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
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
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.
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
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.
TL;DR – This an interesting
spy series which is unfortunately held back a bit with inconsistent pacing and
the flow-on effects from that.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
One of my goals this year has been to expand my global cinema intake from
places away from the traditional English speaking countries that I am used to.
I have not been as successful as I would have liked, but when a new Indian spy
thriller drops on Netflix you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I have
finished it, wow, is this series a lot, and I think it might also have lasting
So to set the scene, in Balochistan, Pakistan, a group of Indian deep-cover
spies are in a lude video internet café using it as a cover as they upload
important information back to New Delhi. However, before they can finish, they
are captured by the local Taliban. Before they can be executed the Pakistani
Intelligence forces intercede and save then, not to keep them alive, but to
kill them at the right time and place. Back in India, one of the chiefs in
India’s Intelligence bureau Sadiq (Rajit Kapur) feels that something is odd so
he seeks out Kabir Anand (Emraan Hashmi) code name Adonis but there is bad
blood between them over what happened last time in Pakistan. He instead sends Isha
(Sobhita Dhulipala) to retrieve him, however, Sadiq is murdered in his home and
Adonis is framed, and only he might be able to save the agents because there is
a mole in the Indian government and he does not know who they might be. Now
from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – This is an
interesting concept, with some powerful performances, but I am not sure three episodes
was enough time to really show it off.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Netflix as the premier multi-national streaming juggernaut (for the time being)
has been doing a lot of experimenting in recent years. With Black
Mirror: Bandersnatch they gave the world a choose your own adventure in
cinematic form and with Ultimate
Beastmaster they produced different versions for each of the countries
participating. Well today we get to take a look at the next experiment with
Criminal a series that produced four different versions for France, Germany,
Spain, and the UK. Well today we are going to take a look at the UK version to
see how this experiment works out.
To set the scene, we open in on DI Natalie Hobbs’ (Katherine Kelly) team as
they begin an interview with the suspect of a murder. For you see her team are experts
in interrogation, so they are used when there is a time crunch or a serious
case that needs their attention. The first of these involves a doctor (David
Tennant) that is accused of molesting and then murdering his step-daughter. The
interview has been going for hours and time is running out because if they can’t
find some way to get him to crack he could walk free. Now from here, we will be
looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – This is an
interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
When I say to you Zombie Apocalypse, I think for many people the first thing
you would do is suppress a sigh. As a genre, it has been used multiple times
and these days one could say that it has been done to death as long as they immediately
followed it up immediately with ‘pun not attended’. However, every now and again,
a new show will use the setting to explore something new and today we get to
look at just such a show.
So to set the scene, we open in on Day 42 with Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard)
the only known survivor in his town. 42 Days ago portals opened up over his
town and monsters and zombies came flooding out attacking the town. Some escaped,
some were rescued, but more still were turned into zombies to roam the streets.
Abandoned by his foster family, Jack survives by hiding in his foster brother’s
treehouse and using that as a base of operation. He is trying to find his best
buddy Quint (Garland Whitt) and rescue his flame June (Montse Hernandez), but
first he needs to survive being hunted by a monster angry because Jack poked
its eye out.
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