“An idiosyncratic, humorous, yet, still dramatic ABC effort that gave Australians a reason to press the ‘On’ button on the Idiot Box every Sunday night” – Clint Morris
Sigrid Thornton, William McInnes, John Howard, Kerry Armstrong, Kevin Harrington
If you’ve ever got a weekend spare, and live close enough to the Victorian coast, take a drive down to Barwon Heads in Victoria – just out of Geelong. What a lovely little spot it is – blue waters, velvety coloured sand, amazing ravines, infinite bushland – but most of all, the home of one of Australian TV’s finest series, “SeaChange”.
Unless you’re reading from the other side of the world, the show probably doesn’t need much of a preface. But in short, it’s an idiosyncratic, humorous, yet, still dramatic ABC effort that gave Australians a reason to press the ‘On’ button on the Idiot Box every Sunday night. Starring Sigrid Thornton (again, if you’re reading from the other side of the world – she’s one of this country’s finest actresses, you may remember her from the “Snowy River” films), the hour-long dramedy centred on a big city notary who leaves her job in polluted Melbourne for the fresh air of Pearl Bay, a small coastal town, in need of their own magistrate.
In the first couple of seasons, Laura (Thornton) was still feeling her way around the town and getting to know a lot of the off the wall, ever-so-distinctive locals – namely, amiable kook Diver Dan (David Wenham), the owner of the local bait shop, who’d ultimately take just as much a shine to the faltering Laura, as she would to him. But alas, it wasn’t to be, and Dan packed his bags for the colder fodders of the Galapagos Islands.
Last season, Season Two, we were introduced to roving journalist Max Connors (William McInnes), the new owner of the Bait shop, and another who’d get Laura’s heart thumping and pumping. He’s just as implicated and vacillating as the hoity Laura is though, and they play more games than anything else. But as Season 3’s the last hurrah for the landmark series, there could very well be a match made by series end. Finally.
The third series is just as sublime as the two that preceded it – there are plenty of laughs, plenty of drama, a nice dose of romance, and most of all, some stupendous performances in haul. Thornton’s a delight, as always, as Laura, but McInnes deserves equal praise – totally in his element as the boastful, dry-witted Max. Together, they make a great match.
As for the large support cast, John Howard’s still one of the finest elements of the show as the indubitably uproarious Bob Jelly, Kevin Harrington’s a delight as the local yokel Kevin, and Kerry Armstrong’s multifaceted performance as Bob Jelly’s resigned wife, Heather, is one of the best turns an Aussie series has seen.
It’s a delight to have the third series of “SeaChange” on DVD – it’s been quite a wait too, a good year or so since the last season hit disc – to revisit again and again anytime you need a good chortle or cheer.
Now how about canning some of the rubbish on TV and bringing back this baby?
Reviewer : Clint Morris