Sando–Pilot (Prodigal Mum)

The job of a pilot is to establish a show’s premise and characters, and set up story arcs for the season, I felt that this pilot did a good job.

The episode kicks off with a 90s-looking television ad of Sando’s–a discount furniture store, with the “package deal queen” and namesake, Vicki “Sando” Sandringham (Sacha Horler), with her family advertising the discounts on offer. We are then brought forward an unidentified number of years to the wedding of Sando’s oldest child, Susie (Krew Boylan) to Kevin (Firass Dirani). We are given a brief insight into how Sando’s fame has affected her as a person, and the background on the furniture business, before the reveal that Sando is pregnant with Kevin’s baby. Sando fails to comically explain away the affair when Kevin admits at the altar he’s in love with Sando and we then see Kevin kicked through the church doors by Susie, before Sando runs off and Susie rushes back to the catastrophe of her fallen-through wedding.

We are then brought forward 10 years into the future, to the present day, where we see a more current ad of Sando’s, albeit without her family. Sando’s have become successful, however Sando herself is still as immature as ever, deciding to throw a crazy EOFY party without a second thought, which leads to the CFO, Tony (Rob Carlton), revealing she has been thrown out of the company and her paid-for home.

Then the viewers are brought up-to-date with Susie’s life, which has changed mostly for the better, as she found love with husband, Gary (Uli Latukefu) and had a daughter, Rian (Sierra Lewis) however she is living with her father, Don (Phil Lloyd), and younger brother, Eric (Dylan Hesp) to save money as her online business is struggling.

Sando showing up at Rian’s birthday party on a horse and trying to make amends was hilarious, especially as it led to scenes which gave more of an insight into the family and their dynamic. Don can’t build a music career due to his only success amounting to the jingle he wrote for the furniture store and is having an affair with Susie’s best friend, Nicky (Adele Vuko), Eric is still a child, and Gary is working four jobs to support Susie’s business idea which isn’t going anywhere. Another insight into the family dynamic is provided when Susie and Sando’s conflict comes to a head at the birthday party when Eric reveals he told Sando about Susie’s business, and Susie tasers Sando.

Ultimately it’s Gary, the family in-law who doesn’t know Sando, who suggests she moves in to help them out, and here the premise of the show is set up.

Overall this pilot did a good job with establishing it’s premise and characters. While this pilot was packed with great one-liners, I’m not sure if the slapstick comedic moments such as Kevin being thrown through the church doors, the EOFY party, and Sando being tasered, really suit the show, I felt they were a little over the top.

I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the season and seeing where it goes.


Stray Observations:

-Susie allows her anti-vaxxer friends to bring their children to Rian’s birthday party on the condition that they stay in a pen. Susie display some new age qualities, but isn’t completely anti-western medicine.

-Sando’s furniture displaying skills are shown in the last five minutes of the episode when she manages to clean up the pool house that has been used as storage for years.

Best one liners:

  • “You’ve turned my beautiful boutique store into a bargain basement furniture whorehouse for bogans!” (Sando’s mother, Catherine to Sando).
  • He was all over me like a fat kid on a biscuit!” (Sando on her and Kevin’s sexual encounter which led to her pregnancy).
  • “We’re like fake tan on a bra–we’re everywhere!” (Sando to her colleagues on the store’s success).
  • “I’m the reason people run through those doors and blow their baby bonus on a flatscreen” (Sando to Tony).
  • “It’s not my fault that you’ve burnt every bridge you ever had with anyone who ever loved you!” (Tony to Sando).
  • “Stop using my life as a routine” (Gary to Eric).
  • “Vicki, what have I told you about showing up here on one of your redemption benders!?” (Don to Sando when she shows up at Rian’s birthday party on a horse).


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