Archive | November 2016

Hyde & Seek–Season Finale

I found this season finale interesting as Hyde & Seek‘s future remains to be seen.

The last season finale I saw where the show’s future was uncertain was the third season of Love Child back in August. Love Child‘s finale managed to wrap up the season’s story arcs and establish new ones, in case they were renewed for another season. Hyde & Seek managed to wrap up their major story arc, however they didn’t establish any new ones, which will make season 2 interesting, if there is a second season.

The resolution of Hyde’s car “accident” was given away in the trailers with Hyde & Oscar shown walking away injury free and Sonya being wheeled into the hospital. However I felt that the scenes between Hyde & Oscar in the hospital and Hyde’s emotional reaction were realistic. It was obvious that Hyde & Sonya’s baby would be fine as if it wasn’t, it would take the attention away from the main drama.

On another note, my favourite scene had to be the confrontation between Claudia and Andrew. I could feel the satisfaction in Furness’ character when she finally told Andrew she knew everything and Andrew’s tension when he realised he had been caught. Deborra-Lee Furness and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor are incredible actors and I feel that their acting prowess’ were underused in Hyde & Seek.

In regards to the season finale overall, I felt it was anti-climatic as I thought that Andrew was the perpetrator all along, due to his creepiness factor and unwillingness to co-operate with the squad. However in the finale we were finally shown how cold blooded he is to the core. The surveillance photo itself was scary enough, however we also saw his psychopathic tendencies when Sonya remembered seeing him behind the wheel of the car and at the end when he ambushed Claire and Hyde. Hyde summed up Andrew’s character flawlessly as a coward and I liked how it tied in with the revelation that he knew the bomb of the van that killed Nick was rigged. I’m not a fan of the “fight while the other hostage scrambles to get the other gun” cliche, but I liked that of all people, Claire was the one to kill Andrew. That moment showed off her “spy” kills and it was too much of a given for Hyde to do it.

Overall the finale was good, but not as good as I expected it to be. There wasn’t as much drama as I anticipated and I think should have been and while everything was wrapped up nicely, it was all a little too easy and rushed. That being said, the writing throughout the season has been spectacular and I did enjoy the show overall. I hope it’s renewed for a second season, but in all honesty, if I had to go by the writing of this episode, I don’t think it will be, which is a shame. I hope I’ll be eating my words on this one.

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Doctor Doctor–Season 1 Finale

I was interested in seeing how the finale would play out, especially with the highly emotional end of the previous episode.

It was obvious that Joey’s death was going to be investigated, especially by Tugger. I really felt for her as she was struggling between being a dutiful police officer and a grieving girlfriend, which highlights how great Lucy Durack’s performance was. I especially liked the moment where she lashes out at Hugh and they both admit the reality of Joey’s situation and their grief. The writers’ decision to have Penny change the toxicology results to death by snake venom, involving Joey’s beloved snake, was a stroke of genius and I certainly didn’t see that coming, it was an interesting way to get Hugh out of strife.

Hugh trying to catch the plastic balls thrown at him by Charlie, Matt and Ajax was a great running gag and a great little bit of symbolism at the end of the episode. I especially liked how it fueled the Hugh and Penny subplot, especially with Ajax at the end of the episode.

Speaking of the Hugh and Penny subplot, while over the course of the season, especially in this last half, their relationship growth has been slow and subtle, in this episode I felt it was a little rushed. I like how of all people, Charlie was the person to tell Hugh that she was leaving, that she said what he was thinking out loud, and that she became obsessed with their relationship.

I also liked that the writers chose to focus at first on the progression of their working relationship, especially with Penny’s humorous truthful reference which revealed that six months have passed since the pilot and then her “palatable” one. I also liked how the writers chose to show the evolution in Hugh and Floyd’s father-son like relationship with Floyd’s cute goodbye and Hugh’s lie, which ultimately bit him in the arse when he tried to hook up with Penny. I was a little pissed off when Aiofe interrupted Hugh’s attempted hook up by calling him for “ex sex”. While writing wise, an interruption/conflict to the happy ending is necessary and as a viewer I was sending subliminal message to Hugh screaming “don’t do it” which is what the writers were going for, as nothing happened (thankfully), I didn’t really see much point to it as it didn’t really add to the plot.

It wouldn’t be Doctor Doctor, without some sort of hospital drama. Seeing the heavily damaged bus and the severely injured bus driver pull into the hospital was confronting and the following scenes were intense, however it was great that it showed exactly how well the hospital staff work together, especially Hugh and Penny. I have always liked the insertion of the hospital drama as it perfectly balances out Hugh’s family and romantic dramas.

I liked the development in Hugh and Ajax’s relationship, especially as the revelation of Hugh being Ajax’s father hadn’t been properly addressed due to the show’s focus switching to Joey’s death. Ajax finally asks Hugh why he felt the need to have the truth come out and I liked that Ajax seemed to accept it as it’s true to his character. I believe Ajax is the most interesting character out of all of them as he turned out to be someone completely different to what I expected in the pilot. I at first thought Ajax might have been a bit of a psycho, but he is clearly the kindest and sanest out of all of them. I also found Ajax’s choice to call Hugh his “other dad” and yell at him in the presence of Jim, in an attempt at loyalty, hilarious and very sweet. I also liked the subtle nod to the continuity of Meryl’s campaign by showing that Ajax is in fact still in school, despite his reluctance to go back to it.

I was surprised by Matt’s choice to leave Charlie. Matt could clearly see Charlie’s obsession with Hugh and Penny’s relationship and mistakenly saw it as a jealousy. Well it was entirely mistaken, but I think the writing in their relationship is a little sloppy considering that, as a couple, they clearly have communication issues and Charlie’s true feelings towards both Hugh and Matt aren’t made clear to them. I also feel that Charlie’s lingering pain from the heartbreak Hugh caused her is hindering both her’s and Hugh’s character development. I hope both Matt and Charlie’s relationship and the writing of it, is sorted out next season.

Meanwhile, I am growing tired of Meryl’s campaign for Whyhope Mayor. It’s already been established that she is slightly corrupt and while some of her campaigning techniques have been hilarious, I think this little subplot should end. I did like the choice by the writers to have Rod make a pass at her and for the revelation of Rod being Nathan’s father (I at first thought Rod might have been his lover, especially with the way the revelation came out). It looks like Meryl may lose, but knowing her, it surely won’t be the end of it.

Meanwhile, in the middle of everything, Penny’s replacement, Nora, arrives. Nora appears to be an unpleasant character, and she is, but she is certainly not boring. Between making Hugh give a urine sample in front of her, her insensitive “slackers” comment to the staff after treating the bus crash patients, and her discovery of Penny’s honest review of Hugh, she will certainly make things interesting next season.

I felt that the ending of Hugh rushing to tell Penny his hand works, making the viewers think that they are going to declare their feelings for each other, only for nothing to happen, was a let down. Clearly the writers are leaving things open for next season, but I’m not sure if disappointing the viewers to do so was necessary, however there is a part of me that likes the fact that they didn’t go with the cliche.

I also loved the final moment where Nora reads Penny’s honest review of Hugh, which sets their impending working relationship in motion, which I look forward to seeing next year.

Overall for a finale, I thought it was good but not great–everything was left open for next season, there was a great mix of humour and drama, however I felt the ending and the Matt and Charlie subplot was a bit of a let down. However I have enjoyed the show overall and I’m looking forward to reviewing season two next year.

The Secret Daughter–Season 1 Finale (Risk It)

I wondered what the finale would be like after Billie was told that she’s not a Norton.

I liked the focus on Harriet and her intentions behind her actions being revealed to both Billie and the viewers. I liked the display of evolution in their relationship as Billie was the only one who knew where to find her and gave her some tough love, in regards to her grief and Susan, to the point where she actually defends Susan. Speaking of Susan, it was a little cringeworthy to have her pretending to be nice to Billie purely to avoid a lawsuit. I’m divided as to whether this is a part of her character, writing that needs to be improved or possibly both. I found it interesting that she takes the risk to lie to Jamie about Billie’s whereabouts at the end of the episode, considering that she would still be at risk of a lawsuit, which is why she was pretending to be nice in the first place. Despite this, I am looking forward to seeing this played out next season.

I did enjoy the next step of Billie’s career path, which was being a headliner in Jack’s Bar, as well as being on show for a record producer. I enjoyed it as it went full circle–in the pilot she is performing to a small crowd in a pub and in the finale she is performing for a larger crowd in a sophisticated bar, with the possibility of a huge career in front of her. While Jessica Mauboy looked great in her dress, I personally felt that the symbolism wasn’t really needed, as her evolution as a singer was already obvious. I felt that Kirk Pengilly’s cameo as the record producer was purely inserted to state the obvious to Billie, and that his performance was a little stiff, however his character did his job. I wonder if Kirk’s performance is just a cameo or whether he’ll be a recurring character next season if Billie does return to Sydney.

I felt that the writers did a good job of wrapping up this season’s plots and establishing new plots for the next one. Since Billie admitted the truth to Susan and Harriet to Jamie, I’m wondering whether it will be common knowledge when the next season kicks off. I’m also looking forward to finding out where Gus and Billie ended up going and I felt it was a smart choice by the writers to leave it open.

Overall, this episode, for a finale, did its job. I also felt that it was understated, however this was consistent with the level of drama throughout the season, and was well done. I’m looking forward to reviewing season two next year.

The Wrong Girl–Season 1 Finale

In all honesty, for a finale, this episode was a little disappointing.

The first third of the episode is spent on the birth of Pete and Meredith’s baby. I felt that the birth scenes were realistic without being overly graphic, which I appreciated. I also enjoyed finding out why Lily ended up looking like she had been through the wringer when her brother showed up 10 hours later. I also enjoyed the moments afterwards such as Mitchell showing up to congratulate them and Ivan telling Lily to stay away from them. I wasn’t surprised that Mitchell showed up, however I was relieved when he didn’t go in as it would be going too far and is unrealistic, that being said I felt a little heartbroken for him. I also enjoyed Ivan telling Lily to stay away as he is the only character who is being honest and realistic about the situation and deep down, Lily knows this. It did annoy me that the baby’s name wasn’t revealed (unless it was and I missed it, please let me know if I did).

Another third of the episode focused on Lily’s work situation with Jack. I felt that both Jack and Eric were unlikeable in this episode for different reasons. I felt that Jack was being a little bit of a jerk to Lily when she said that she couldn’t go away with him due to her responsibilities, not to mention it seemed out of character for him. While Eric’s behaviour and joy of Jack leaving didn’t surprise me, I still felt that he was being especially over-the-top and out of control, even for him. I hope he’s fired in the next season or at least finally called out on his behaviour.

On a similar note, I felt that Lily’s choice to resign from her job to travel with Jack was a ridiculous one and quite out of character for her, considering how much she wanted the Supervising Producer job in the first place. I also enjoyed the argument between Pete and Lily when she tells him about her travel plans as they finally call each other out on their questionable behaviour throughout the season.

The other third of the episode focused on Lily’s attempt to repair her friendship with Simone. I felt that the phone call between them, especially on Simone’s end, was realistic and well done. I personally felt that Simone forgiving Lily because she saw videos of their friendship over the years was a cliche and purely because it was a finale, however I appreciate that the writers chose not to drag it out. I also liked Simone’s subtle blessing for Lily’s choice to be with Jack by telling her to follow her heart, especially as she goes on to follow her own with Vincent.

The highlight of the episode for me was Ivan subtly and slowly revealing to Pete that he may have a brain tumour or cancer. For the first time, Ivan shows his vulnerability, not to mention it explains his behaviour both throughout the season and in this episode with his new granddaughter.

The end of the episode for me was perfect in regards to its transition into the next season, however the rest of it I just didn’t like. Pete declaring his feelings for Lily at the end of the episode and season is a cliche, not to mention it made me like him less as his baby with another woman has literally just been born. I also didn’t like it as it seems that Pete and Lily’s attraction to each other has been inconsistent throughout the season.

As I said at the beginning of my review, I felt that this episode, for a finale, was a little disappointing. I felt it was disappointing as there really wasn’t much drama in it and the ending was cliche. However I felt that this episode sets up the future plots for the next season quite well. Despite how I felt about this finale, I’m looking forward to reviewing The Wrong Girl again next year.

 

 

The Secret Daughter–Season 1, Episode 5 (I Fought the Law)

This episode didn’t have the drama I hoped it would, until the last two minutes.

This episode was mostly about Billie’s court case.

Ryan O’Kane played the role of the ridiculously bad solicitor rather convincingly, however what I liked most was Gus’ role in the subplot. For the first time Gus shows some ironic competency with the law or rather what happens when you break it. I feel that Gus trying to help Billie by being a “double agent” and for calling the police to report Bruno and Rachel for stealing the necklace, was ingenius and the highlight of the episode as it shows immense character development. I also loved the revelation of Billie’s prior conviction involving a plastic fork and a pizza.

In regards to the outcome of the court case, it was obvious that Billie wouldn’t be going to jail and in all honesty, the dragging out of the court case and Jamie’s sweet but cheesy character reference were cliches. I understand the need to advance the overall story, however it could have been done better.

Harriet’s behaviour was the most interesting element of the episode, especially as it lead to the outcome at the end. Harriet’s conscience is finally catching up with her and she reveals the truth to the solicitor about the shoplifting incident, as well as Billie not being a part of the Norton family. I also liked her interactions with Bruno and Rachel as it served Billie’s subplot and also served as a reminder to the public of how people can take advantage of social media and how easy it is to do so to children. I also found it interesting that she is the only one who can see the chemistry between Jamie and Billie.

I feel that Layla and Jamie’s hook up was only added to make Billie feel jealous, which I have stated in my previous reviews is strange, due to the fact that she didn’t know that she’s not related to Jamie, until now.

On an another note, I feel Susan is becoming more unlikeable due to her reluctance to help and her obvious joy when she overheard Harriet revealing the truth to Billie. I’m glad that Jamie finally called her out on her behaviour and I’m looking forward to seeing what she’ll be like in the finale now that she has an upper hand.

Overall this episode wasn’t as exciting as I thought it should be, however it was a definite improvement from the last one.

 

 

 

The Secret Daughter–Season 1, Episode 4 (Lean on Me)

I felt that this episode is a bit of a filler to lead into the remaining two episodes.

My reasons for this are due to the episode revolving around Jack’s funeral, the arrival of Layla, the return of Gus, the media catching on to Billie’s appearance in the Norton family and Bruno’s discovery of where Billie is. All of these moments are building up towards explosive drama.

While it was good that the funeral was brief so the viewer isn’t traumatised or bored, I felt that Chris’ eulogy was sweet however it was undermined by Jared Turner’s stiff performance. I felt that he was trying to hard to be emotional and it honestly didn’t feel authentic. It didn’t surprise me that a couple of journalists managed to sneak in and take photographs of the funeral, the whole “hiring security to keep media away only for them to show up” plot device is a cliche. However I felt it was a good and realistic choice for the media to reveal Billie’s whereabouts to Bruno.

Despite how I felt about his performance at the funeral, Jared Turner’s performance with Renee Lim (Vivienne) was amusing. Considering how serious Chris is, it was a breath of fresh air to finally see a perkier side to him after he and Vivienne finally give into their lingering feelings. I loved the interaction between them, especially Vivienne first attempt at declaring her feelings for him as it gave the episode as whole some much needed humour.

I find Billie’s jealousy towards Layla making a move on Jamie strange, considering that she believes Jamie is her brother. I think the whole “love triangle” angle would only be effective if she thought or knew that she wasn’t related to him.

I’m interested to see what Bruno and Rachel’s next move will be now that he knows where Billie is. I’m also interested in seeing the next episode so I can find out who this “worst lawyer” will be for Billie’s court case. One thing I wasn’t interested in seeing was Billie’s band in Walperinga as they really didn’t add to the episode.

Overall the episode was clearly a filler and because of that it was a little dull, however I think it provides a great transition to the remaining episodes.

 

 

Hyde & Seek–Episode 7

In this episode a huge jigsaw puzzle piece in the mystery was revealed.

We finally got to see more of Claudia in this episode, which I have called for in my previous reviews due to Furness’ acting prowess. I found it interesting that Hyde & Claire chose to meet her at a cemetery to talk about Jackie, even more so when Hyde was defending Jackie.

The mosque and car bombings added well to the overall mystery, but other than that the action was lacking in this episode, however like with episode 5, I believe this episode is meant to be more mentally than physically spectacular. The revelation that the explosives used were the same explosives that killed Nick wasn’t that much of a revelation, it seemed obvious to me that it was going to be the outcome.

The digging into Jackie’s character as a suspect was the highlight of the episode. I didn’t see her as being a former neo-Nazi coming. While it makes her as a character interesting, I do question whether this was added to make her look more like a suspect, as it seems inconsistent to what we have previously seen in her as a character. Then again, that would be the point to throw off the viewer, so I guess I can give it a pass, however it didn’t really fit in seamlessly.

I did enjoy Claire’s effort to find dirt on Jackie, however her almost being caught in the act was really a cliche. The best scene for me was the sort-of interrogation between Hyde and Jackie, to me it didn’t feel like an interrogation as Hyde clearly doesn’t think that Jackie is the perpetrator, and it also shows how far their working relationship has progressed.

I did enjoy the performances of Alexander Bertrand and Harriet Dyer as Danny Tollis and Dakota Matherson respectively. I think they played the role of the stereotypical white supremacists perfectly. On a personal note, I didn’t recognise Harriet Dyer at first as I’m accustomed to seeing her in Love Child and as a Love Child fan, I enjoyed seeing Harriet and Mandy McElhinney working together in what could not be a more different show, but I digress. The reveal of John Debeers and ASIO’s involvement was seamless and I’m looking forward to discovering who the perpetrator is, my money is on Andrew.

At first, I felt Oscar’s health scare didn’t really add to the episode until the last two minutes. I felt a sense of unease when everything came back clear and everyone was happy, I knew a twist had to be thrown in somewhere. Hyde’s car being hit at the end of the episode was a twist I kind of saw coming, that being said it perfectly leads into next week’s season finale.

Overall this episode was an improvement from last week and considering that I’ve found no information on whether there will be a second season, next week’s finale will be interesting.