Archive | June 2016

Love Child–Season 3, Episode 2

This was again another packed episode but even more spectacular than the last.

Again I felt the writers’ were trying to squeeze too much into an episode, I’m aware that the seasons are only limited to eight episodes, but I never felt that they tried this hard in the last two seasons. I’m not sure if they are trying to push their boundaries, trying out new writing techniques or have less episodes this season, or possibly all of the above.

I appreciated the resolution of some of the major plot points from last season, especially McNaughton’s involvement with Matheson’s death. The revelation of this to Joan was inevitable, I was wondering how they were going to do it. I felt that Joan partially figuring it out on her own fitted the story perfectly. Clearly McNaughton has pulled strings to get Jim out of jail and Joan knows this, I’m looking forward to seeing how this love triangle, which hasn’t been directly addressed, progresses. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Viv and the twins subplot, I felt that her letting go was adequately addressed and proper closure was provided last season, why open it up again? One positive I will say is the inevitable interaction between her and Matron, I felt that it was a step backwards from the progression of their relationship however I enjoyed that the mother-child like dynamic still exists between them.

I’m loving the relationship between Annie and Chris becoming more realistic, however I felt it was small in contrast to all the other subplots, and that it could have been shown further in the season. I loved the writers’ choice to show the progression of Chris and Matron’s relationship with subtlety, they seem to be more at ease with each other with Chris clearly forgiving her. I wonder if Annie will manage to do the same one day? I did enjoy Matron and Annie’s brief interaction, similarly to the relationship with Viv and Matron, I felt this relationship also took a step backwards from its progression last season. I was also relieved to discover that Annie wasn’t having a miscarriage.

By far the most compelling plot of the episode was the Shirley and Maggie plot. Last week I wondered how long they were going to drag out the inevitable discovery for Maggie, as well as the inevitable interaction between the two of them. I’m glad that they didn’t leave it too long but as I previously mentioned, there’s generally only eight episodes in a season, so really they don’t have the room to drag it out. The final scene between Shirley (Ella Scott Lynch) and Maggie (Tiarnie Coupland)¬† was the best scene in the entire history of Love Child, it’s been a little over an hour since I’ve seen it and I’m still feeling chills. I’m looking forward to seeing where their relationship goes, especially since Shirley clearly loves her even if she doesn’t want to, and I believe that Tiarnie Coupland has a bright future ahead of her, I hope that she’s nominated for Best New Talent at the Logies next year. I was also incredibly moved by the discovery of what the ever-present ‘ILWA’ means, especially at it’s the show’s first strong attempt at symbolism.

I also loved the subtle history references providing a time frame for the episode. I felt that the girls’ constant references to the first edition of Dolly magazine was a great running gag, which was needed for this emotionally charged episode and also places the series in November 1970. I also liked the subtle reference to the Vietnam War, which until now, wasn’t addressed this season and Shirley’s interaction with the American soldiers.

Overall this episode was much better than last week’s, however I do hope the writers’ ease up on the quantity of subplots in the next episode.

 

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Love Child–Season 3, Episode 1

Like its predecessors, the third season premiere of Love Child was a cracker.

The first season premiere focused on building the show and its characters as it should, the second season premiere was all about celebration and tragedy in the new decade, this season premiere felt different to me, to me it was overwhelming yet subdued.

According to TV Week, one month has passed since the events of the second season finale. Stanton House is closed, Jim is still in jail and Shirley has turned 30. I personally loved the somewhat silly opening of the girls putting decorations together for Shirley’s birthday, it was a fun way to open the series, especially since it tends to open with celebration and end with drama. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop throughout the episode.

I appreciated the blanks being filled in the premiere–Matron hasn’t been written out and is walking a tightrope between still being the same hardarse but also adapting as a grandmother, Annie and Chris are still together as are Martha and Simon, Viv is still working at the hospital, Patty’s business has become a success and Joan is trying to raise James on her own in the residents’ quarters, McNaughton’s a bit of an unknown at this point. I was happy to see all the main and recurring characters present in this episode, however I also felt it worked to their disadvantage as I was overwhelmed with the number of characters and their plots throughout the episode.

I felt that Joan and Viv were the right choice of characters to find Maggie in the now-abandoned Stanton House. They both believe in doing the right thing, even if that means having to break the rules and do the wrong thing on occasion. Due to her being close to Maggie’s age as well as her physical proximity, Viv was the obvious and best choice to bond with her. I also felt that Viv’s bond with Maggie has greatly shown her progression as a character: she’s becoming more responsible, has grown up a little but is still not a complete goody-two-shoes, I’m loving this new Viv as she’s almost come full circle.

I was surprised by the choice of making Joan infertile, at least possibly infertile. I thought it might not bother Joan in the slightest considering how progressive she is, however and ironically, she has embraced marriage and adoptive motherhood. Some may argue her character has regressed, but others may argue that she is simply a human being and she never stated outright that she didn’t want children. Her relationship with Jim seems good, however I’m not so sure if it’s going to last and it really wasn’t all that touched on in this episode, maybe later in the season.

My favourite part of the episode was the twist of Maggie being Shirley’s daughter. Truthfully it didn’t surprise me, I thought that she was Shirley’s daughter all along. If you’re an avid fan like me, you could recall in episode 5 of Season 1 when she gave birth to Ben that Viv discovered Shirley previously gave birth in 1956–14 years earlier. Maggie looked the right age (I’ll forgive the slight continuity error by the writers) and logically Shirley was the only person that made sense and was a real possibility. Shirley’s subtle reaction when Viv told her about the letter was fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing where this plot goes. Truthfully Maggie turning out to be pregnant was more of a twist than who her mother is.

There were some subtle moments I enjoyed such as Patty’s successful business and her summarising how overwhelming it’s been for her, the phrase “I accidentally became successful” was brilliant and a typical Patty thing to say. I also enjoyed Matron manipulating her way onto the hospital board, this provides her with a new role which in turn provides her with a huge opportunity for character development. One subtle moment I didn’t enjoy was the beauty pageant in the background, considering the fact that it was interweaved throughout the episode, I thought it would serve a bigger purpose and was disappointed when it didn’t.

The dramatic ending scene with Maggie being forced to go back to the group home was absolutely heartwrenching. The look she gave to who I assume was the man running the place was perfect and made me wonder whether he was the one who impregnated her, which would be shocking. While Love Child¬†has already covered the angle of a rape conception with Martha, she was an adult, if I’m also right about this, a molestation conception plot would be a different kettle of fish. Love Child is not Law and Order SVU and it is set in an era of less sensitivity, so it would be interesting to see how they would deal with that kind of plot (again if I’m right).

As I said earlier, I found this season premiere both overwhelming and subdued. I provided my logic for feeling overwhelmed with the amount of characters and their plots worked into the episode. I felt that the premiere was subdued due to only the small touches of tension and drama throughout the episode. Really the drama only kicked in towards the end, it wasn’t evenly distributed and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

Overall this season premiere was an absolute cracker however I felt it could have been better, especially with its writing. I think a two-part season premiere would have ironed out the kinks.