyn Moorhouse
Written by – Morgan O’Neill
Created by – Morgan O’Neill
Based onLes Norton by Robert G. Barrett
Production/Distribution Companies – Roadshow Rough Diamond, Screen Australia & ABC TV
Starring – Alexander Bertrand, David Wenham, Rebel Wilson, Hunter Page-Lochard, Steve Le Marquand, Syd Zygier, Pallavi Sharda, Justin Rosniak, Kate Box & Angus Sampson with Susan Prior, Aidan Gillett, Rhys Muldoon, Aaron Glenane & Ian Roberts


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