Doctor Doctor–Season 4, Episode 4 (A House Divided)

This episode was all about playing dirty.

Ajax, Meryl, Hayley and Betty—Ajax and Meryl upped the ante with their election campaigns, which kicked off with them going on about their slogans on trucks, running into each other and causing a traffic jam, later culminating in Meryl revealing Ajax didn’t finish high school and Ajax almost revealing Meryl faked a heart attack.

Throughout the subplot, Hayley is stuck in the middle and struggling with her loyalties, when she asks for guidance from God, Betty ultimately plays dirty by having Hayley admit the truth by swearing on a “Bible” (which turned out to be The Da Vinci Code). However it doesn’t pay off as Ajax decides not to reveal to the community that Meryl faked the heart attack.

The election outcome is finally revealed and Meryl wins. She starts to make a grand speech, only to stop herself and simply say thank you. She goes to see Ajax and he tells her that exposing the truth about her “heart attack” would make him no better than her and he doesn’t want to be like her. Moments later he makes up with Hayley and asks her to support him by moving out and getting their own place, an idea she clearly isn’t happy with. Meryl and Betty also made up at the end of the episode.

Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it exposed elements in Betty that we have never seen before and it truly showed what kind of people Ajax and Meryl are.

Hugh and Penny—This episode also dealt with Hugh and Penny’s suppressed feelings for each other with Penny’s impending wedding. Betty and Ken are the first to ask Hugh whether he is still in love with Penny and he denies it, only to lie to her about the need to quarantine the hospital when a sick patient comes in, to prevent her wedding from going ahead.

While they are in lockdown, Penny finds out about Jarrod’s fertility test, which she didn’t know about, contrary to what Jarrod stated in the previous episode. She reveals to Hugh she doesn’t want any more kids and assumed that they were on the same page about it.

Meanwhile Penny’s sister, Celia (Ella Scott Lynch) returns to Whyhope for the wedding. While Hugh and Penny are in lockdown, Celia gets everything ready for Penny, however it’s not what Penny wants. When Penny goes to The Brewery and sees Celia’s over-the-top reception decorations, her and Hugh have shots and he kisses her. She storms off, in denial of her own feelings and overwhelmed from Celia’s “help” and suggests to Jarrod that they elope, which they do that night.

Just as Hugh finally admits to himself, after a heart-to-heart with Charlie, how he feels about Penny and tells her not to marry Jarrod, she reveals he’s too late.

Overall I found their subplot to be a little all over the place. At the beginning of the episode they are in denial, Penny’s reaction to discovering Jarrod had a fertility test (freaking out than seemingly forgetting about it) was unrealistic, as was the eloping, and Hugh rushing to her door to beg her not to get married was a cliché. However I’m looking forward to seeing how the marriage changes the love triangle dynamic.

Matt, April and Charlie—The love triangle between Matt, April and Charlie continues to intensify as Matt struggles to keep Charlie sticking around and writing at her desk a secret from April.

At the start of the episode we see Charlie wandering around her and Matt’s house, putting the framed photo of Matt and April down and stealing a detailed box, which was later revealed to be the box that Matt presented her engagement ring in when he proposed. The tension escalates when Charlie joins the family for dinner, sitting next to April at the dining table.

Ultimately and unsurprisingly, April discovers Charlie in the house and angrily tells her to leave not only the house but Whyhope. When April asks where Charlie got the house key, she covers for Matt by saying she still had a spare. When Matt agrees with April that Charlie needs to leave, she is shocked and he tells her April was right and she needs to leave, and they need to move on.

Charlie still hasn’t left Whyhope by the end of the episode, so it will be interesting to see where the love triangle goes from here. Overall I found their subplot to be a little predictable.

Dinah and Meryl—The focus on them was minor but I have a feeling the tension between them will play out in later episodes. Dinah is caught by Meryl snooping around the Homestead, which leads to Meryl “firing” her, which Hugh finds out about when Dinah comes to see him during the hospital lockdown.  At the end of the episode, Dinah tells Meryl she’s staying, much to Meryl’s chagrin. I’m looking forward to seeing how their tension and dynamic plays out.

 

Overall this was a solid episode, however I felt the Hugh and Penny subplot wasn’t well executed.

 

Stray Observations:

-An explanation for Floyd’s absence is finally provided when Penny tells Celia he is still at boarding school.

-What Rod did to get a restraining order placed on him from Meryl was finally revealed: he stood on her front lawn with a boom box in his underpants.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “We ran out of books at book club, the last three weeks have been about you.” (Ken to Hugh regarding his and Penny’s suppressed feelings for each other)
  • “I thought you liked Jarrod?” “We do, more than you.” (Hugh-Ken)
  • “I have big ideas for your entrance; can you ride side-saddle?” (Celia to Penny)
  • “Nothing says occasion like riding in on a Shetland!” (Celia to Penny)
  • “Can I paint a moustache on it?” “That’s not how we’re going to win this.” (Ajax-Betty on Meryl’s campaign poster)
  • “What’s happening? Did somebody throw a punch?” (Hugh on the phone to the family)
  • “You can’t get married now, I’m wearing ugg boots!” (Celia to Penny)
  • “Did somebody call for a witness?” (Ken to Penny and Jarrod)

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 3 (Self-Fulfilling Prophecies)

This episode was a breath of fresh air as Hugh didn’t go on a bender and the focus started to shift to the other characters.

Dinah—I thought I’d start this episode’s review by focusing on the newest arrival in Whyhope, Dinah, Harriet’s mother and Eliza’s grandmother. Dinah offers to babysit Eliza while Hugh is working, much to his relief as he is struggling with single fatherhood and finding day care for Eliza. However Dinah eventually but mostly unintentionally causes trouble for Hugh, Meryl and Ajax.

With Hugh, she decides to take Eliza for a walk in the bush, only to get lost and call him for help. This leads to Jarrod going down a ditch to rescue her, only to get a groin injury. She then causes trouble for Meryl as she suggests to her and Hayley to find a dummy candidate to increase her chances of winning the election. This leads to Meryl and Hayley picking Ajax, but they don’t tell him he’s a dummy candidate, which only makes the situation worse when he does find out and leads to unintended consequences (which I’ll get to).

Dinah doesn’t leave Whyhope at the end of the episode, so I’m assuming she’ll be around for a while. It’ll be interesting to see what other trouble she causes.

Meryl, Hayley, Ajax and Betty—As mentioned earlier, Dinah gives Meryl and Hayley the idea to have a dummy candidate run in the local election, they choose Ajax, convincing him to run, after discovering Eddie is running for Annie’s seat. Throughout the episode, Ajax plays along, letting Hayley speak for him in an interview and basically doing what Meryl and Hayley tell him to do, however this all changes when he discovers the truth, taking it as Meryl thinking he is dumb. He proves that he is not only intelligent but a solid and good candidate for Council, when he reveals his knowledge of the area, and his ideas are original and beneficial for the community. Ajax gets a note from someone to meet up at the cemetery, the mystery person is Betty, who convinces him to work with her to get revenge on Meryl, for her contribution to her and Darren’s break up. He agrees and they announce that he is a serious contender and Betty will be managing his campaign. Eddie withdraws from the election and ends up endorsing Ajax.

Overall I enjoyed this subplot, it shows once again there is more to Ajax than meets the eye, and the twist of Betty wanting revenge was a nice touch and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Matt, Charlie and April—Their subplot was relatively minor however was crucial in their overall story arc. April spends most of the episode out of town at a wedding expo, which leaves him alone with Charlie and struggling to deal with his feelings for her. The first sign of this struggle is his obvious jealously of the chemistry between her and Val. This leads him to snap at Val over his international chicken schnitzel idea for The Brewery, which leads to Val quitting, convinced by Charlie to do so. Matt tries to get him to come back, but he refuses.

This leaves Matt and Charlie having to cook the international schnitzels for the candidate forum by themselves, where their feelings for each other and sexual tension are demonstrated further. At the end of the day, they decide to have drinks and it appears that they have slept together, especially when Matt greets Charlie the next morning with a “good morning, babe” and a kiss, however Charlie reveals they didn’t. Charlie tells Matt that sitting at her desk has enabled her to write again and wants to stick around longer than promised.

Matt’s struggle is illustrated further when April is FaceTiming him throughout the episode, constantly passive-aggressively suggesting that they get married. I can’t help but feel this is due to Matt and Charlie’s obvious feelings and chemistry, which she can sense and therefore feels the issue will be fixed or go away if they get married.

I’m looking forward to seeing where this love triangle will go.

Hugh and Tara—They didn’t spend much time together until the second half of the episode when Tara has to deal with a pregnant patient who is experiencing complications. Tara is seen having panic attacks and gets Hugh to help her at the eleventh hour. Hugh calls her out and the dangers her anxiety posed, which leads to her revealing to Hugh where her anxiety originated—a pregnant patient with complications who died giving birth to her baby, who also died due to said complications. She also reveals that she hasn’t had counselling to deal with her anxiety and begs Hugh not to tell Penny about it. The episode ends with Hugh and Tara having a one night stand.

Overall I enjoyed the character development with Tara, however I felt the one night stand outcome was inevitable and predictable. It will be interesting to see if Tara’s anxiety has other unintended consequences throughout the season.

Penny and Jarrod—This episode was actually a little “Penny lite”, however we did find out from Jarrod that they are considering having a child together, with Jarrod choosing to get his sperm tested. Penny and Jarrod’s plans are almost blown when Jarrod slips while rescuing Dinah and injures his testicles, but Hugh manages to treat the injury.

At the end of the episode, Penny suggests that they get married on Sunday.

Overall this subplot didn’t really add anything to the episode other than the fact that Jarrod is aware of Hugh’s suppressed feelings for Penny.

Betty and Eddie—Throughout the episode, Betty is interacting with Tara’s pregnant patient. After talking to her, it is revealed that Eddie is the father of her child. At the end of the candidate forum, Betty tells Eddie everything by whispering in his ear. The fate of the patient and Eddie’s relationship is left unknown at the end of the episode, however this minor subplot was a nice twist on Eddie’s character.

 

Overall I enjoyed this episode and it is the most interesting one of the season to date.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “He still hasn’t arranged day care.” “I refuse to change any more nappies, I refuse!” (Penny-Ken on Hugh’s struggles with single fatherhood)
  • “I’m Jarrod, I’m marrying the girl he likes.” (Jarrod introducing himself to Dinah)
  • “Time is testicle!” (Hugh to Jarrod after Jarrod falls and injures himself)
  • “This is like the elephant speech in year 9, only worse.” (Ajax to Meryl and Hayley on speaking at the candidate forum)
  • “You can’t sell people down the river and not have karma sail back up for you Meryl!” (Betty to Meryl on helping Ajax with his election campaign)

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 2 (Don’t Stop Me Now)

The theme for last week’s episode was “back to the way things were/are”. The theme for this week’s episode was “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

Hugh, Penny and Tara—Penny makes the decision to sack Hugh due to the Cardiac Unit deal going south for the Hospital. This leads to Hugh going off to Sydney to find another job, only to find himself constantly rejected as the outcome of the deal has travelled the medical grapevine.  After the constant rejection, Hugh goes on yet another bender, which consists of driving a tractor in the wrong paddock, smoking two joints and getting high with Charlie. While Hugh is on his bender, Penny asks Tara to consider her as a mentor, and shows her the ropes, which includes tending to their hypochondriac patient, Bruno.

Hugh’s bender is abruptly brought to an end when Penny and Tara call for his help after Bruno shocks himself on an electric fence and his chest is impaled by wood. Hugh comes to the Clinic but informs Tara that he’s stoned and gets her to perform the surgery. He manages to successfully guide her through it and Penny asks him to come back to work.

Overall I found this subplot interesting as it provided insight into what Tara is like as a doctor, it showed Hugh is capable of being a brilliant doctor even when stoned, and I appreciated that the subplot involved having Hugh and Penny apart for a while and successfully brought back together when necessary.

Matt, April and Charlie—Their subplot was minor, with the chemistry between Matt & Charlie and April’s fear of it evident. Charlie joins Hugh on his bender, which doesn’t sit well with Matt, even more so after she admits to him that she slept with the Brewery’s new cook, Val. Meanwhile, Hayley reveals to Charlie that Val is the third cook Matt and April have hired in recent months, hinting that the business is experiencing troubles, although the extent of them are not completely laid out to the viewer. Meanwhile, Charlie does a reading of her latest book to the Whyhope locals.

Meryl, Darren and Betty—After the sudden death of Green Annie in an “alpaca incident”, Meryl tries to get her bribe back, only to find the lunchbox empty. When Betty later shows her the commitment ring Darren gave her, Meryl digs a little deeper and discovers Darren stole the bribe money to buy Betty the ring.

Meryl tries to blackmail Darren into giving her back the money multiple times, only for him to point out her own shady behaviour. He eventually tells Betty the truth and she ends up dumping him. Darren gives Meryl the ring. Meryl later goes to see Betty to ask her to give him another chance, only for Betty to also call out her shady behaviour, and say that she’ll get her back. Towards the end of the episode, Meryl makes the decision to run for Council again.

Overall I enjoyed this subplot as Meryl met her match in Darren, and it showed a different side to Betty.

Hayley and Ajax—The focus on them was minor but hilarious and sweet. After Hayley attends Charlie’s reading and listens to her reading out an erotic scene from the book, she discovers she is naïve, sexually. She tries to do the ‘Flying Dutchman’ move with Ajax, only for him to fall asleep before anything begins the first time she brings it up. The second time she brings it up, she tells him they need to try something different, although at first he thinks she’s referring to his pistol skills. She eventually makes things clear to him, giving him Charlie’s book to read and the page number to go to. When he starts reading it, a smile appears on his face.

Overall, despite the numerous good moments, I felt this episode was a little monotonous as it had similar elements to the premiere. It had a similar theme and Hugh going on another bender. Although the interesting thing is, is that Hugh’s benders have happened for a specific reason—the first due to Penny’s engagement and this week’s one was due to being fired. I’m also becoming concerned about Hugh’s benders; the promo for this season was all about Hugh going back to being ‘a bad guy’. I hope there is some bigger purpose for this as it’s beginning to appear that the four years of character development the writers have worked hard on is being thrown away.

Hopefully things will shake up a little next week.

 

Stray Observations:

Dora sighting: In Matt’s yard, in the background, when he and April are talking.

-At the beginning of the episode, Hugh and Glen are taking in Glen’s office. It is here it’s revealed that some sort of ‘misunderstanding’ has happened between Glen and Meryl, which has led to an AVO. However no other details were provided to the viewers. Hopefully, we’ll eventually find out what happened between them.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I don’t need it!” “I can’t write it!” (Hugh-Penny on the latter giving the former a reference)
  • “Whyhope Hospital and I have parted ways.” “About time.” “They sacked you?” (Hugh-Meryl-Charlie)
  • “I love anything after a large tequila!” (Matt to Charlie)
  • “I’m not taking sides, I’m Sweden.” “Switzerland?” “Wherever!” (Hayley-Charlie-Hayley on the former knowing about the Brewery’s cook issues)

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4 Premiere (Hugh Am I?)

The job of a season premiere is to establish new story arcs for the season, which could include but not be limited to possible story arcs set up in the previous season’s finale. I felt that this premiere only partially did the job.

As it has been over a year since the season 3 finale aired, I had to re-read my review of it. I felt that the season 3 finale didn’t do its job in wrapping up that season’s story arcs and left a lot of loose ends.

When I re-read my review of the season 3 finale, there were key loose ends that I hoped would be addressed in the season 4 premiere:

    • Whether Hugh and baby Eliza would stay in Whyhope.
    • Who Matt chose to be with, April or Charlie?
    • Is Charlie coming back?
    • Whether the cemetery business would work.
    • Whether Penny and Raph’s relationship would progress.

I’m going to review the premiere character by character.

Hugh and Tara—The premiere kicks off with Tara, the new GP Registrar (portrayed by Kate Jenkinson), rushing to a motel room, looking for Hugh, who is passed out on the floor. The episode than goes back three days earlier to Hugh waking up, talking to Eliza, on her first birthday, revealing that the Doctor Doctor world has moved forward one year in its timeline.

Hugh first meets Tara when she is talking on her phone in his parking spot at the clinic. He tells her to leave and she responds by giving him the finger and calling him a dipshit. Penny later introduces her to him, revealing she is the GP registrar and is on probation, and requests Hugh to supervise her, due to his progression over the years from “Bad Boy” to respected doctor.

Later, Tara goes with Hugh to Eliza’s first birthday party at The Brewery, and is shocked to discover that Hugh is a father and grandfather, and has dated Charlie. That being said, she stays at the party and tries to convince Hugh to do cocaine in one of the bathroom stalls.

After Penny gets engaged (which I’ll get to), Hugh goes on a bender with Tara and the pharmaceutical rep, Kimberley, which ends in the motel room the viewers find him in at the beginning of the episode. Tara manages to wake him up by reminding him of the meeting, and gets him to it.

Hugh and Penny—Tying in with the Tara subplot is the Knight-Cartwright buyout subplot with Hugh and Penny. The Knight-Cartwright Unit is an MRI machine short but nevertheless ready for a buyout, which will mean the unit being upgraded and Hugh becoming a rich man.

The meeting is postponed at first, which scares Penny, but matters are made worse when it’s rescheduled the morning after Hugh’s bender with Kimberley and Tara. Hugh is high on cocaine and alcohol when he tries to get the buyers to increase the payout, otherwise the current deal will be taken off the table. The buyers ask for a break, in which they work things out with Ken. When the buyers leave, Ken comes out of the room to reveal that they still want to purchase the Unit, but relocate it and for Hugh to have nothing to do with it, however as he invested his own money, he will still become a rich man. This angers Penny, which leads her to tell Hugh that she’s glad they have moved on and she’ll never forgive him for the deal going south.

Penny and Jarrod—The premiere reveals that Penny is happy in her relationship with mine manager, Jarrod Powell (portrayed by Dustin Clare). At Eliza’s birthday party, when Jarrod gets on stage, it’s revealed that they have been together for eight months and he proposes to her. Penny is clearly surprised and doesn’t want to marry him, but says yes. When they go out to lunch to celebrate the next day, Penny tells him that he sprung the proposal on her and she felt pressured to accept as it was done in public, and wants their relationship to stay the way it is. He tells her he wants to spend his life with her, but she gives the ring back.

After the disastrous meeting with the buyers and due to her anger towards Hugh, Penny goes to the mine and agrees to marry Jarrod, informing him she wants their wedding to be only just the two of them and she wants to have it as soon as possible.

Matt, Charlie and April—Charlie has returned to Whyhope, to the surprise of everyone, especially Matt and April. Meryl and Hayley are the first to see her as they run into her while in town, with Hayley inviting her to Eliza’s birthday party. Charlie eventually makes her way to The Brewery before the party, saying hello to Matt and April, with all of them finding the situation awkward.

Meryl invites Charlie to stay at the Homestead for a week or two after initially asking her why she’s back, while April tells Matt she wants Charlie to leave and not come back. When Charlie goes to see Matt after having a swim at the dam, she asks Matt if it’s okay that she stays at the Homestead, he says yes. Later, when April finds out that Charlie is staying at the Homestead, she confronts her, making it clear that she wants her to leave. The next day, Charlie admits to Matt she has returned to Whyhope as she wants him back, Matt tells her that he believes they are both at their best apart and he is happy with April, and he does want a divorce.

Meryl—Meryl is once again up to her old tricks as she goes to Council to campaign for the road leading to the cemetery to be sealed. They tell her that she needs the appropriate votes to get the green light, and to do that, she needs to get Councillor Annie Mathis, also known as “Green Annie” on board.

Meryl then goes to see “Green Annie” at her alpaca ranch, where Annie reveals she’s on to her, however Meryl makes it clear she’s willing to bribe her and Annie gives Meryl her price. Meryl gives Annie her bribe by using a lunchbox, however the fate of the road is unseen.

Ajax and Hayley—There wasn’t any real focus on Ajax and Hayley, other than Ajax being seen assisting with a funeral, establishing the cemetery business is going well, and Hayley working on Eliza’s birthday party, with little Jimmy in tow, who is now 18 months old.

Betty—There wasn’t any real focus on Betty either, other than the fact that her and Darren are still together, which is shown when he is waiting for her outside of “Green Annie’s” to take her to work.

Ken—There wasn’t any real focus on Ken either, other than him being depressed over his breakup with Mia as she has gone back to New Zealand.

 

Overall I felt that the premiere was good but not great. Most of the key loose ends I mentioned earlier in this review were addressed—Hugh and Eliza are still in Whyhope, Charlie has returned to Whyhope, Matt has chosen to be with April, but it’s clear that there is a love triangle between him, April and Charlie, which most of the season will revolve around. There wasn’t much focus on the cemetery business, but it’s clearly up and running.

I found the departure of Mia and the introduction of Tara interesting. While I’m disappointed that Mia and Ken’s relationship ended and she has left, I’m looking forward to seeing where Tara takes the series, especially as it’s clear she is the new Hugh or Hugh 2.0.

I’m honestly not that enthused about Penny and Jarrod’s relationship. In the season 3 finale, Penny settled for Raph and there was no mention of him and how their relationship ended in the premiere. As the Doctor Doctor world has moved forward twelve months, and Penny and Jarrod have been dating for eight months, we weren’t introduced to him when they met or at the beginning of their relationship, and we haven’t seen how their relationship has progressed to its current point. Meeting Jarrod at this point in the Doctor Doctor universe is like starting to read a book in the middle, and it’s especially hard to be invested in their relationship as Penny is again settling and it won’t last. It’s also hard to be invested in Jarrod as a character as we know nothing about him, other than the fact that he is Penny’s fiancé and the Whyhope mine manager.

A recurring theme in this episode was ‘back to the way things were/are’. Penny wants her relationship with Jarrod to go back to the way it was prior to the proposal, only for her to change her mind. April confronts Charlie, asking her to leave so her relationship with Matt can go back to the way it is. Not to mention that Tara’s arrival in Whyhope and her habits mirror Hugh’s arrival in Whyhope in the first season. Tara as a character also shows how much Hugh has changed over the years and how far he has come.

Overall this was a good but not great season premiere as it does show some potential for the rest of the season, however while the choice to move the Doctor Doctor world forward twelve months wasn’t a bad one, I feel the time jump would have been better executed if the gaps between the season 3 finale and this premiere were filled properly.

 

Stray Observations:

Dora sighting—Next to the hearse that is stuck in a hole on the road, with the coffin continually falling out of the back, into Ajax’s arms.

-There was no mention of Hugh’s medicinal poppies that were focused on in the season 3 finale.

-Charlie has written and published two books.

-There was no mention or sight of Floyd.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You’re asking for trouble letting Eliza sleep in the same bed. Given the choice I wouldn’t have you boys in the same house.” (Meryl to Hugh)
  • “We’re all going to use it one day Rod, some of us sooner than others.” (Meryl to Rod on the road to the cemetery and its need to be sealed)
  • “Alright…I mean okay…Yes!” (Penny’s response to Jarrod’s marriage proposal)
  • “How many times do you get engaged in your life? 5, 6, tops!” (Hugh to Penny)
  • “Keep the lunchbox, it will remind you how to vote.” (Meryl to Annie)

 

Playing For Keeps: Sidelines

As well as reviewing the parent series, I decided to review the new web series of Playing For Keeps, Playing For Keeps: Sidelines.

The Ten Play website states that “a woman’s car is her own personal haven. We make phone calls, we sing along (albeit often off key) to the radio, we check in with ourselves, and most importantly, there’s always a secret stash of snacks and an emergency change of clothes hidden somewhere between the boot and the backseat.”

The website also states that Sidelines will “allow viewers to spend time with each of our fabulous fictional ladies during those familiar and intimate car ride moments we all experience on a daily basis.”

The series is sponsored by Volvo Car Australia, their Marketing Director, Julie Hutchinson, stated to Ten Play that Volvo were excited to be involved in the series and that it offered “a great opportunity to extend our integration into the broadcast series and provide fans with bonus content throughout the season. We were able to tap into the characters natural chemistry, showcasing the cars and their key features in bite-sized comedic chunks.”

There are currently six episodes of Sidelines, each episode is about two minutes long, and was made available to viewers every week after an episode of Playing For Keeps was broadcast.

Episode 1—Birthday Surprise:

This episode appropriately kicked off with Paige approaching a car with balloons and getting in, hiding. The car turns out to be Tahlia’s, which is revealed when she and Jessie get in the car, unaware Paige is hiding in the back and are waiting for her to arrive.

Jessie asks Tahlia how living with Paige is going. Tahlia reveals that it is better than living with Connor, although Paige isn’t perfect—leaving wet towels on her bed and takeaway in the fridge. Paige, having had enough, jumps up, startles them both and points out Tahlia’s flaws, which include stockpiling wine glasses and waking her up at 5am to make smoothies. Paige than wishes her a happy birthday.

Overall I found this episode to be a very funny and sweet start to the web series, especially as it tied in with the parent series by talking about Tahlia and Paige living together.

Episode 2—Pram Ram:

This episode revolves around Jessie and Paige in the car park, leaving a café. While they are getting ready to leave, Jessie realises she left Georgie’s toy bunny in the café and goes to get it, leaving Paige to fold up the pram and put it in the boot of her car.

Paige struggles to fold it up and has to deal with someone in their own car honking at her off screen, much to her anger. The episode ends with Jessie coming back, giving Paige the toy bunny to hold while she effortlessly folds up the pram and puts it in the boot in seconds. Jessie gets in the car, and Paige follows, reminding her not to forget the bunny.

Overall this was a simple episode, with only two of the characters appearing, showcasing an all-too-common frustration that mothers and their childless friends would experience on a daily basis.

Episode 3—Mindfulness:

This episode only features Maddy, starting with her talking to Trav on the phone about how crazy busy she is, and asks him to take care of the kids and that she’ll be home later.

She gets off the phone, playing a mindfulness mediation recording via a phone app and starts eating a pastry. She then tells the Uber driver in the driver’s seat that she won’t be much longer, and starts to relax.

Overall I found this to be a funny episode, which successfully managed to focus on a singular character and even provide an insight into Maddy’s life that hasn’t been looked into before—how she manages to cope with her busy life.

Episode 4—Yogalates:

This episode focuses on Tahlia, Jessie and Paige leaving their yoga class. The three of them talk about how relaxed they are now, with Paige and Jessie admitting they fell asleep and Tahlia rolls her eyes at them. Paige then suggests that they go and get coffees and pastries, which they agree to. Paige and Tahlia then argue over who gave who the keys. Everyone thinks Tahlia has the keys, until Paige discovers she did have them all along. Tahlia is already annoyed at this, only to discover that she got a parking ticket while they were at yoga.

Episode 5—Secret Sound:

This is the first and only episode to feature Kath, with her and Maddy in Kath’s car listening to the radio and trying to guess the ‘secret sound’. Maddy’s guess is rain, Kath’s guess is bacon frying in a pan. They light-heartedly argue about it before finding out that Kath was right and she knew due to her years of frying bacon for Brian and the kids.

Episode 6—Pub Footy:

The last episode features Tahlia and Jessie. Tahlia is dropping Jessie off at a ‘kick around’ session with the female footy players and Jessie tries to convince Tahlia to join her, as she told the girls she would show up. Tahlia is reluctant but agrees. The screen fades to black to symbolise the time jump once the girls get out of the car to go to the session. When they get back in the car, Jessie expresses her surprise at Tahlia’s footy talents, which include kicking multiple goals. Despite this, Tahlia doesn’t agree to go to another session.

 

Overall I enjoyed this web series as it provided funny little extras or moments with the characters. The episodes were well-written, self-contained stories, and even provided an insight into the characters that hasn’t been shown in the parent series. I hope the web series continues if the parent series is renewed.

 

 

New shows I reviewed and didn’t review

I recently went through my blog posts on the TV Week previews editions for 2017, 2018 and 2019, to see what new shows I ended up reviewing and what shows I didn’t.

The majority of new shows that I blogged about that I said I’d review, I did end up reviewing, however there were some new shows I didn’t end up reviewing. You can find the list of the new shows I did and didn’t review below:

 

2017:

Did review: Sisters

Didn’t review: Newton’s Law

 

2018:

Didn’t review: Riot, Hopelessly Devoted to You, Working Class Boy, SEAL team, Instinct, 9JKL, Life Sentence and Hard Sun.

 

2019:

Didn’t review: Black B*tch

 

 

TV Week 2020 Previews

I’m carrying on my annual tradition with this blog post—buying the previews edition of the TV Week and blogging about what shows look good to watch this year (and that I’ll possibly review).

Harrow‘s impending third season was only given a paragraph this year. According to TV Week, the third season “sees the forensic pathologist gain a son—maybe. A young man claims Harrow is his dad, then turns up dead. This paragraph only told viewers what happened in the final moments of the season 2 finale. Despite this, I’m looking forward to seeing where this story arc goes.

The Five Bedrooms preview wasn’t actually a preview at all, merely a few paragraphs summarising what happened in the first season and to “expect all the feels to be dialled up once more in season two.” I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the gang now that their house has sold despite changing their minds at the last minute, and with Ainsley’s pregnancy.

The Doctor Doctor preview is given a solid amount of space, reminding viewers that the second half of the third season had Hugh’s ex-wife, Harriet, return and tell him that she was carrying his child, as well as Penny giving Hugh an ultimatum to stay in Whyhope for good and give their relationship a chance or leave for good. In my review of the season 3 finale, I wrote that there were a lot of loose ends that weren’t tied up, however the preview does actually give a preview of what’s to come.

Corser states in the preview that Hayley becomes a shoulder for Hugh to lean on as he is adjusting to single fatherhood. I feel that they will be an unlikely pair that will both be entertaining and heartwarming to watch. The preview also states that Hugh will be fighting for his career without his colleagues picking up the slack this time. The preview also focuses on April’s proposal to Matt still hanging in the air and the fact that Charlie is bound to come back, so it will be interesting to see how the love triangle between them will pan out. Also Meryl decides to focus on the impending local election, and Axel and Hayley make a “brave decision for themselves”, what that decision is remains to be seen.

One show I was pleasantly surprised to see renewed was How to Stay Married. In my review of its season 1 finale, I wrote that I felt it wasn’t as good a show as I thought it would be—it has a promising premise, but it was poorly executed. I still feel that way, but I hope the second season shows improvement. I’ll only find out when I start reviewing it. All the preview says about it is to “expect a few changes as the Butler kids come crashing into teenagehood.”

One show I haven’t yet reviewed but have seen is Rosehaven, an ABC comedy-drama about best friends, Emma and Daniel, who find themselves moving back to Rosehaven after a long absence, navigating life and the eccentricities of the small Tasmanian town, whilst working in Daniel’s mother’s real estate business. This year their fourth season will air, with the previews issue revealing that the future of the show was uncertain when the season 3 finale aired.

New shows that show potential are RFDS, Informer 3838, and Fam Time.

RFDS revolves around the lives of fictional characters in the real Royal Flying Doctor Service. The preview states that RFDS follows “the doctors, nurses, pilots and support staff as they navigate their turbulent personal lives and the risky emergencies on the job in the Northern Territory.” The show will star Steven Peacocke, Justine Clarke and Rob Collins. Although the show has been likened to popular series such as All Saints and Rescue: Special Ops, however it would be safe to see this a modern take or revamp of its predecessor, The Flying Doctors, which aired in the 80s and 90s.

Informer 3838 is a drama based on “Lawyer X”, Nicola Gobbo (who will be portrayed by Ella Scott Lynch). Lynch told TV Week that we, the viewers, have to remember that it is not a documentary, it is a fictional story based on real people. She also stated that every character in the show believed they were doing the right thing. It will be interesting to see how this concept is played out in the show.

Fam Time‘s potential can be found in its relatable premise—a family of screen addicts. However I have the same concern with this show as I did with How to Stay Married—that the promising premise will be poorly executed. For starters, the family of the show is very Modern Family-esque, with a stepdaughter, adopted daughter and a second husband, which isn’t bad in itself but I feel it could be hard for viewers to keep up, and it’s modernity may be shoved down the viewers throats.

The preview says that the show will begin with the mother of the family, Belinda, planning to live stream the funeral of a great-aunt who just died—I believe this opening scene will either put off potential viewers or make them laugh, depending on their age and which generation they are categorised under. The preview also states that Fam Time is an “old school family sitcom set in a whole new world”, it will be interesting to find out what this means, my first assumption about the series was that it would be about the family giving up their screens, however the preview doesn’t state whether this is part of the premise or not.

Overall I’m looking forward to seeing and reviewing new seasons of my favourite shows and shows that I’ve reviewed, as well as checking out new ones, both new ones listed in this post and ones I haven’t come across yet. Stay tuned.