By Clint Morris
Another bit of evidence to be placed in the plastic bag clearly marked for the ‘TV vs. Film’ trial, ”Tangle” is an excellently-written, brilliantly-performed local drama that serves as another reminder that a cable TV subscription really is a better, cheaper option than shelling out cabbage for a cinematic offering these days.
Featuring some of our finest actors, notably Ben Mendelsohn (”Love My Way”, the upcoming ”Animal Kingdom”), Justine Clarke (”Love My Way”), Catherine McClements (”Water Rats”), and Kat Stewart (”Underbelly”), the John ‘Love My Way’ Edwards production takes a magnifying glass to the confused, immoral states of the contemporary wife, husband, father, lover… what-have-you.
Yes, it’s another of those either everyone’s sleeping with each other or besotted with another but the person they’re contractually tied to tales, but this one’s done a lot more richly and realistically than say, soapies like ”Melrose Place” and ”Dynasty” – which treat adultery as somewhat of a punch-line.
Mendelsohn and Clarke play a seasoned married couple whose perfect existence is coming apart thanks to a slow tear – he sleeping with another woman (and not thinking anything of it). Not that the couple’s relationship is in good form anyway – to get her kicks, she has to get on a long-distance radio and chat-up an astronaut circling above the earth in his space-craft. Complicating matters is the arrival of her sister (Stewart), an unpredictable party-girl whose always clashed with him, and the reappearance of an old friend (Matt Day) who has always had a thing for her.
McClements and Joel Tobeck play another couple whose reasonably happy existence gets an unwelcome thrash when the mother of his child (Stewart’s character), who he’d had an affair with whilst married to McClements, decides she wants to play a part in the boy’s life.
And then there’s the kids – all of whom are pretty screwed up themselves, and that’s before they find a dead body in the bush.
A gloomy but undeniably captivating series, ”Tangle” is a terrific companion piece to the recently concluded ”Love My Way”.
Zip. Nada. Nothing.