TV Review – Total Control: Episode 1

TL;DR – This is one of the strongest opening hours of TV I have seen in years, with the first few minutes affecting me in ways I was not ready for.  

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Total Control: Episode 1. Image Credit: ABC TV.

Review

A pilot episode of television has a lot it has to do. It has to set the tone, explain the setting, introduce you to the main characters, and find the drive for the whole season. I have seen a lot of TV show pilots in my time and even shows that are fantastic can fumble parts of this very important introduction. Well, today I look at a show that nails every single element in its 50 minutes run time.

So to set the scene, we open in on a tragedy where Alex Irving (Deborah Mailman) is thrust into the national spotlight after a video goes viral. Alex shuns all media request for interviews but she has caught the eye of someone important. Soon there is a knock at the door and Jonathan (Harry Richardson) who works for the Federal Government arrives at Alex and her mother Jan’s (Trisha Morton-Thomas) house in Winton in country Queensland. He is there with an offer for Alex to take over the seat of a Senator that has just died. She declines, saying that if Prime Minister Rachel Anderson (Rachel Griffiths) wants her to be a senator then she can come and ask herself, which is exactly what she does. For here we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Movie Review – Djali (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

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

Review

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.

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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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TV Review – Cleverman: Season 2

TL;DR – A brilliant follow up from Season One

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Season Two

Review

So Season Two of Cleverman has come, hit us hard, and it’s now over. So we have had some time to think back and contemplate on the overarching themes for the season and how it worked, which is what we are going to do today. So today with our review we will look at how Season Two improved on Season One, look at the central themes and characters, and finally conclude on the importance of Cleverman.  Before we start, just a warning that we will be talking about the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS]. Also, this will be looking more broadly at the season, if you what to look at individual episodes, then you can look at our reviews here: RevivalBindawu, Dark Clouds, Muya, Skin & Borrowed Time.

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TV Review – Cleverman: Borrowed Time

TL;DR – Indeed everyone is on Borrowed Time, as choices come to a head in the season finale

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Borrowed Time

Review

So we’ve reached the end of Season Two with the final episode Borrowed Time, and after five weeks of everyone making mistakes, tonight it all comes to a head. At the end of last week’s Skin (review) we had that shocking moment when Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) defending herself and her baby put a scalpel right into Slade’s (Iain Glen) neck, though we didn’t see him die. Now there is one thing you need to know about TV, and that is they are not dead until we see the body, and even then everything is up for grabs. Well, first up tonight not only do we find out, yep he’s dead, but we also find out that he ended up going nowhere in the end, because (and I had forgotten this) he got caught up in the blue wave at the end of Season One. That was a really powerful opener but Borrowed Time doesn’t stop there, and a reminder as we will be talking about the episode as a whole, there are [SPOILERS] ahead.
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TV Review – Cleverman: Skin

TL;DR – Today we find out that there are consequences for actions and what happens when you push things too far.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Cleverman

Review

So we have reached the penultimate episode of Cleverman’s sophomore season and we are starting to get a glimpse of the end game and how it presumes things are about to get significantly worse. So at the end of last week’s Muya (review), things reached a head and finally Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) stood up to take the mantle of cleverman and you can tell he’s serious because he unlocked his superhero costume, and you only earn the superhero costume when things are about to get real. However, at the end of last week we find many of our characters are in precarious places, Nerida (Jada Alberts) has lost the two girls under her protection, Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) has been kidnapped by Jarli (Clarence Ryan) and her future is still far from being safe, and Alinta (Tamala Shelton) is now trapped in her father Waruu’s (Rob Collins) house, which should be the safest place in the world for her, yet somehow we can’t feel like it is. Now we will be discussing the episode in depth so there may be some [SPOILERS] moving forward.
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TV Review – Cleverman: Muya

TL;DR – Relationships and repaired and torn, and for some blackmail is the least of their worries

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Cleverman Muya

Review

So at the end of last week’s episode Dark Clouds (review) we find that Aunty Linda (Deborah Mailman) didn’t just cause Koen’s (Hunter Page-Lochard) parents deaths through negligence, but she was actively trying to kill them, and then Waruu (Rob Collins) just slit Koen’s throat and slapped on some red kryptonite sap from a Melaleuca to stop him from regenerating. Oh boy, was that a lot to take in, and we have had a week to learn what everyone’s fate will be, and tonight’s episode Muya packs all the same punches and more, as we continue our drive to the end of the season. Just a warning, there will be some [SPOILERS] going forward so be careful.
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