Tuesday, January 24, 2017

From Mermaids to Vampires

Yesterday I started watching H20: Just Add Water.

It's actually one of the first Australian shows we encountered. I remember seeing a few moments of the show during our first trip to Australia. We thought the show was crap, and I think we developed a negative stereotype about Australia's scripted television.

Fortunately, since then, I've consumed a lot of Aussie TV and now know that a lot of it is quite wonderful.

And strangely, nine years later, upon giving H20: Just Add Water a second chance, I'm finding that I actually like the show. I'm not sure if I was too critical back in 2007, or, if by now, my standards have lowered.

It might be the latter.

H20: Just Add Water is a Jonathan M Shiff production. I've seen many of his shows—Thunderstone, Pirate Islands, Scooter: Secret Agent, Wicked Science, The Elephant Princess, and Reef Doctors.

Most of these shows are entertaining but often corny, and sometimes the acting and writing isn't overly impressive.  All but one of the shows mentioned above are geared towards children and tweens, so to be fair, I'd need to compare them to their American counterparts.

When Jack was younger we watched a few of Dan Schneider's Nickelodeon shows. It's just my opinion, but I think their quality was slightly higher than the Jonathan M Shiff stuff. But still. All of it is kind of Cheetos-quality, and not gourmet-cheese-with-crackers-and-raw honey quality.

Either way, I enjoy all of it. I'm glad I can use my interest in expanding my cultural knowledge of Australia, and the world, as an excuse to watch tween shows.


What I really wanted to talk about in this post is that two of the stars (Phoebe Tonkin and Claire Holt) are now (were?) in the American show The Originals.  I remember looking at that show, in the past, when researching another Aussie show.  If I remember correctly, it was the second season of The Elephant Princess.  It makes me wonder if the casting staff of The Originals has some kind of connection to Shiff.

I'm trying to understand The Originals now. I thought Tonkin had a bigger role than Holt. because she's listed as being in all 79 episodes of the series, and Holt is listed as being in only 29. But then Holt's character is mentioned in the character description and Tonkin's is not.  I'm not sure what's up with that.

Now I'm consulting Lord Wiki....

Holt plays Rebecca Mikaelson, and the show centers on the Mikaelson family. They're ancient vampires...the ORIGINAL vampires. Then Tonkin is a werewolf.  She gets pregnant with Rebecca's brother's child. So in Australia, Tonkin and Holt are mermaid sisters. In vampire-land, Holt would be an aunt to Tonkin's hybrid kiddo.

I'm going to jump through the cast of The Originals and try to find the rest of the Australians.  I think the one from The Elephant Princess was a black guy. That's about all I can remember. Maybe that will make it easy to find him.

Ah! I found him. It's Eka Darville.  He plays Diego. According to Lord Wiki's cousin, Diego is a vampire.

There are other Australians in the cast.

One actor is Oliver Ackland.  He too is a Jonathan Shiff alumni—Pirate Islands.  But he's not from the season/series that I watched.

Claudia Black, from Farscape, was in six episodes of The Originals. She plays a witch.

Peta Sergeant plays Francesca Guerrera.  Like Tonkin's character, Francesca is a werewolf.

I decided I should probably check back up towards the top of The Originals cast list and see if I'm missing anyone more substantial.

I'm glad I did.

There's Rebecca Breeds.  She's been in fourteen episodes, and plays a vampire named Aurora de Martel.  She's the first vampire created by Rebekah (Holt).

There's Nathanial Buzolic.  IMDb doesn't list him as being from Australia, but I saw Hacksaw Ridge in his filmography.  I think most people in that movie are Aussies. But to confirm I looked down. One of the first things listed is Home and Away.  So...there you go.

Buzolic plays one of Rebekah's siblings.

There really ARE a lot of Australians in The Originals.

I just found another. Andrew Lees.  He looks familar to me. I gotta scroll down to find out why I recognize him.

He played Wes on Dance Academy.

I don't remember him.

Speaking of Dance Academy. I think THAT is a tween show that greatly surpasses both the Jonathan Shiff stuff and the Dan Schneider stuff.

I just consulted Lord Wiki's cousin. He reminded me that Wes was the guy that Abigail dated when she did her international traveling.

On The Originals, Lees plays Lucien who is a vampire-antagonist.  I mean he's a vampire and he's an antagonist on the show...not an antagonist to vampires.  Though he's probably an antagonist to some vampires.

Anyway, that's about it for now.

I just added The Originals to my To-Watch list. Who knows if I'll ever get to it. The list is quite long.

I'm overwhelmed by all the TV shows out there.