TV – What’s On (August 2013)

WENTWORTH

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10 (445 votes)

Prisoners.

Prisoners.

Wentworth is a new Australian drama based on the classic Aussie drama “Prisoner”. It tells the tale of Bea Smith, a new inmate getting adjusted to her drastic change in environment.

The TV promos looked good but that, and the opening sequence of Episode 1, is as far as the quality went, because after that it all went a bit sour.

I felt immediately disinterested in the characters once they got all lesbian-y (I’m not against lesbians, it just wasn’t fitting for me). Doesn’t that all feel cliche? And the script isn’t particularly fantastic. It’s a very Australian script – rugged, and wouldn’t work in any other country. But I guess that’s our problem, isn’t it?

The woman playing Bea, Danielle Cormack, is actually very good and I understand how difficult her character is to play. Conveying emotion using lots of silence and facial expressions is no easy feat, and she does it well. But then it feels like the rest of the acting misses the mark, it’s all too generic and dull, a bit like the characters they’re playing.

The intro to the universe was fantastically done. But then the rest of it came, and it fell away from there.

MY RATING: 5 out of 10.

FAMILY TREE

IMDB Rating: N/A

Rear end.

Rear end.

Family Tree is one of the year’s best new comedies.

As a concept, it works on the interest level. The basic premise is as follows:

Tom Chadwick, after losing his job and his girlfriend, begins to explore his ancestry when he receives a box from a dead Aunt he’d never met.

It’s a good premise for a good show.

The show is very funny and features some hilarious characters. Tom is very well played by the mega-talented Chris O’Down (Bridesmaids, The Sapphires). Tom’s father Keith, my favourite character, is played perfectly by Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap, Whatever Works). Tom’s sister Bea is played by Nina Conti – and let’s not forget that her psychiatrist has told her to let her true feelings out through the voice of Monkey, a handheld puppet, who Conti must voice as well.

That’s just stupidly good.

It’s the perfect writing and comedic timing that makes this show worth viewing.

Creators Christopher Guest & Jim Piddock have assembled a great cast for a show I can see going a long way – because it’s quality viewing for anyone interested in having a laugh.

MY RATING: 8 out of 10.

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