Archive | October 2018

Playing for Keeps–Season 1, Episode 6

This was the best episode of Playing for Keeps so far and I’ll tell you why as I review this episode character by character:

Tahlia, Kath and Connor—I’m starting with them as the episode mostly revolved around them. Tahlia is planning hers and Connor’s engagement party and as usual, is trying to make as big and pretentious as possible. Meanwhile, Connor is feeling some serious guilt and tells Kath he’s planning on telling Tahlia about their affair. Kath tries to persuade him not to, obviously to save her own arse, but of course, as Tahlia performs a romantic gesture for Connor in the form of simplifying their engagement party, and echoing Kath’s statement to Connor earlier in the episode in the process, and suggesting they get married that day, Connor tells Tahlia the truth.

Olympia Valance gave her most powerful performance in this episode from the moment Tahlia is told the truth. Valance’s ability to portray Tahlia’s simultaneous heartbreak and anger through her eyes alone was spectacular, let alone her facial expressions throughout the second half of the episode. Valance’s golden moment came when Tahlia quietly and angrily confronted Kath at the party and threatened to destroy her.

Ultimately, the fate of hers and Connor’s relationship lies in her hands and she makes the choice to marry Connor and have him walk down the aisle, which clearly gives her a sense of power and satisfaction over him and their situation. She also feels this power and satisfaction when she forces Kath to be in a photo with her and Connor. Although she hasn’t destroyed Kath yet or let the cat out of the bag, she is clearly going to in the remaining two episodes of the season and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it.

Jessie and Nate—Another strong point of this episode was Jessie’s choice to not move to Queensland with Nate and embrace her future as a single mother expecting her second child. As this show revolves around the lives of the WAGs, it’s a stupid choice to have one of them and the show’s leads leave during the first season, and the writers know this, so I knew Jessie wouldn’t leave and I was waiting for the reason why to be revealed.

Firstly, Jessie reveals to the girls that the baby is Nate’s and not Jack’s, and how her and Nate met. They met 18 months ago when J.J. bit Nate’s daughter. Her and Jack’s marriage had been over for a long time and they planned to separate in the off season, and Nate knows the baby is his.

After this, Jessie encourages Nate to come with her to Tahlia and Connor’s engagement party as her date as a way for them to announce their relationship as the paps are on to her. However he is reluctant and upset that he told the other WAGs about him. When he promises to fix her kitchen sink tap and doesn’t, and doesn’t show up to pick her up to go to the engagement party, Jessie calls Nate out and he admits he’s not ready to go public.

Jessie firmly states it’s not her problem and finally goes public with her pregnancy when she changes from a black flowy dress, to a gold and black number proudly showing her blooming pregnant belly. The WAGs ultimately compliment and support her choice, even Rusty does, when she goes up to him, he compliments her and is her date for the rest of the night.

Overall I enjoyed Jessie’s subplot, especially when she stands up for herself and embraces her new life as a single mother, however I felt the exploration of her relationship with Nate was too fast, it was pretty much over as quickly as it started up. It would have been better if it was explored an episode or two earlier.

Maddie and Trav—Like with almost every other episode, their subplot was smaller and provided comic relief. Maddie and Trav hire a new nanny, unseen on screen, in the form of Adrian, who disappears before he can really get started as he walks in on Trav masturbating, where he and Maddie discuss their currently non-existent sex life due to their busy work lives. Later, as they are getting ready to go to the engagement party, Trav walks in on Maddie masturbating.

At the engagement party, Trav talks to Maddie in a bathroom where he tells her that he doesn’t want her to step back from work but rather that they get inventive in finding ways to be alone, such as the bathroom stall they’re currently in. They manage to finally have sex, just as Tahlia and Connor are getting married.

Watching their subplot, specifically when Trav admits his love for Maddie and admits he’s not asking her to step back from her career and is trying to find a realistic way to keep the romance alive, made me realise that actually they’re the sanest and strongest couple out of them all.

Paige and Dan—In the previous episode, there were hints of their relationship starting to breakdown, at the start of the episode they seem to have made up a little, as he kisses her goodbye everyday as she is calling for relief teaching jobs. In the middle of it all, she is sent pyjamas for free for a shout out on her social media page.

Although her promoting the pyjamas on social media isn’t shown, another aspect of her social media use is focused on when she suspects she has a troll. Tahlia gives her advice on trolls and advises her not to meet her troll in person, however Paige does anyway with Brody by her side, only for her troll to be an admirer. Paige tells Dan about this and he chides her as social media is still media. This leads to a fight between them about her social media use, their careers, which leads to Dan admitting his uncertainty about their relationship, however they don’t break up.

At the engagement party, they don’t apologise to each other per se but they admit they don’t want to lose each other. At this point their relationship is clearly under strain and there’s uncertainty about their future. With two episodes of the first season left, and with Dan meeting Brody in the next episode, it will be interesting to see whether their relationship will last or not.

Rusty—There was a minor but ultimately important focus on Rusty this week. At the beginning of the episode he is seen being interviewed on television about his coming out and the affects on the club and he is clearly working off a script. Later, Kath reaches out to him and Rusty reveals that he and Jack were in love and fought shortly before Jack died. This adds another piece of the Jack puzzle and this reveal explains a lot about Jack’s anger towards Rusty, and Rusty and Jessie’s friendship. Where this reveal, which didn’t surprise me, goes next remains to be seen.

 

As I said this was the best episode of Playing for Keeps so far as Connor and Kath’s affair, and Rusty and Jack’s affair was finally revealed, and the consequences of both can finally play out in the remaining episodes. This episode contained more character and plot development than in the previous episodes and I hope the writers kept this up in what’s left of the season.

 

 

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Charmed (Reboot)–Pilot

I’m going to come out and say this straight away—I love the original Charmed series and wasn’t happy that it was being rebooted. I’m not really a fan of reboots in general, I think that if you have a talented cast and crew, you should try your hand at an original show instead of rebooting a classic show from decades ago.

I also don’t think that a show can be original when it’s premise, no matter how much of it is changed or altered, is riding on the coattails of a successful past show. So with this review, I’m going to compare this pilot with the pilot of the original series:

The show’s premise:

The premise of the original Charmed series according to Wikipedia:

“Charmed focuses on the lives of three Halliwell sisters, Prue, Piper and Phoebe, as they deal with their grandmother’s death and learn that they inherited a little more than the house they grew up in. All three of them have inherited magic powers; Prue has the power of telekinesis, Piper has the power to freeze, and Phoebe has the power of premonition. Together they try to live everyday normal lives in San Francisco, while battling demons and warlocks, and keeping their supernatural identities a secret.”

The premise of the Charmed Reboot according to Wikipedia:

“Set in the fictional college town of Hilltowne, Michigan, the series begins with sisters Mel and Maggie Vera living with their mother Marisol, who shortly afterward is attacked and killed by an unknown demonic force.

Three months later, Mel and Maggie discover that they have an older half-sister, Macy Vaughn, who was kept a secret by their mother for years but recently moved to Hilltowne to accept a new job at the local university. After the first time the sisters are under the same roof, they unexpectedly start exhibiting new magical abilities; the eldest Macy receives the power of telekinesis, middle sister Mel can freeze time, and the youngest Maggie can hear people’s thoughts.

Soon afterward, their whitelighter—an advisor who protects and guides witches—Harry Greenwood, gathers all three sisters together and reveals to them that they are witches, as was their mother. Marisol had bound her daughters’ powers when they were born so they could live normal lives and was in the process of unbinding those powers on the night she was murdered. The sisters ultimately accept their new destiny as the Charmed Ones, the most powerful trio of witches who protect innocents and vanquish supernatural demons.”

 

So as you can see the premises are similar—both sets of sisters deal with a recent death of a loved one and receive their powers shortly after, and they are trying to balance their magical and everyday lives–however there are also plenty of differences. In the original series, the sisters’ surname was Halliwell and they lived in San Francisco, whilst in this series, the sisters’ surname is Vera, they are latina, and they live in the fictional town of Hilltowne in Michigan. In the original series, the family’s first names started with P, whereas in this series they start with M. In the original series, the sisters’ mother, Patty, died when they were children, whereas in this series, the sisters’ mother, Marisol, dies in the pilot and puts the episode’s chain of events in motion.

 

The sisters and their powers:

Macy (Prue/Paige)—This character is the biggest difference (character-wise) between this series and the original. In this series, the writers decided to combine the characters of Prue and Paige in the form of Macy. Macy is the oldest sister, yet she is also the abandoned half-sister, who has the power of telekinesis, which is similar to Prue’s version of the power. Macy moves to Hilltowne after she is hired to work for Professor Thaine. Like Paige, she shows up at the sisters’ home unexpectedly and this in turn, leads to the power of three and their individual powers being activated. Why Marisol abandoned her and went on to have and keep Mel and Maggie is yet to be made clear.

Mel (Piper)—Another difference is provided in the form of Mel’s sexuality. While Piper was straight and was the first sister to get married, Mel is a lesbian and was in a relationship with Niko, a local cop. Mel’s freezing power acts the same as Piper’s with the difference being that she doesn’t use her hands at first to use it and it works best when she isn’t angry. Unlike Piper, Mel is the most enthusiastic about embracing her powers and destiny as a witch due to her obsession over Marisol’s death.

Maggie (Phoebe)—The biggest difference in the sisters’ powers comes in the form of youngest sister, Maggie. Instead of premonitions, Maggie’s power is telepathy. Whether this is due to the fact that filming premonitions would take more time and money than doing ADRs hasn’t been made clear by the show’s crew. While she doesn’t have premonitions, her telepathy is somewhat reminiscent of Phoebe’s empathy power, where she could read and feel the emotions of others.

 

The sisters’ whitelighter:

In the original series, Leo, a doctor who died in World War II when he enlisted as a medic, was the sisters’ whitelighter. Leo posed as the sisters’ handyman and his secret wasn’t discovered until months after his introduction. In this series, Harry, is posing as a Chair and professor of Hilltowne University’s women’s studies department, and died in 1957 whilst working for MI6.

Whilst Harry did provide some great jokes when he was introducing himself to the sisters, I personally felt his character was cheesy and trying too hard. That being said, I enjoyed that he was slightly more straight forward and aggressive than Leo was, and his orbing power isn’t really orbing, in fact it reminds of me more of the disapparating effect from the Harry Potter films. At the end of the episode, Marisol contacts the sisters via the spirit board and tells them not to trust Harry just as he appears to them.

 

The Charmed destiny:

While this series keeps the Charmed destiny the same—the sisters are the three most powerful good witches of all time and they are destined to save the innocent and fight evil—the ancestry and backstory behind their destiny has been altered. Whilst the Melinda Warren start point is the same, the prophecy focuses on their powers being activated after three signs of the apocalypse show themselves. On an interesting note, in both series, the sisters had to choose to accept their powers and their destiny, however in this series, it has to be a unanimous choice and made within 48 hours. If they didn’t make the obvious choice, anything that happened due to magic would have been undone, including Macy finding Mel and Maggie.

 

The manor:

The manor is similar, yet completely different in this series in comparison to the original. On the outside, the manor is completely smaller to how it appears on the inside, in fact the closest thing to a similarity is the attic.

 

The episode’s premise:

The episode focused on Marisol’s death, clearly caused by evil. Marisol’s death leads to Mel and Maggie meeting their older half-sister, Macy, three months later, and the power of three being activated. Whilst Harry advises them, a puppy demon follows Maggie, although the demon isn’t really a puppy and later possesses Maggie’s ex-boyfriend, Brian. Macy ultimately vanquishes or at least defeats the puppy demon (this isn’t made entirely clear) with a scientific solution, rather than a magical one.

The scientific solution was interesting, however considering it’s a show about witchcraft, I’m hoping this doesn’t happen with every demon or evil they face in the future. Ultimately, the main evil turned out to be Professor Thaine, although his demon identity/name wasn’t revealed. Once the sisters accept their powers and destiny, they are able to vanquish him and avenge Marisol, or so they think, until he tells them he didn’t kill her. The episode ends with Marisol warning the sisters not to trust Harry just as he appears to them.

 

Overall the premise of the show was established slowly but clearly, however the writing was sloppy on occasion such as when the identity of the puppy demon and Thaine wasn’t revealed and the purpose of the crows wasn’t established. The acting was also cheesy, especially Rupert Evans’, I’m guessing that Harry is supposed to provide comic relief, however it felt like he was trying too hard to be the comic relief.

I’ll give this reboot a chance and I’m hoping it will improve over time, but in all honesty, it’ll never hold a candle to the original series. I feel this show would have been reviewed and received in a positive light if it was an original show about sister witches rather than a Charmed reboot.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Harry, freezing time is a common power amongst witches that are control freaks.

Best one liners:

  • “You’re better together, your differences are your strengths and nothing is stronger than your sisterhood.” (Marisol to Mel and Maggie)
  • “Your powers are judging you!” (Maggie to Mel)
  • “I read it as if my penis had been torn from my body.” (Harry to Mel on her article)

 

Playing for Keeps–Season 1, Episode 5

This episode went to great lengths to provide a contrast in the relationships of the main players by kicking off with Connor & Tahlia and Brian & Kath waking up in bed together, and a flashback to Paige’s drunken antics after she got home from her night out in the previous episode, setting the smoke alarm off with her sausages just as ASADA (the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority) arrive at their door.

I’m going to continue reviewing this episode character by character.

Connor and Tahlia—Their subplot didn’t focus on Connor’s mysterious background rather Tahlia’s ambition to launch a male fragrance based on Connor—both the person and his fame. After dealing with the fallout of Rusty coming out, Connor lashes out at Tahlia for the wardrobe choices she is making for him, and she calls him out on whether he is being homophobic and it turns out he isn’t. She later respects his desires not to be a part of the fragrance or launch by having it be about Connor being an “every man”.

Brian and Kath—Brian and Kath’s subplot only briefly focused on their recently closed marriage before focusing on Brian keeping Rusty’s sexuality a secret from Kath. Kath is angry as they never keep secrets from each other because apparently her own current hypocrisy doesn’t count as Brian is not aware of it yet. Brian meanwhile is surprisingly letting Kath walk over him due to the fact that he didn’t want to betray Rusty’s trust. Their subplot ends on a fight and Kath looking for a key to one of Brian’s locked drawers and being unable to find it. What is in the drawer or what she’s looking for remains to be discovered, but I’m sure it will be.

Trav and Maddie—Once again Trav and Maddie’s subplot provides the comic relief for the episode, this time in the form of them having to cope without their beloved and super competent nanny, Johanna, as she is taking time off. In the middle of this, Trav’s guilt over giving Jack the pills that he ended up overdosing on is eating him up. Maddie and Brian ultimately tell him that coming clean won’t make any difference, however he does become absolved of his guilt when he comes clean to Jessie and she tells him that Jack had “dabbled” in the same drugs not long after the grand final and doesn’t blame Trav for his death. Their subplot switches back to comic relief when Johanna returns and tells them she’s leaving as she met a man.

Nate and Jessie—This episode also focused Nate and Jessie’s secret relationship, specifically Nate trying to persuade Jessie to move with him to Queensland. There area few unanswered questions in regards to their relationship such as how it started, why she cheated on Jack with him, and/or whether her and Jack had an open marriage like Brian and Kath. Another question is whether Jessie will move with him as that was left unanswered in this episode.

Dan and Paige—This episode focused on a deterioration in their relationship with Dan’s unhappiness at Paige joining social media and then publicly posting her support for Rusty, which ends up going viral. Dan thinks that Paige is hijacking Rusty’s personal life to build a social media following, and Paige’s reasons for joining social media aren’t made clear. The deterioration reaches the point where Dan leaves for his next game without saying goodbye and ignoring her calls. I feel like this deterioration is cliche and leading to one of them, most likely Paige, cheating on the other. I say Paige because Brody clear likes her and she’s oblivious to it, which is another cliche. In the middle of it all, Paige is fired for filming Yasmin in the pub after the latter dobs her in.

Rusty—Rusty’s subplot was the highlight and main focus of the episode as he initially disappeared following his coming out and later returns. First, Brian, Kath, Connor and Club President, Andrew, having an emergency meeting to figure out what to do with the story of Rusty’s coming out. In this meeting, Andrew shows his true homophobic colours, Brian stays relative silent, while Connor and Kath are supportive of Rusty and try to prevent Andrew from taking too much control over the situation.

Of course, the press conference goes well only for Andrew to crumble and show his true colours at its conclusion. The most interesting part of this subplot was everyone’s reaction to both Rusty’s coming out and the subsequent fallout, including Rusty’s own reaction. Trav is angered that Jack apparently hated Rusty for being gay (although this is yet to be confirmed, I wonder whether the two of them had an affair), Tahlia is not surprised as Rusty never hit on her, and Rusty’s disposition starts to improve as he sees Jessie and for the first time we see them joke and smile together, and later he returns to training, where Brian and the boys (with the exception of Andrew) welcome him back with open arms. Why Rusty came out to Jessie first and how they became close is yet to be revealed. This subplot ended on a good note with the cheer squad ultimately enhancing Paige’s social media post with the game day banner showing their support.

 

Overall this was a decent episode, however I am wondering where the rest of the season is going now that Jack’s death has been ruled as accidental and Rusty has come out and has managed to find peace.

Playing for Keeps–Season 1, Episode 4

Surprisingly this episode didn’t focus on the inquest or Rusty’s lying on the stand, instead this episode focused more on character development:

Maddie and Trav—Their subplot was brief but interesting. At Jack’s wake she mentioned that she was struggling with the additional responsibilities in her new job and in this episode it’s actually focused on as she manages to find pseudoephedrine to keep her awake so she can do all of her work. When Trav comes home and sees her, he is able to see it straight away, where they talk about his own similar past, where he reassures her that she’ll manage her career and family.

Later on he admits to her that he gave Jack drugs shortly before he died, which adds another piece to the puzzle of Jack’s death, especially as the coroner confirmed that his death was an accidental combination of a drug overdose and the head injury he sustained during the training exercise.

Brian and Kath—This episode also further explores Brian and Kath’s marriage as Rusty reveals to Brian that he knows about his affair with Lauren, which subsequently leads to Brian ending their 18-month affair. Brian tells Kath about it and they discuss their open marriage, revealing that they both agreed on it and Brian asks Kath whether she’d agree to close their marriage again, which she eventually does after hooking up with Connor again.

Kath speaks to Lauren at the pub and tells her that Brian did care about her and was even in love. This provides another interesting insight into Brian and Kath’s marriage as not only is it open and Kath knew about Lauren, but she also cares about Lauren and the relationship she has with Brian, which turns the “other woman” cliche on its head, which I appreciated.

Paige and Dan–There wasn’t really much of a focus there, other than the contrast emphasised between the pretty friend of Tahlia’s flirting with Dan at the event and Paige sitting at home eating Nutella out of the jar, and Paige subsequently fighting with him about it when he comes home. When Paige reveals that she has no friends due to the WAGs ditching her and her inability to bond with the other teachers at her school, Dan encourages her to get out more and is later happy for her when she makes up with the WAGs.

Paige, Lauren and the WAGs—Once Rusty reveals to Jessie that Carly went to the press with the affair rumours, the WAGs immediately apologise to Paige, where she takes the opportunity to ask them to have drinks with her. Interestingly, Kath sets rules for the night, which provides a small insight into what life is like for them in the public eye.

Having them go to an old quiet pub, one that Paige suggested, was hilarious considering it provided a great contrast to the lives they live and the type of places they would usually frequent. It is here Tahlia reveals that she knows her way around pubs as she was raised in them by her single mother. Being in the pub also results in Paige catching a student that she’s tutoring trying to drink, the student tries to film and publicly humiliate her and Paige in turn films her in a pub when she’s underage. Ultimately, Tahlia solves her problem by taking the student’s phone away and deleting the footage, putting the young girl in her place.

I did enjoy these scenes as it shows the ladies bonding and provides an insight into them that isn’t about their lives as WAGs. I especially enjoyed them unknowingly bonding over the demise of Brian and Lauren’s affair.

Rusty—There was also a lot of character development with Rusty in this episode. He spends most of the episode acting out of hand by showing up late and vomiting at training, hiding drugs in his locker which Trav sees, which ultimately leads to a fight between the two. Rusty takes things too far, punching Trav and immediately regrets it but Trav doesn’t accept his apology.

After Trav catches Maddie on her drug high, he receives a call from Rusty and goes to see him at the field. Rusty opens up and reveals how he feels about Jessie, or so we think. His revelations seemed to be thrown out the window when Rusty reveals to Neil that he’s gay on the record.

Honestly this revelation surprised me because it came completely out of left field and seemed out of character. There’s been no obvious hints that Rusty is gay, however it could possibly explain his behaviour, his closeness with Jessie could possibly be that he came out to her or she found out about it somehow, and the conversation that Paige overheard could have possibly been about his secret. However to me, using it to cover the affair seems more realistic, albeit a slap in the face to all closeted gay men out there. I’m hoping I eat my words on that last sentence as, if he is gay, it makes his character and his reasons for lying at the inquest more compelling.

 

Overall this was a solid episode with compelling and much needed character development.

 

Stray Observations:

-Trav has the ability to casually hide and carry two full beer bottles in his jumper pockets.

 

Best one liners:

  • “I’m not loving seeing you in a boob sandwich!” (Paige to Dan)
  • “Clear as rum…white rum.” (Paige to Kath)
  • “It’s like a car crash in your mouth and I love it!” (Tahlia describe Paige’s special drink)
  • “I feel like I’m breathing through my eyes!” (Maddie to Trav whilst high on pseudoephedrine)

 

 

Doctor Doctor–Season 3 Finale

The job of a season finale is to conclude the story arcs of the season and open up new story arcs for the next season (if there is one). I feel like this finale didn’t really wrap things up, but it did open up potential new story arcs for the fourth season, if Doctor Doctor is renewed.

I always say that you can usually tell when a show’s future is uncertain by the way a finale is written and with this finale, it was obvious that the writers were uncertain of the show’s future when they wrote the finale but they didn’t really go to much effort to wrap the season’s story arcs up—a lot was left unresolved, which didn’t really make it feel like a finale.

I’m going to review this episode character by character:

Hugh and Harriet—In this episode Hugh and Harriet’s baby girl, Eliza is born. Throughout the episode Harriet is shown to be staying with Hugh and eager for the baby to be born, which could be seen as a hint of what Harriet would end up doing. Shortly after Eliza born, presumably the next day, Harriet does a runner and leaves Whyhope and Eliza with Hugh. In all honesty, her decision didn’t surprise me as it’s true to character, so much so that Hugh actually hinted at this possibility in an earlier episode when Charlie was trying to find Ivy’s mother in Bali.

While it was true to her character to leave Eliza with Hugh, whether Hugh and Eliza stay in Whyhope wasn’t made clear, which was one of many loose ends in this finale.

Matt and April—Another loose end was the choice Matt has to make between Charlie and April. A Twitter user by the name of “Nicole da Silva Fans” summed the situation Matt is in perfectly: “First love/wants a baby vs Current wife/most adult years spent with/doesn’t want a baby…who does Matt choose?”

This choice wasn’t made in this finale, instead it focused on Matt going back and forth between the two. He and April are spending nights together and April was present at the family dinner, yet he considered going to Bali to see Charlie, yet he admits to Hugh he doesn’t want to lose both of them.

Because Charlie this season has mostly been an unsympathetic character, even more so with the way she has been acting since going to Bali and not coming back straight away after she found Ivy’s mother, I’m not overly sure who to go for, whether to be Team Charlie or Team April, and clearly this is a deliberate choice made by the writers. It’s a good way to go as it keeps the viewers engaged, but at a certain point, it has to come to an end as it’s way too easy to cross the line from captivating the viewer to frustrating them.

Meryl, Ajax and Hayley—In this episode, Meryl becomes a slightly unlikeable character as she is being selfish, at least on the surface. Meryl tells the guys at the beginning of the episode that she doesn’t want Arcadia to be a cemetery anymore, despite dead bodies being en route, to the point where she sabotages a funeral procession. It’s later revealed that her grief is affecting her due to it being her first wedding anniversary without Jim, which in turn leads her to reveal to Betty that she’s lost interest in matchmaking, and for Betty to set Meryl up on a date.

While Meryl and Ajax battle, gently, throughout the episode, it’s ultimately Hayley that gets through to her. Hayley forces Meryl to reveal that she doesn’t like the changes that are happening and for Hayley to tell her she can’t live her life stuck and needs to move forward. After this reveal, Ajax proposes to build a separate driveway for the cemetery, which makes Meryl happy.

At the end of the episode, it’s revealed that Betty set Meryl up with Glen, which is surprising considering how much he was hitting on her shortly after Jim’s death. That being said, this time he acted more like a gentleman, which is possibly why Meryl enjoyed the date more, even if, by her own words, it was a little strange.

Penny and Hugh—In this finale, the fate of their love story of sorts is revealed when they admit their love for each other but Hugh choose his job over her. I felt that this would have been disappointing for the fans, but writing wise, it provides another obstacle to keep them apart and bring them back together, hopefully if the fourth season is renewed. If not, at least their love story has been told and ended.

Despite their love story, they actually work well together when dealing with the truck accident and for the first and only time this season, they are shown in a plane and working at a farm together again.

Penny and Raph—Raph only appeared briefly, first at the hospital with Tilly and arguing with her mother and ex-wife outside of the hospital and then when Penny came home after dealing with Hugh, providing her with much-needed comfort. In all honesty, I’m disappointed but not surprised that Penny is choosing to settle for him, but if there is a fourth season, it will be interesting to see where it goes.

Betty and Darren—In this episode, Betty and Darren get back together in the midst of the Hugh-Harriet and Meryl drama. It would have been good if there was more of a focus on it, but I wasn’t completely disappointed with what we were given. On another note, Betty made both a hilarious and fantastic doula.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-There was no Dora sighting this week.

-The Knight men got a piece of the farm each: Matt keeps the brewery, Ajax the cemetery, and Hugh gets to grow his medicinal poppies.

-There was a nice, subtle full circle moment when Hayley confronts Meryl, as Meryl was playing Call of Duty to avoid dealing with her feelings and Hayley was confronting her whilst wearing overalls.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

This season finale had some of the best one liners and interactions in Doctor Doctor‘s history:

  • “I hate this baby get it out of me!” “That’s the spirit.” (Harriet-Hugh)
  • “Of course the baby will co-operate.” (Hugh on the phone with the hiring professor)
  • “Don’t call them dead dudes, it seems unprofessional” (Hugh to Ajax)
  • “What do you think dad would say about us doing this?” (Ajax) “You’re a bunch of idiots” (Matt and Hugh in unison).
  • “It’s like a midwife but with more candles” (Harriet explaining doulas to Hugh)
  • “If I’m in pain people need to know about it!” (Harriet to Betty on being silent during childbirth)
  • “I’m awake I’m just too frightened to open my eyes.” (April to Meryl)
  • “You need to knock before you come into my house!” “That will never happen.” (Matt-Meryl)
  • “I want you to close all roads leading to my property.” “Why?” “To protect me from death.” (Meryl-Darren-Meryl)
  • “I do love him you know…don’t tell him that I’m playing hard to get!” (April to Hugh on her feelings for Matt)
  • “It’s like something broke in me when I saw her.” “That was your heart.” (Hugh-Meryl on Eliza)

 

 

 

Street Smart–Season 1 Finale

As I watching this episode, knowing it was the season and most likely series finale, based on a tweet I read from Shehadie, I was wondering whether both him and Bilgic wrote it knowing the show had an uncertain future.

This episode breaks from the mould by Joseph and Tia breaking away from each other as he has Tia go undercover to find out what Steve and the Street Smart gang are up to.

Joseph and Tia have a pretend fight in the street to lure Steve, which of course works, the way that the gang acted towards her was realistic, and gentleman-like with just a hint of schoolboy. They were nice to her after the “fight”, however the gang (with the exception of Steve) didn’t trust her or want her involved in their plan of stealing the fortune from a warehouse, that was the home of a money laundering scheme under the guise of a school uniform factory. They also give Steve a realistic ultimatum—choose between them or Tia.

Over the course of the episode, Steve and Tia’s chemistry is emphasised, with Tia clearly having more fun with him than with Joseph, and I did wonder whether she would cross over, abandoning Joseph and joining the gang, as I felt that would have provided the perfect end to this season and provide potential to a second (if there was one). Sadly this didn’t happen as Tia politely turned him down outside of the restaurant where Steve planned their date.

The gang experience their moment of failure when they get to the warehouse and see it’s been shut for quite some time, where Steve ends up admitting that his grandfather, who told him about the warehouse on his dying breath, actually died when he was a child. With this moment of failure, they actually end up not committing a crime at all.

Overall this was a solid end to the season with a long overdue focus on Tia, the possibility of her crossing over, and the gang not committing a crime and quickly getting over it. Although I was disappointed that Trans was absent again.

The season overall was done well with a variety of both the gang’s schemes and their levels of success/failure, and a balanced amount of character interaction, although it would have been good to see more of a focus on both Trans and Tia.

While the reception to Street Smart was mixed and didn’t get much support by Network Ten, it would have been great if it got picked up for another season so it would have been given the chance to grow (much like Here Come the Habibs did in their second season). Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing what Shehadie and Bilgic will come up with next.

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Joseph, Tia has the gift of “not being noticed”.

-The Street Smart gang, according to Steve, is a progressive criminal organisation.

-Steve notices Tia’s new hairstyle and compliments her on it, yet Joseph doesn’t.

-Steve believes he should be on The Bachelor as he is wearing a tux (with a cap) on his “date” with Tia and knew to give her a red rose.

-Zena is capable of hiring an accordion player on short notice.

 

Best one liners:

  • “I never knew the Barina could be such a smooth ride!” (Steve to Tia)
  • “Pickles are responsible for producing you!” (Adil to Steve)

 

 

Playing for Keeps–Season 1, Episode 3

Since a lot happened in this episode, I’m going to be reviewing it character by character.

Jessie and Rusty—The episode kicks off with Maddy going to see Jessie and discovering a positive pregnancy test in the trash. Although this isn’t touched on until later in the episode, the focus shifts to Rusty’s girlfriend, Carly, at Kath’s house during the next footy game. Carly reveals Rusty has dumped her whilst she’s drunk and hurling insults at Kath and the other WAGs, which leads to Paige taking her home and Carly tells her she thinks Rusty dated her to cover his affair with Jessie.

After Carly and Paige’s interactions, which included Rusty confronting Carly in front of Paige, the news of Jessie and Rusty’s affair becomes public, where Jessie proceeds to confront Paige and even leads to Dan questioning whether she’s trustworthy. After Kath brings up the “rumour” of the affair, Jessie admits Paige came to her as well.

Meanwhile in the middle of this, the inquest is started up again with Rusty having to testify where he lies on the stand, which adds another piece to the puzzle but also doesn’t solve the mystery completely as Connor is now becoming the prime suspect.

The episode ends with Jessie lying to Maddy and telling her the baby isn’t Rusty’s, only for her to call him on her way out of Maddy’s place to meet up with him and break the news.

Tahlia and Connor—Tahlia and Connor’s relationship drama comes second to Jessie and Rusty’s as Connor’s mother, Diane, is introduced. By introducing Diane, the viewers can finally get to know her as a character and see what the strained relationship between her and Tahlia is really like.

Diane is clearly very pretentious, or at least comes across that way, but in comparison to Tahlia is more cultured. Tahlia in return reveals that she comes from a working class family and comes up with the idea of “radical honesty” between them. Tahlia reveals to Diane that she doesn’t like the painting she bought for them and keeps it in the garage until she visits, while Diane reveals she doesn’t think Tahlia is suitable for Connor as she was unfaithful. It’s later revealed that Connor and Tahlia cheated on each other (whether this was during a break in the relationship isn’t made clear).

Connor leaves to see Brian but ends up hanging out with Kath where they end up having sex, which smashes my earlier theory that Kath is Connor’s biological mother. Connor later returns home where he apologies to Tahlia, tells her he will reveal the truth to Diane and offers to wreck the painting, only for Tahlia to stop him as the painting is worth a lot of money.

Kath and Brian—In this episode it’s revealed that Kath and Brian have an open marriage, or at least they know about the other cheating.

Kath goes to see Adam, where he tries to start a relationship with her again only for Kath to remind him that it’s a fantasy and that’s what she pays him for. Adam ends up calling her out, telling her that while being with him carries no obligations, walking away from Brian and the club also carries no obligations for her. On this note, Kath ends her arrangement with Adam, which clearly saddens her and she goes home to wait for Brian. This all while Brian spends the night, a good one, with Lauren which provides a great contrast to the end of Kath and Adam’s arrangement.

Before she hooks up with Connor, she reveals to him that cheating, or at least communicating to each other about it, has helped hers and Brian’s marriage.

Maddy and Trav—In this episode, Maddy has finally found an Au pair that she likes and does a good job in Joanna, which leads to Trav becoming the comic relief in this episode as he’s mad at the kids learning how to play soccer and then at her for washing his “lucky socks”. At the end of the episode he tells Maddy that he’ll apologise to Joanna for his behaviour and that it was never about the socks, but his grief, which Maddy tells him she knows already.

A highlight of their subplot for me was Trav comforting Jessie by opening up about his own grief through the video game he was playing as it shows there’s more to him than the man child that he appears to be.

Paige and Dan—The episode actually didn’t focus much on them, other than Dan finding out how much Paige spent on the high end clothes she purchased in the pilot, and Paige being accused of telling the story of Jessie and Rusty’s affair to the press.

Kath, Maddy and Tahlia question Paige and her honesty after the story breaks, which she obviously didn’t give, however other than Kath borderline threatening her, their questioning of her trust wasn’t explored in this episode, but I know it will be later.

 

Overall this was a solid episode as it was the first one to explore the cracks in each of the WAGs’ lives in a realistic manner, and another piece of the Jack puzzle was added through Rusty’s lies at the inquest.