Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Australian Television Viewing

I watch a lot of Australian television lately.

Here are the shows in my life.

Warning:  There might be some spoilers here.

1. Offspring  I've been a fan of this show for awhile now.  It was my introduction to wonderful actors such as Asher Keddie and John Waters (no, not the wacky American filmmaker). 

Offspring is a comedy-drama about a neurotic obstetrician.  It's funny. It's heartwarming. It's sexy.    I've talked about it before and don't have much more to say for now.  

I'll probably have more to say when season four begins.  

2. Q and A.    Q and A is a comedy about politicians in Australia. No, wait.Maybe it's a horror story.

Actually, it's a talk show type thing. A guy named Tony Jones has famous people (mostly Australians, but also folks from other places) sit with him and answer questions from the audience.

It's fascinating to me sometimes. It's boring other times.

It's very educational. I learn about Australia. I also learn about the world in general...and human nature.  

3. All Saints.  I'm actually on hiatus from this show.  I stopped after season eleven, because I found out one of the actors (Mark Priestly) had committed suicide. I watched his last episode and then didn't have the heart to continue.

For some reason, that I can't remember, I started watching the show with season ten. I'm thinking maybe someday I'll go back and watch the show from the beginning.  

I liked All Saints, but I think I was usually more interested in the guest star storylines than the main character ones.

The show often had me googling medical conditions.

There was one episode where a guy severed that very important artery you have in your neck.   One of the doctors or nurses had to hold it together with his hand. I was fascinated and terrified by the whole thing. Would he survive? Would he die?

The show failed to answer that question. Or I missed it. I was kind of left hanging.  

There was an episode about a genetic brain disease called Fatal Familial Insomnia.    The victim can't sleep, goes insane, and then dies within a year or so.  I thought that was interesting...and sad.

The storyline was quite clever in that one.  The wife goes to the hospital with chest pains. Things don't add up for the medical staff.  You think she's having psychosomatic type symptoms or she's a hypochondriac.  OR maybe she's faking the whole thing for attention.

And that's it. She's faking the whole thing for attention. The catch is she doesn't want attention for herself. She wanted attention for her husband. He had refused to believe there was something wrong with him. He refused to get medical help. So she got him into the hospital by faking an illness for herself.

She's better than the woman who swallowed a push pin in order to cough up massive blood and win attention FROM her boyfriend.  

Oh yeah. I wanted to mention.  John Waters is on this show too.  He plays a surgeon.  He's still sexy, but I like his Offspring character better.  

4. Love My Way   I vaguely liked this show. Then they had the big tragedy.   Not only did it make me sad and scared, it also made me a bit obsessed. I fell in love.  

I guess tragedy doesn't bring family and friends closer together. It can also make you feel closer to fictional characters.

I started having a little bit of a crush on Claudia Karvan. It's hard not to.   She's adorable. And after Frankie loses her daughter, you just want to take her into your arms and cuddle her. Well, at least I did.

Before the tragedy, I didn't like Dan Wylie's character.  I thought he was annoying and creepy.   Then all my feelings changed after episode eight.  Now I like him. As a grieving father, he won me over.

There's a heartbreaking scene where he's at a park watching kids play some type of sport. A coach or parent comes over and scolds him, thinking he's some kind of pervert. He starts to sob and then explains that his daughter died recently. Then the coach/parent person is sympathetic and let's him watch.   It's incredibly sad.  

Then there's Tom Jackson.  He's the brother of Dan Wylie's character.   I think he's kind of adorable.   But although he can be really sweet sometimes (like in the last episode of season one), he can be quite awful at other times.  He was supportive of Frankie and her loss in season one. Then in season two he has that attitude, okay, get over it now.  Stop playing the my-daughter-has-died card.  

Asher Keddie from Offspring is on the show too.  She plays the stepmother to Frankie's daughter.   It's all very complex.  She loved this little girl, but in the months leading up to the child's death, they hadn't been very close. Keddie's character had been too stressed with her new baby and struggling marriage.

She's very sad about her stepdaughter dying; yet her loss and grief is not as intense as the biological parents. I think she feels a bit lost and alienated.

I've wondered about the show. Did the creators say something like,  I think we should make a television drama about a family who loses a child.   We'll look at the trauma of the whole thing and the ongoing grief it causes.  But we won't have it happen right away.  Let's have the viewers get to know the family. Let's have the viewers get to know the child, so they feel some of the grief as well.   


Did they say Let's make a show about a dysfunctional family.   Then later while brainstorming, they came up with the idea for the death.

Either way. despite it's overwhelming sadness; it was all very well done.   

5. Packed to the Rafters  I already know a major death is going to happen on this show. I think knowing about it ahead of time will make me somewhat less haunted about the whole thing.

I'm at the beginning of season two right now.   I'm not sure when the death is supposed to happen.

Anyway, it's a good show.

Nathan Rafter annoyed me the most out of all the characters; but now he's starting to grow on me.    Well, I think that's actually because he's becoming a better person.

I like the mom, played by Rebecca Gibney.

I love the grandfather. He's the guy from that movie The Castle. I need to watch that one day.

I like the youngest son.  Ben Rafter.  I also like his roommate and the storyline with him falling in love with an older woman.  That's all very sweet.

My only complaint about the show is it's kind of negative about vegans and/or health food people.

Rachel Rafter dates a yoga instructor who's vegan. He turns out to be an ass.

Then Ben and his roommate get a new roommate.—a girl who pretty much force feeds one of them spirulina. She's a bit creepy,  and I think there's a chance she might end up being evil.

What's the deal?

The show seems to be saying that if you want to be a decent person you need to eat pork chops and fish sticks.  

6. Dance Academy.    This program is for teens.  I must be a teen at heart, because I love this show.  

Dance Academy is about a rural girl named Tara who goes off to Sydney to go to dance school.  

I think one of the reasons I love this show is each of the three main girls reminds me of an aspect of myself.

Tara is a bit of a loser sometimes and gets herself in humiliating situations.  That's me. There's an episode where they rank the students and Tara is the lowest in most categories. I can totally imagine that happening to me.  There are also scenes where she deals with rejection from her crush.  I can relate to that a lot too.

Then there's Kat who's very different from me personality wise.  She's outgoing and wild....charming.  But I can relate to her having family members that other people enthusiastically admire.    I can relate to her insecurity.  Is it me you love? Or do you like someone else in my family more?  Please show me that I'm your top priority and not them.


The third one is Abigail. She's a major bitch.  I think I'm much nicer than her. But I can definitely relate to her body image and control issues.

7. Home and Away  I started watching fairly current episodes of this and Neighbours, but then found it hard to get my eyes on more episodes. So I started watching Home and Away from the beginning.

I didn't like it much at first; and probably just went on with it because I know one day Julian McMahon is going to join in the fun.  

Now I'm starting to like it a bit.

I couldn't really get into Carly.  She's the one who's eventually going to marry McMahon.   In the first several episodes, the show centered around her and I wasn't very interested.  

But then there was the storyline about Lynn and her dog being put to sleep. She runs away and meets a man who is a bit mentally slow. It's all very sweet.   I like Lynn. Now I like the show.

Anyway, I'll probably get more interested in Carly once McMahon shows up.

8. Trapped   It's another teen show. I just started watching this one.  It's like Lost for kids.

I find it to be quite entertaining.  

9. Tangle  I watched one episode of this. I couldn't get season one, so I had to start with season two.  I was kind of lost and a little bored, but I think the show could grow on me.  It's produced by John Edwards, the same guy responsible for Offspring and Love My Way.

The main character looked familiar to me.I jumped on IMDb and found out she's Roo from Home and Away

Anyway....I decided my TV plate is a bit full right now.    Love My Way lasts only three seasons.   I think when I'm done with that; I'll try Tangle again.  

I also watch some American television. At this point in our lives, we're HUGE fans of How I Met Your Mother.  We're addicted and in love.

Tim and I are fans of The Walking Dead.   Although as much as I love that show; I think I like the Talking Dead even more.   It's hilarious.  I also love the behind the scene stuff on the AMC website.   

We also still watch The Big Bang Theory, Suburgatory and Modern Family.  Our love for those shows have been majorly overshadowed by Ted, Barney, Robin, Lily, and Marshall.    Plus, I think Modern Family has gone majorly downhill.


What about you?   What shows do you watch?