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
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.
TL;DR – Twenty years is a
long time and while it is good to be back in Pearl Bay, some of the characters
dragged us back to the 20th century.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Let me take you back in time, a whole twenty years ago, which seems a lifetime
now that I think about it. It was a quieter time in life, we had not yet dealt
with either the millennium or even the Willennium yet. However, down here in Australia
everyone and their mum’s was riveted by the story of the lost magistrate and
her Diver Dan. A lot has changed in those preceding years, both in the real
world, and the fictional one of the show, and it will be interesting to see if
lighting can hit twice again.
So to set the scene, we open in with Laura Gibson (Sigrid Thornton) who is volunteering
somewhere in Africa and not getting along with everyone, or anyone. She is
throwing herself into her work to kind of distract herself for the fact that
her marriage is tenuous at best, her daughter is in and out of trouble and that
her career is not really going anywhere. After upsetting enough people the aid
agency firers her and has her visa cancelled so she is forced to fly back to
Australia to get it sorted out. With some time to kill, she decides to come
back to Pearl Bay to visit her other daughter Miranda (Brooke Satchwell) who
still lives there. Only to find out a lot has changed, such as her house got
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
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.
TL;DR – A poignant look at what rock bottom feels like
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Today we continue our dive into the 2019
AACTA Awards Short Film Competition by exploring a short film from one of
Australia’s up and coming actors Hunter Page-Lochard. Here we look at what life
is like when you hit rock bottom and that moment where you realise that you
need to climb up.
Djali looks at the life of Johnny (Hunter
Page-Lochard) who is an inspiring dancer and really good at it until he received
an injury to his leg. However, this is just the first in many setbacks as we
see him hiding in a dark room reminiscing about the past. Only for his brother
Harry (Rhimi Johnson Page) to come and try and shake him out of his funk.
TL;DR – This the best
reimagining of Robin Hood I have seen in years, take what works of the
traditional story and reinterpreting it into the Australian context.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Robin Hood is one of those characters that you see a lot of in media because he
is one of the few safe completely public domain characters that most people
know about. We have had every type of adaptation of his story, from the
faithful, to big action set piece films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,
to the farcical like Robin Hood: Men in
Tights, to the forgettable,
I mean we ever got a version from Disney where they were all animals. However,
while there have been a lot of versions of the story, they have all followed pretty
much the same formula with nothing of any real worth to the adaptations, well
that is until now.
So to set the scene, Robbie (Pedrea Jackson) is 13 and a is thief, he lives in
Alice Springs and Alice Springs is a dump, well he uses a different word, but
we will go with dump. He lives with his Nana Mary’s (Audrey Martin) house after
his mother died and his
Dad (Andy Golledge) never really recovered. Robbie might be a thief, but he always
has the best intentions at heart as he goes around Alice Springs with his
friends Little Johnny (Levi Thomas) and Georgia Blue (Jordan Johnson).
As a guy, it might not be kosher, but I love a good romantic comedy, one that
you can sit back, laugh, but also be moved by the characters. However, this is
a genre that has kind of been on the backburner in recent years with only Crazy
Rich Asians being the one to come to mind when I think of good
works to draw from. Today, thankfully, I get to add another film to this list
with the joy that is Top End Wedding.
So to set the scene, we open in on a couple living in Adelaide who are both
having very important days. Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) is having her first major
client meeting and if it goes well she will get a promotion for the firm she
works in under Hampton (Kerry Fox) who is often referred to a Cruella.
Meanwhile, Ned (Gwilym Lee) is trying to live up to his father’s memory in the
courtroom but finds the job difficult because he has no passion for it. Well,
Ned decides to quit his job and proposes to Lauren, the only catch is that
Hampton will only give Lauren 10 days off for the wedding, as in the next 10
days, and Lauren has always dreamed of having her wedding in Darwin where she
is from. While this should be easy to put together, things take a turn when she
arrives home to find her father Trevor (Huw Higginson) and mother Daffy (Ursula
Yovich) had recently separated and no one knows where her mother is.
TL;DR – This is a breath of
fresh air in a crowded market that shines by showing the strength of people and
not my trying to tear them down.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
In Australia, it feels like if you want to make any new content you have two
choices Sport or Reality TV. Everything has to be designed around “Event TV’
that is television that you have to watch live so that you can be part of the
conversation the next day in the office. This has been done in the response of
shifting viewing habits of people away from traditional timeslots and TV
stations not knowing how to respond. In Australia that has meant that we are
inundated with one reality show after another, each jostling to try and be that
next event, often by scraping through the bottom of the barrel to see what is
underneath. For a viewer, this means that they take a concept and try and
stretch as much out of it as possible so it can fill as much of the schedule as
possible, and for a consumer, this is a real drag (and I assume it is no joy
for the people making it either). However, every now and again something will
break through the noise, and today I get the chance to look at just one such
show, even though it is a reality TV show on three times a week.
So to set the scene, if you have seen a reality competition show before then
you probably know what to expect here. Eight teams enter into a warehouse where
they battle in the challenge after challenge where some of them will be
eliminated until there is only one team left. The big change this time around
is that the arena where they are battling is not food, or singing, or being
married, at first sight, no it is building Lego creations. It is a show that
celebrates creativity, working under pressure, but also being part of a team,
and supporting them at each step of the way.