Archive | August 2019

Seachange (Reboot)–Pilot

The job of a pilot is to establish a show’s premise, characters and story arcs for the season. The Seachange reboot is in the unique position of continuing a premise that was established in its original series over 20 years ago, but also having to establish its premise for new viewers. I felt this pilot really only did half the job.

As both a writer and a fan of the original series, I was eager to see the reboot but also viewed it with a healthy amount of cynicism. I never had the expectation of the reboot to be exactly like the original or pick up where the 2000 finale left off, that would be unrealistic. However I did expect some aspects of the original series to be maintained in the reboot.

The pilot kicks off in Africa where it’s revealed that Laura is working as a volunteer for Africa Aid, well at least for the first few seconds, until her supervisor tells her she is fired and her visa has been cancelled as she assaulted another volunteer. She then goes home to renew her visa and also squeeze in a visit with Miranda.

We are then re-introduced to Pearl Bay (which has been re-located from Barwon Heads & St Leonards, Victoria to Brunswick Heads near Byron Bay) and Miranda (originally portrayed by Cassandra Magrath, now recast and portrayed by Brooke Satchwell). A sausage sizzle is being held to stop sand mining from ruining Pearl Bay and Miranda is at the helm of the protest, and avoiding Laura’s calls. Miranda is unaware of Laura’s return and Laura is unaware of Miranda’s pregnancy. Meanwhile Bob Jelly has finally been hit with a dose of karma as he is released from a two-year stint in prison, but hasn’t changed his ways at all. When he returns to Pearl Bay, he is rejected by Heather and hit by Laura as she is driving into town, which leads to the first courthouse scene.

Before the courthouse scene, Laura and Bob are at the police station, where Miranda goes to see her and tells her she’s pregnant. After Laura leaves the police station, she goes home only to see she doesn’t have a home and Kevin reveals a variety of typical Pearl Bay-esque accidents lead to her home’s destruction. He also accidentally implies that there are complications with Miranda’s pregnancy, however when Laura goes to Miranda for answers, the deterioration of their relationship over the last 20-ish years, as well as Miranda’s plan to give the baby up for adoption is revealed.

Throughout the episode, minor story arcs, such as the relationship between the police prosecutor, Lillian, and the court clerk, Zac, and Bob hiding cash in black plastic bags in the ocean, are established.

While a storm is brewing in Pearl Bay, despite Miranda’s best efforts, Findlay Knox (Darren McMullen), an Environmental Consultant with the sand mining company manages to literally swim into Pearl Bay and charm the residents into believing that the sand mining is good for the town.

Meanwhile Laura faces court for hitting Bob with her car, however before she does she watches witness, Ben Russo (Dan Wyllie) arguing with the magistrate and his wife, Clara, while in the box. Their fight leads to Clara dismissing the case and eventually quitting, which I’ll get back to.

As the storm reaches its peak, Miranda has chained herself to a bulldozer to stop the sand mining efforts, only for her efforts to be in vain as she has gone into labour. She ends up giving birth at the Tropical Star, as it is the storm’s evacuation centre, with Findlay delivering as he has had experience delivering mammals and farm animals. It’s then it’s revealed that Miranda is giving the baby up for adoption to Anna, Pearl Bay’s police sergeant. Anna names the baby Joe, after her father.

The next day, Anna offers Laura the job of magistrate after Clara Russo quits. Although Laura is hesitant, when Miranda hears Laura’s iPad go off and finds emails from Africa Aid about her dismissal, Miranda tells her she’d like it if she stayed. Laura hurries back to the police station to accept Anna’s offer.

The episode ends with Kevin and Stone chatting about how to leave their mark on the world, with Kevin remarking that no-one will remember them in 20 years time.

As I mentioned earlier, as both a writer and a fan of the original series, I was eager to see the reboot but also viewed it with a healthy amount of cynicism. I never had the expectation of the reboot to be exactly like the original or pick up where the 2000 finale left off, that would be unrealistic. The finale and original series ended with Max and Laura finding out they’re expecting a baby, Rupert going to live with Jack, Miranda about to go to uni, Meredith waking up from her stroke-induced coma, and Pearl Bay being saved from becoming a toxic waste dump. This pilot revealed that Max and Laura were married and have since split, they had a daughter, Stella, but not much else about Pearl Bay or its characters.

I expected that some original characters wouldn’t return, such as Harold as Alan Cassell died in 2017, Angus, as Tom Long is currently battling Multiple Myeloma, and Rupert and Trevor as both Kane McNay and Christopher Lyons have changed careers and have young families, however I didn’t expect that the majority wouldn’t. Hopefully some more will return, and if not, that at least their fates are explained as this pilot made it feel like they never existed.

Another thing I mentioned earlier is I felt that the pilot only did half its job in establishing the premise, character and story arcs of the show. I feel this way as the pilot didn’t re-establish the original premise for new viewers clearly. As a fan of the original series, I knew who the original characters were and what the premise was, however if I was a new viewer, I would have no idea what was going on. I think an introductory clip showing moments from the pilot and original series finale would have easily established the show’s premise and what was to come in the pilot. That being said, I found Laura’s inevitable decision to accept the offer of being Pearl Bay’s magistrate again a nice full circle moment to the original series’ pilot.

I also felt that the writing was a little messy due to having to reach both fans of the original series and new viewers, and having to base the reboot on material from 20 years earlier. For instance, Miranda and Laura discuss Laura’s absence from Pearl Bay, which leads to a huge continuity error when Miranda says Laura and Max took off for London before she finished school and left her and Rupert for dead. However, in the original series finale, Miranda was just about to go to uni and Rupert went to live with his father.

I felt that the biggest flaw of the pilot’s writing was the characterisation of Miranda. In the original series, Miranda was written and portrayed as an idealistic but smart young woman. Miranda is still idealistic and intelligent in this pilot, however she seems like a shadow of her former self as she didn’t become a lawyer like she planned, she stayed in Pearl Bay, she is unaware that 5pm is close of business, and it’s not really made clear why she made the choices she made, and why her relationship with Laura has deteriorated, or why she feels animosity towards her half-sister, Stella.

Despite my feelings towards the pilot’s flaws, there were moments I enjoyed such as the argument between Mr Russo and Clara, the introduction of Radio Riley, and Kevin’s end of episode philosophical talk with Stone which makes an inside joke about the reboot.

Because of my love for the original series, I will give this reboot a chance (however it’s really more of a sequel than a reboot) and I hope it improves over time.

 

Stray Observations:

-Laura, Miranda, Bob, Heather and Kevin are the only original characters appearing in the reboot, at least at this point in time.

-Pearl Bay’s newspaper is now “The Bay Times”.

-Clara Russo’s resignation letter is hilariously polite and aggressive at the same time: “To whom it may concern, I quit! -Clara Russo :)”

-According to Laura’s Africa Aid supervisor, Max is in jail and violent and Stella is addicted to drugs. Something that wasn’t mentioned again in this episode.

-Laura states that she left Pearl Bay 20 years ago, with 10 of those years spent in London.

-Radio Riley also works for the Pearl Bay Tourist Authority, and the bridge has finally been repaired.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “The electrocution was not my fault!” (Laura to her Africa Aid supervisor)
  • “Pearl Bay: the gateway to free parking, pork pies and pelicans.” (Radio Riley)
  • “How about I address you as a massive pain in the arse? Is that better Your Honour!?” (Mr Russo to Clara while in the witness box)
  • “It’s bad luck that the women’s netball team turned up.” (Stone to Miranda)
  • “Can we arrest her?” “Ooh, I’m tempted, after that hair perm she gave me for my last birthday with the ringlets. Do you remember? But no.” (Lil-Anna on Shirley Watts)
  • “He’s right, this woman is a known lunatic!” (Bob on Mr Russo’s description of Laura)
  • “It’s the 20th century Laura, no-one minds about that anymore.” “It’s the 21st century Kevin.” “No, when did that happen?” (Kevin-Laura-Kevin about Miranda being an unwed expectant mother)
  • “Did you even breastfeed me?” “I expressed…endlessly!” (Miranda-Laura)
  • “A few things, there was coastal erosion, the rising sea levels, Port Deacon scouts got a bit silly on their end of year…but I think the last king tide would have been the last straw.” (Kevin’s answer to Laura’s question about what happened to her house)

 

Squinters–Season 2 Finale (Take a Back Road)

Now we have reached the season 2 finale of Squinters.

The job of a season finale is to wrap up the season’s story arcs and set up new story arcs for the next season (if there is one). I feel this finale executed this perfectly.

The episode kicks off with Brett and Tina’s morning commute with Tina reading an email that Brett sent to the staff asking them to join him in a sit in protest over Tina’s firing. Tina tells him she likes his email, including the mystique of making himself out to be an anonymous disgruntled K2 employee, however she points out that he ruined it by signing the email off with “Cheers, Brett”. She also tells Brett that she had sympathy sex with him.

Talia and Romi’s morning commute revolves around them discussing their Christmas plans, where it’s revealed that Talia’s dad and Romi’s mum are also having an affair. They also discuss Romi’s job interview for the Marketing Director role at K2 and Talia tells Romi she looks up to her, and in turn, Romi thanks Talia for bringing happiness into her life.

Lukas’ morning commute with Rachel and Alison revolves around them discussing Audrey’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, which Alison also didn’t know about, and she apologises to Lukas and Rachel for not knowing about it. Alison also reveals to the audience that Lukas is joining in on the sit in protest. Alison also gives Lukas and Rachel their inheritance. Alison then goes on about her impending overseas trip.

Jess and Macca’s morning commute revolves around a discussion on whether they are too old to be parents.

Bridget’s morning commute with Gary and Mia revolves around discussing what they are grateful for before Gary proposes to Bridget. She says yes, and even though Mia points out she’s still married to Mia’s father, they still celebrate.

The episode then does something it has never done before, flash forward six days from December 18 to Christmas Eve. The radio announcer reveals that K2 employees are on their way home after the sit in protest.

Bridget’s afternoon commute involves Mia driving with Gary supervising her. Bridget reveals that they eventually ran out of wet wipes and she cried. Mia also reveals that over the six days that her and Gary bonded. Bridget reveals how happy she is in life and that her waters have broken.

Talia and Romi’s afternoon commute revolves around Romi finding out she got the Marketing Director role and Talia got the Marketing Coordinator role after originally applying for a Quality Control Associate role. Talia thinks her new role is above Romi’s, but Romi informs her it isn’t. Romi then tells her that she broke up with Guy.

During their afternoon commute, Tina reveals to Brett and the audience that she has been reinstated as CEO after the protest and she then invites him back to her place.

Lukas’ afternoon commute with Rachel involves them discussing their share of the inheritance money which is due to hit their accounts any minute. Their excitement disappears when they discover that they only got $2,700.

Jess and Macca also discuss the possibility of their IVF attempt not working and the benefits of being childless. The IVF Clinic calls Jess to tell her the implantation was successful and she’s pregnant, only for them to call back moments later to tell her they had the wrong information and she’s not pregnant. I found their afternoon commute scenes to be the most powerful in the entire series as Clarke and Rosniak managed to convey the sadness, pain and disappointment their respective characters were feeling purely with facial expressions.

The episodes and the season ends showing all of the different characters on their commutes—Mia with a smile on her face as she drives Bridget, Gary and her newly born baby sister to the hospital, Talia putting a Santa hat on Romi’s head, Lukas’ and Rachel’s shocked and disappointed facial expressions over their small inheritance, Tina and Brett laughing at each other adoringly, and Jess and Macca smiling but still not saying a word to each other.

Overall I felt this was a solid season finale, and that this season was an improvement over the first due to the introduction of new characters and increased character development. I hope there is a third season, however if there isn’t, the show has ended on a high note.

 

Stray Observations:

-Brett’s email to the K2 staff: “Dear K2 staff, This is disgruntled K2 employee here asking you to join me for a sit in protest at the warehouse. My plan is to shut down the distribution plant until the big wigs in the States agree to give Tina her job back. Cheers, Brett.”

-Bridget says she looked like “toe sucking Fergie” (Sarah Ferguson) in her last licence photo. I’m not sure if it was an inside joke to McElhinney’s role as Nene King in Paper Giants: Magazine Wars and her depictions of Fergie in Comedy Inc. 

-At the start of the episode, the radio announcer revealed it was a week before Christmas.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You know I look up to you. You’re the kind of person I want to be. And so saying that, I’ve decided I’m gonna start folding my underwear, clean underwear. Stop wearing your underwear obviously.” (Talia to Romi)
  • “Perhaps even arseholes have a heart.” (Alison to Rachel after Rachel calls her an arsehole)
  • “OK, Merry Christmas and get fucked to you too, buddy.” “How is your Mum?” “Nah that’s Jackson. He’s 43 and he still hasn’t grown up.” “How old were you when you grew up?” “41. If you haven’t grown up by the time you’re 41, then God help you. I mean Jackson’s carrying on like a 40 year old.” (Macca on the phone to Jackson, then going back and forth with Jess about him and growing up)
  • “So Mia, what are you grateful for?” “I’m grateful for every conversation that doesn’t start with ‘how is uni going?’ or ‘are you in a relationship?’ or ‘are you a lesbian?'” “Your mum told me to ask you that.” (Bridget-Mia-Gary)
  • “You were adopted, they gave you back.” (Bridget to Mia)
  • “It’s 9am and a week out till Christmas, which means you only have to hear that Mariah Carey song another 17 billion times.” (Radio announcer)
  • “We ran out of wet wipes, I actually cried. Then I washed myself with my own tears and now I smell like misery.” (Bridget to Mia and Gary on the sit in protest)
  • “Gary…I mean…I mean, Dad, has actually been really great the last six days. I mean he taught me how to drive, taught me how to cook a steak…fart and not apologise.” (Mia to Bridget on the bond she and Gary developed while Bridget was at the sit in protest)
  • “Oh no. Well do you just want to hold hands, or play Monopoly, or we could vacuum the floors? I could read to you from the Bible…” (Tina to Brett after she invites him and he says he doesn’t want a sympathy shag)
  • “I can still vacuum in the nude!” “I never signed off on that.” (Macca-Jess on one of the benefits of being childless)

 

 

Squinters–Season 2, Episode 5 (Bless the Broken Road)

We are now at the penultimate episode of the season.

The episode kicks off with Jess and Macca’s morning commute where he shows her a photo of himself from when they met and they discuss how much Macca has evolved over time. Later on, they pick up Gav who goes into explicit detail about his experience at the sperm donor clinic, including the fact that he pictured Jess during the experience. During their afternoon commute, Jess gets a call from the IVF clinic informing her that they have two healthy embryos and they need her to come in so they can be implanted.

Meanwhile Talia and Romi’s morning commute revolves around Talia’s impending egg extraction procedure. Their afternoon commute has Talia ranting and not making much sense due to the effects of the anaesthetic that she was given for the procedure, with Simoni in the backseat. Romi told Simoni about Talia donating her eggs and Simoni wanted to congratulate her on the first selfless thing she’s ever done. Simoni reveals that she doesn’t hate Talia but she did need distance from her after she didn’t pay her share of the business debt. Talia then apologises to Simoni, passes out, then vomits suddenly on the car window.

Meanwhile Tina and Brett decide to mix things up by having Tina drive to work and they discuss her husband moving in with his ex-girlfriend. Brett drives them on their afternoon commute and Tina apologises for driving style and gets a call from the EPA to let her know that the asbestos wasn’t found anywhere else at K2. She then sends all the K2 employees an odd but hilarious email to let them know. She then gets a phone call from a higher-up named Vince, informing her that her contract has been terminated due to telling the staff about the asbestos and that Christmas Day will be her last day with K2.

Meanwhile Bridget has Brian, Gary’s father, accompanying her on her morning commute. Their interaction starts off as awkward and transforms into hilarious when he tells her he hired a private investigator to run a background check on her. After a brief to-and-fro, Bridget tells Brian to get out of her car for not accepting her apology. Bridget then spends her afternoon commute with Gary where they discuss Brian, and Gary tells her about Brian once leaving him behind for three days on the Kokoda Trial when he got lost.

Meanwhile Rachel is accompanying Lukas on his morning commute where they discuss methods to have Alison removed as executor by focusing on her past behaviour. Lukas also tries to convince Rachel to come with him to his Christmas party. He also spends the first part of their afternoon commute still begging her to come and it’s also revealed that Audrey had Alzheimer’s Disease and didn’t tell them. Rachel points out to Lukas that this gives them what they need to have Alison removed as executor. Rachel then agrees to go the party with Lukas.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Macca had dreadlocks when he met Jess.

-Talia signed Romi up to the National Rifle Association of Australia.

-According to the radio announcer, it’s two weeks until Christmas, which approximately sets the series around December 11 at least.

-Jess’ date of birth is 16 January 1976.

-The email Tina sent to the K2 staff: “Good news K2 Crew—you’re not going to die! Well, you are, but not from OUR asbestos. Materials in ceiling remain intact.”

-Macca has never met Talia.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Do you want me to go through all the ways you were a dickhead? You went from being a drunken dickhead to a drug-addled dickhead to an ‘I found God’ dickhead.” “That’s right, I found God! I forgot about that.” “Then swinger dickhead. Remember him?” “Bad memories.” “Rehab dickhead, relapse dickhead, remorseful dickhead.” “Yeah, well remorseful dickhead wasn’t such a bad dickhead. “I liked him.” “He was a bit of a downer.” “But now I like to think I’m more of a mature dickhead.” “Is that right?” “Yeah that is right. I’ve learnt a lot in the past few months, babe.” “Have ya?” “Yeah, I’ve learnt that it’s unkind to get on rugby league message forums and anonymously call blokes who disagree with me ‘flogs’.” (Jess-Macca going back and forth on how much he has changed over the years)
  • “I hope accents aren’t genetic.” (Macca to Jess on Talia’s accent)
  • “I’ve already been through the four stages of grief—shock, denial, fear and then posting pictures of myself on Instagram where I look incredibly happy.” (Tina to Brett on her marriage breakdown)
  • “I hired a private investigator to run a background check on you.” “My God!” “Yeah, your God, alright, and I tell you what, it makes for some pretty grim reading. You don’t separate your recycling, you leave hair on the sink…” “Some of that is Mia’s.” “And take incredibly long showers during a drought.” “That’s an invasion of privacy!” “Yeah, well so was colonisation and here we are.” “You were once stopped for a police breathlyser and tried to flee on foot.” “In my defence, I was very drunk at the time.” “Well I haven’t even read the bad stuff yet.” (Brian and Bridget going back and forth on the background check the former ran on the latter)
  • “Today’s the first hot day of summer and also the first day of people thinking they look good in shorts.” (Radio announcer)
  • “My favourite Christmas was when I ate 10 gingerbread men and then spent the rest of the day climbing a tree. Ah, my 40s.” (Radio announcer)

 

Squinters–Season 2, Episode 4 (Thunder Road)

This episode makes it clear that a fair amount of time has passed since the events of the previous episode.

The episode kicks off with Lukas commuting to work with his beloved dog, Barney, asking him how he managed to swallow so many objects to the point that his bowel is obstructed and needs medical attention. After dropping Barney off, his morning commute continues on with Rachel, where they discuss the fact that him and Lacey had sex five times even though Lacey is closeted, and that their solicitor told Rachel that they have to prove Audrey was insane when she wrote the will to receive any inheritance. His afternoon commute involves taking Barney home and lecturing him again, revealing to the audience that despite spending thousands of dollars on care, random objects are still obstructing Barney’s bowels.

Meanwhile Romi and Talia’s morning commute revolved around discussing Romi’s relationship with Guy, the progressing affair between Romi’s dad and Talia’s mum, and Tina emailing Romi about her promotion video. During their afternoon commute, Romi reveals she and Guy had their first fight over Beyonce as Guy thinks she is overrated. Talia reveals to Romi that she is Jess and Macca’s egg donor. The emotional reveal was fantastic and the fact that subtitles appeared as they were talking, due to the fact that they were crying so hard, provided some equally fantastic, well-timed comic relief.

Meanwhile during Jess and Macca’s morning commute we find out that an unknown and unidentified colleague of Macca’s pulled an odd and disgusting prank on him by taking a picture of his penis on Macca’s cake. After Jess laughs it off, she tells Macca that she found an egg donor. They then spend their afternoon commute with Gavin, a K2 Warehouse Labourer, who has agreed to be their sperm donor.

Meanwhile Brett and Tina’s morning commute revolves around Tina denying her kiss with Brett before leaving for New York to deal with the fallout of revealing the presence of asbestos at K2 to the staff. During their afternoon commute, Tina tells Brett that her private investigator called to inform her that her husband hired a private investigator of his own.

Meanwhile Bridget spends her morning commute with Mia, who is in a band by the name of Linguini Anonymous (previously named The Three Busketeers). During their commute, Mia points out Bridget’s casual racism and encourages her to call Gary and apologise for their fight which led to their break-up in the previous episode. However as Bridget’s apology isn’t entirely sincere, it doesn’t go well for her. Her afternoon commute has her with Mia again where Mia is asking for Bridget’s opinion on a severance letter she is writing to one of her band mates.

Overall, I felt this was a solid episode due to the time lapse forcing the subplots to make quick but real progression without overwhelming the viewers.

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Lukas, Barney has swallowed the following objects:

  • A whole bauble
  • Tinsel
  • His car keys
  • A bag of marbles
  • His father’s Lego men

-Bridget’s eldest daughter, Mia, makes her first appearance for this season.

-Bridget has been doing “Am I Racist?” online quizzes. According to the results, she is less ignorant than she was last week and is now a casual racist. The week before she was ‘institutionalised’ and the week before that she was ‘grand wizard’ and that by next week, she plans to be ‘fully woke’.

-According to Talia, selling her eggs is illegal and it has to be a philanthropic gesture, that being said Jess and Macca said that they’d pay her unpaid parking fines.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I don’t understand swinging, it’s takes the best part out of an affair…the lying!” (Talia to Romi)
  • “Oh yeah, you’re important, I keep forgetting because of your eczema.” (Talia to Romi)
  • “Don’t infect the car with your bad attitude.” (Jess to Macca)
  • “Attracting a baby into our lives? You make it sound like we’re trying to trap a beaver.” (Macca to Jess)
  • “Talk about having your cock and eating it too!” (Jess to Macca on Macca’s unknown colleague’s prank of taking a picture of his penis on Macca’s cake)
  • “What does Linguini Anonymous even mean? Has it got something to do with pasta or just being too literal?” (Bridget to Mia on Mia’s band’s name)
  • “Scientists have found 15,000 types of genetic material at Central Station. If any of it’s yours, it can be collected from lost and found.” (Radio announcer)
  • “A new study out today is saying women are more attracted to men who are depressed. I’d be rapt with that news if I wasn’t so depressed.” (Radio announcer)
  • “I only understand 25% of what you say.” (Tina to Brett)
  • “Years of hard work and strategic side boob all for nothing because I opened my big mouth about the asbestos. God my career is over.” (Tina to Brett)
  • “At the moment, Gary thinks I’m a racist who’s dying. If you take away the asbestos, I’m just a racist.” (Bridget to Mia)

Squinters–Season 2, Episode 3 (Roadhouse Blues)

Now we’re at the halfway point of the second season.

The episode kicks off with Talia telling Romi that her mother texted her asking for Romi’s dad’s phone number, and Talia is trying to stop lying. In the afternoon, we find out that Talia’s mum and Romi’s dad made out, and Romi reveals that the orange men working in the roof were looking for asbestos and found it.

Meanwhile during Macca and Jess’ morning commute, Macca gets a text from “Boss Todd” telling him that he will be having lunch with the new CEO and that Todd signed the message off with a kiss (x). He asks Jess for advice on how to respond and he responds with a kiss too (X) only to receive a question mark response from Todd. They also discuss their impending fertility tests results. During their afternoon commute, Macca reveals he blew the lunch with Tina (or at least he thinks), from Macca’s account Tina seemed to be very nice to him. Macca reveals to Jess that his infertility test results showed that he is infertile and gives Jess permission to find someone else. Although they briefly argue about it Jess reveals that she is never going to leave him. Jess finds out that she is a poor IVF candidate and reveals that she saved a man from killing himself at work.

Meanwhile Lukas takes a fellow forklifter, Lacey to work with him. It’s clear throughout the commute that Lacey is closeted and that he is a new love interest for Lukas. It’ll be interesting to see how their bond progresses over the remainder of the season.

Meanwhile Bridget reveals that Gary’s family kicked her out of their home when she met them as she made racist remarks towards them. Gary and Bridget end up breaking up after Gary tells Bridget to educate herself and she gives him a misspelt apology cake. Overall I felt their subplot was the most entertaining one of this episode and it will be interesting to see where they will go from here now that they have broken up.

Meanwhile Tina asks Brett why the employees hate her and Brett ends up anonymously surveying 20 K2 employees. The employees give Tina unkind and odd feedback which upsets her and Brett tells her to ignore it. The episode ends with Tina then inviting Brett over to her house to try her bolognese sauce with milk as according to her, it’s a “game changer” and he doesn’t answer.

Overall I felt that this was a solid episode as there was crucial story progression on all fronts as it’s confirmed that there is asbestos in the K2 building, Jess and Macca’s conceiving subplot has progressed, Lukas has a new love interest, and Bridget and Gary have broken up. I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season will go from here.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Talia on her lunch date, she was asked what she is like in a relationship and she said, “I’m exceptional for the first couple of weeks, but then obviously I run out of puff, and then become emotionally unavailable, start ghosting you, which kind of drives you to cheat on me, which obviously I find out about after I hack into your phone, and then contrive to be the offended party.”

-This episode marks the first appearance of Barney in this season.

-According to Jess, Macca knows a “Crying Todd” as well as Boss Todd.

-According to Tina, Brett looks like he could be anywhere between the ages of 15 to 52.

-According to Bridget, she is having another daughter.

-According to Bridget, she fell pregnant as Gary is “triggered by condoms”.

-According to Gary, during the family meeting, Bridget did an impression of Chris Lilley doing an impression of a “blackfella”.

-Some of the feedback from Brett’s survey about Tina included: “the Willy Wonka of bullshit”, and “she looks like someone brought a mannequin halfway back to life.”

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “No self respecting gay man would wear Lynx deodorant.” (Tina to Brett)
  • “Breaking news: the M4 is back running smoothly and I’m back on Tinder!” (Radio announcer)
  • “A reminder that landscape work will be happening on the M5 tonight, so if you see a bunch of guys with neck tattoos making each other cups of tea, be sure to say hi!” (Radio announcer)
  • “There is a difference between being honest and being a psychopath.” (Talia to Romi)
  • “Why don’t you take that cake and shove it up your arse!” “Why don’t you take this cake, give it a spell check, then I’ll shove it up my arse!” “So you will shove it up your arse?” “Probably.” (Bridget and Gary arguing after Bridget gives Gary a misspelt apology cake)

 

Squinters–Season 2, Episode 2 (A Winding Road)

Now that the premiere has aired, the season can really get underway.

Jess and Macca’s morning commute revolves around the possibility that they have successfully conceived a baby as Jess’ period is late, and Jess’ desire to implement a swear-free household if they do end up having kids. Unfortunately during their afternoon commute we find out that Jess isn’t pregnant after all as her period has shown up. Overall their subplot was a little sad, however the fact that the viewers are able to empathise with both of them shows how much their characters have developed in such a short period of time. Not to mention that Jess finally referenced their open marriage experiment from last season, so I’m eating my words from my review of the previous episode on their relationship.

Meanwhile, Talia and Romi’s commutes revolve around the fact that Romi’s dad hit on Talia’s mum, and that Romi kissed a man by the name of Guy in the accounts management department, and apparently constantly smells like wet dog. Overall I felt their subplot didn’t really add much, that being said, it will be interesting to hear about the inevitable and impending ramifications of the flirtation between Romi’s dad and Talia’s mum.

Meanwhile Bridget spends her morning commute with Amy, informing her that she is meeting Gary’s parents tomorrow and she’s nervous. She then spends her afternoon commute with Gary who tells her that she needs to watch what she says and to be less ignorant. I found Bridget’s subplot, especially her afternoon commute with Gary, to be entertaining.

Meanwhile Lukas spends his commutes with Alison again, with most of the time revolving around his odd thoughts about murderers, and then switching to his demotion to Forklift Personnel Supervisor due to his inability to aim the forks on the forklift and stabbing the products. He also reveals that Davis has officially broken up with him to his surprise, which Alison calls him out on, due to the fact that the break up is really his own fault. Overall I found his morning commute to be odd and didn’t really add anything, however the subplot redeemed itself by revealing crucial information that explained Lukas’ current circumstances.

Meanwhile Brett and Tina’s commute revolves around Tina and her husband apparently making up, only for Tina to get texts from her husband that he meant to send to his mistress, and Tina’s decision to fire Brett without telling him, only for him to inform her of Australia’s strict workplace laws. Overall I felt for Tina when she realised her husband was still cheating on her and found the dynamic between her and Brett about her decision to fire him hilarious.

Meanwhile throughout the episode, multiple characters keep talking about men dressed in orange working in the roof, and the idea of asbestos being in the building is floated around by multiple characters. It will be interesting to see if it is asbestos and how that will affect the rest of the season.

Overall I felt that this episode was a filler.

 

Stray Observations:

-Amy’s last name is Thomas, whether that’s also Bridget’s surname is unknown.

-Davis and Lukas were together for eight months, which explains how much time has passed between the season 1 finale and now, which also explains why Bridget is visibly pregnant.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You like a bit of intimacy with your homicide do you?” (Alison to Lukas)
  • “You’re telling me that the biggest problem with murderers these days is their lack of work ethic?” (Alison to Lukas)
  • “The wanking ban must have worked!” (Macca to Jess when they discuss the possibility of her being pregnant)
  • “It’s never late, you can set your watch to it, it even adjusts to daylight saving.” (Macca to Jess on her periods)
  • “If we are having kids, we’re gonna be a swear-free household. I don’t want to pollute their little minds with swearing and shoot like that. See what I did there?” “I did see what you did there and it’s fragging embarrassing. If I spoke like that I’d be ridiculed, you Mother Chucker.” “Who are you calling Mother Chucker, you dumb slug of a ditch?” (Jess-Macca)
  • “Nah, any ranting you want to do about Kochie, my lips are sealed.” (Amy on the phone to Sam Armytage)
  • “I’m talking to my cat, look away!” (Tina to Brett while on the phone to her husband)
  • “Now remember getting angry at traffic is pointless, it’s much better to bottle up that anger and then unleash it when you get to work.” (Radio announcer)
  • “You’ve got a very horny aura about you today.” (Talia to Romi)
  • “I mean Guy’s like really hot, but there’s just one slight problem.” “Oh my God, he eats at Subway?” “No.” “You’re related?” “No.” “He rollerblades!?” (Romi-Talia going back and forth about Romi kissing Guy from the account management department)
  • “There’s a very fine line between stank and pheromones.” (Talia to Romi)
  • “My God this country, seems just like the thing criminals would create.” (Tina to Brett on Australia’s workplace laws)
  • “No Roger, I’m not going to budge on the toilet seats. It is not a lot to ask for. A fresh toilet seat in every executive bathroom of every warehouse that I visit is not a big deal. All I’ve ever asked for is a toilet seat, a fresh one, and a driver who’s an eight and that’s it!” (Tina on the phone to Roger)
  • “Why are my ovaries being so picky?” “Maybe it’s my geriatric sperm. You’ve got your fit, sexy eggs being harassed by my creepy Alan Jones listeners sperms.” (Jess-Macca)
  • “Babe, God and Mary cheated on Joseph, so it’d be pretty rich of God to judge us on that account.” (Macca to Jess when she asks whether their inability to conceive is God punishing them for their open marriage experiment last year)

 

Squinters–Season 2 Premiere (On the Road Again)

We’re on the road again with the season 2 premiere of Squinters.

This season kicks off with Talia and Romi driving to work together, which raises the question of what happened with Simoni and Paul. After we find out that both Romi and Talia were successful in regaining their jobs as Acting Marketing Director and Dispatch Facilitator respectively, it’s revealed Paul left Romi to save the ocean, and Talia and Simoni’s business failed, with Talia owing Simoni and the bank money. Their subplot ends with Romi telling Talia that she’s welcome to crash at her place only for Talia to accept it as an invitation to move in. Although I felt that Paul’s character was completely massacred and I missed Simoni, I liked the dynamic between Talia and Romi and I’m looking forward to seeing it explored more.

Meanwhile Macca spent his commute with his up-until-now unseen wife, Jess (Justine Clarke). Their commute basically revolves around their discussions about having a baby. While their loving relationship was enjoyable to watch, I felt it was undermined by it all being a huge continuity error as Macca stated in the season 1 finale that she had moved in with one of his friends that she was having an affair with. I could forgive it if there was an explanation, but it was as if their separation never happened. Nevertheless, I did enjoy their dynamic and look forward to seeing it and whether they do end up successfully conceiving, explored. Throughout their commute it’s revealed that Jess is ex riot police and is the Head of Corporate Security, and Macca has been promoted to Warehouse Systems Supervisor.

Meanwhile, Lukas’ commute is spent with his aunt Alison (Genevieve Morris) and his younger sister, Rachel (Claudia O’Doherty). Alison reveals to the audience during their morning commute that Lukas lost his redundancy money and Davis to a lonely hearts scam. It’s also revealed that Lukas has been rehired by K2, albeit as a Trainee Forklift Driver. I was honestly disappointed that Lukas’ happily ever after didn’t last, but I hope I see more of Alison and Rachel.

Meanwhile a visibly pregnant Bridget is travelling to and from work with her own sister, Amy, a personal trainer/Uber driver. It’s revealed during their commute that Gary and Bridget are back together (whether that’s just for the baby’s sake or another continuity error remains to be seen) and that Gary has been reluctant to introduce Bridget to his family due to her inadvertent racism, which Amy keeps pointing out to her. It’s also revealed that Bridget has been promoted to Director of Box Protection. Although I enjoyed Amy and Bridget’s interaction, I’d prefer to see her with Mia again and I hope we see Gary again.

The episode not only told the audience what most of the character’s fates were, work-wise, it also introduced the audience to K2’s CEO, Tina Mayer (Kristen Schaal) and her new Chauffeur, Brett (Stephen Peacocke). While Frank (Lamorne Morris) warns Brett about Tina being a bitch, he manages to bond with Tina during their afternoon commute by talking about Australian and US differences in cars and accents, and about his seven-year-old son. The episode ends with him confronting a squeegee man in an effort to protect Tina, only to be hit by a passing cyclist and landing hard on the car bonnet.

Overall I was disappointed in the lack of returning characters and unexplained continuity errors, however all of the interactions were hilarious and well done. I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

-The episode begins with informing the viewers that Australia’s third biggest online distribution company, Kosciusko, has been taken over by US multi-national, K2. Some former employees have successfully reapplied for their jobs.

-The show’s theme song has changed.

-Talia was the Christmas party photographer last year.

-Talia has two fish tanks for some unknown reason.

-Even Jess calls Macca by his nickname.

-Alison is Audrey’s sister.

-MIA Characters: Ned, Miles, Paul, Simoni, Gary and Davis.

-According to an article by the Sydney Morning Herald, Kristen Schaal and Stephen Peacocke shot their scenes over a two-day period at the end of last year, and production was slightly delayed as the American car used for their scenes had to be converted from a left to a right hand drive.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Instead of petrol money, do you accept compliments?” (Talia to Romi)
  • “You smell like hand sanitiser…your eyelashes are like that of a cow.” (Talia’s “compliments” to Romi)
  • “I’m talking sex, drugs, misuse of office stationary!” (Talia describing the content of the incriminating Christmas party photos to Romi)
  • “You know that photocopier on the second floor?” “Yeah?” “So do Cheryl and Ian from accounts.” (Talia-Romi-Talia on the incriminating Christmas party photos)
  • “Even if I wanted to cheat on you, no-one would be interested.” “Why’s that?” “Because there’s been a massive downturn in women checking me out ever since I stopped wearing the high-vis.” (Macca-Jess-Macca)
  • “Chicks dig safety, how else did I get laid that night I wore a traffic cone on my head?” “Because I make bad choices?” “Come on babe, everyone knows fluorescent orange gives a woman an oestrogen spike.” (Macca-Jess-Macca)
  • “You can put a blonde wig on a friggin fence post and guys would still want to fuck it…splinters and all.” (Talia to Romi)
  • “It didn’t fail, it more kind of struggled to find a place in the yoga wine bar community.” (Talia to Romi on hers and Simoni’s failed business)
  • “Anyone can be a killer and I mean anyone, including those squeegee bums.” (Frank to Brett)
  • “Did you respect the wanking ban?” “With all my heart and both my hands.” (Jess-Macca)
  • “Nowadays I think everyone’s just way too scared of copping a sexual harassment case to hire the super-hot girl.” “Are you sure it’s not the lack of experience, shoes or references?” “No it’s definitely the sexual harassment thing, and I have shoes now thank you very much!” (Rachel-Alison-Rachel on Rachel’s job hunting attempts)
  • “It’s better being left for the ocean than for Tara from HR.” (Talia to Romi)