TV Review – Les Norton: Season One

TL;DR – Was one of the more interesting shows I have seen on Australian TV by being both a throwback to the past and also something a little new 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Les Norton. Image Credit: ABC.

Review

We took a look back at Les Norton’s first episode You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids, back when it first came out. Well, the first season has just finished so I wanted to take a moment to look back at the show and how well it did as a whole. A show about the 1980s, finding yourself in over your head, and also just about the most aggressively Australian TV show I have seen in a very long while.

So to set the scene, Les Norton (Alexander Bertrand) is a country boy from Dirranbandi in south-west Queensland. He’s had to skip town after an incident where a rival teammate was left fighting for his life with a head injury and he needed to disappear before there was a riot. He needed to find some work to get through his time in Sydney which is where he meets his guide and new friend Billy Dunne (Hunter Page-Lochard) working as a doorman at a local club in Kings Cross. The first 22 minutes of his shift is boring, but we come in at minute 23 and the fists start flying. The head of the club Price Galese (David Wenham) likes what he sees and brings him into the fold and Les discovers a world hidden out of sight, protected by the powerful, and who run on very different rules where discretion is key.

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TV Review – Carpark Clubbing

TL;DR – This might be the most joyous, charming, and a little bit absurd series I have seen in a very long time.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Carpark Clubbing. Image Credit: ABC.

Review

Comedy is one of those genres that is so difficult to get right. Sure it is not hard to make people laugh uncomfortably at gross-out jokes and the like. But for something to be truly funny you have to care about the characters involved. This is how shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, Parks and Rec, and Futurama (to name but a few) work. Today I get to look at a show that did all of that and more, but it did it in only 8 minutes.

So to set the scene, we open in Western Sydney in a carpark of the local doughnut stand Double Dee’s. Bonita (Monica Kumar) and her friends are getting ready to go out to the city when a mixup at the shop leaves her doughnuts with Sokhey (Sophea Op). Hoping on over to her car to sort it all out she gets left behind by her friends and decides to wait there while her Uber is coming. Which is the point when Nashrah (Tasnim Hossain) gets kicked out of her learner driver lesson and then there was three.

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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.

Review

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.

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TV Review – Les Norton: You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids

TL;DR – This is one of those Australian TV shows that makes you sit back and marvel as to how it all works, cause it works really well.  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Les Norton: You Wouldn't Be Dead For Quids. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

There are many reasons to go sit down, turn on the TV, and watch something It could be your favourite show that you make time for each week, it could be you are bored and there is nothing else to do, or it could just be that you have heard good things about something and you need to go check it out for yourself. Today we review a show that falls into the latter column, though if this first episode is anything to go by, it might find its way into the first real soon.

So to set the scene, Les Norton (Alexander Bertrand) is a country boy from Dirranbandi in south-west Queensland. He’s hopped a ride down to the big smoke in Sydney to try out for some of the local footy teams. It is his first night in King’s Cross, so he takes some night work as a bouncer at a local club to pay his way. Which is where he meets his guide and new friend Billy Dunne (Hunter Page-Lochard). The first 22 minutes of his shift is boring, but we come in at minute 23 and the fists start flying. The head of the club Price Galese (David Wenham) likes what he sees and brings him into the fold and Les discovers a world hidden out of sight, protected by the powerful, and who run on very different rules where discretion is key.

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TV Review – The Heights – Season One

TL;DR – This is a show that is filled with clever writing, full of compelling characters, interesting stories, and heart you rarely see.                      

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Heights - Season One. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

Authenticity, this is something that content creators across the world are desperate to achieve because it is what modern audiences crave, even if they don’t quite know what it is. Add to this it is easy for people to notice when something is out of place when it is something close to them, like the lives of tradies, or small shop owners, or people living in apartments. So it is a bold move to set a new drama series in a setting that is deeply familiar and even bolder when you pull it off with style.

So to set the scene, The Heights revolves around the people that live in and around a block of apartments called The Tower. While the area around is starting to rapidly gentrify, The Tower is made up of low socioeconomic residents just trying to make their lives a little better. One day as everyone was out enjoying the sunshine with a BBQ and a game of soccer the fire alarm of The Tower rings out. This causes all kinds of frustrations for the residents like Hazel (Fiona Press) who have to evacuate when everyone knows it is a false alarm. When all is sorted, everyone goes back to their lives when a soccer ball gets kicked into a garden but when Pav (Marcus Graham) goes to collect it he discovers a newborn baby among the veggies. Pav an ex-cop runs the baby straight to the local hospital (it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance) into the hands of Claudia (Roz Hammond) a doctor that is new to the hospital and area. Everyone begins wondering whose baby could it be, but there is a lot on everyone’s plate, like a wake and a closing of the local pub, starting a new school, finding a new job, and 100% not telling your mother than you are studying education and not business. Now, from this point onwards, we will be looking at the season as a whole, or at least the first 16 episodes, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.         

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TV Review – What is Music?

TL;DR – A fascinating documentary that looks at all facets of music, from slow motion uvulas to metal screaming and everything in-between.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

What is Music? Image Credit: ABC

Review

Music is one of those things that is both universal but also deeply personal, everybody on the planet loves music in some way even if we don’t agree on the particular style. One of the things I have started to look more at as I delve into the realm of cinema is the impact that music has on me, so a series exploring all the different facets of music immediately caught my attention. With this in mind, today we are going to look at the first three episodes and also the number of shorts they have created which seems to be a good barometer of how the series will progress. But before we go on, just a reminder that the show is also being posted online, so you can watch all the episodes here.

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TV Review – Mystery Road: Season One

TL;DR Mystery Road is a mystery ‘who done it’ where every reveal has weight and you have to watch every episode just to see what happened next.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Mystery Road

Review

Australian TV is kind of going through a period of uncertainty, how does it adapt to a changing global marketplace where streaming services are the new norm, or to governments that do not feel like supporting the arts is a good thing any more. Indeed, when you look at the list of currently running drama series in Australia it is almost anaemic compared to even ten years ago. Within this world, it is an unfortunate reality that you have to make each chance count, and with today’s Mystery Road we have a show that does just that. Now before we move onto the review proper just a couple of points. Firstly, this is based off a series of films created by Ivan Sen that I have unfortunately not seen, however, if you are like me in this regard, don’t worry because anything you do need to know about them is told in the show so you are not missing out. As well as this, we will be looking at the series as a whole so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead, but we will leave discussions about the final episode to a paragraph all to itself so you can skip that if you don’t want to find out the conclusion.

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