• First Review: Summer Heights High

    Much has been aimed at Chris Lilley in recent weeks for the gags he is using in the upcoming Summer Heights High. Media reports some sectors of the community offended by gags that draw upon rape, ecstacy deaths and Down Syndrome children. I’m not sure if they’ve actually seen them yet. I have, and I […]

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  • First Review: The Office

    Ever seen the American version of Fawlty Towers? I’m not surprised. The Atlantic is floating in British TV formats that the Americans have sunk. Very occasionally they manage to get it right: Queer As Folk, All in the Family, Three’s Company. When Ricky Gervais on-sold the rights to The Office he ensured producer Ben Silverman […]

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  • First Review: Hot Spell

    When I was a kid there was no Australian Idol for budding performers. And there certainly weren’t any TV spelling bees around, I would have kicked arse. A.R.S.E –arse. Since the feature documentary Spellbound (US 2001), the sport of grammar has gripped America. The latest hit series, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? is […]

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  • First Review: Star Stories

    “Stay away from Madonna,” warns Warren Beatty to Guy Ritchie. “She’ll drag you down like she did to Sean Penn.” So runs the loose narrative of the irreverent Star Stories, Britain’s newest jab at celebrity life. Taking no prisoners, each 30 minute episode abandons all decorum as a host of comic actors impersonate the lives […]

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  • First Review: Australia’s Best Backyards

    Next week Durie competes head-on with himself in a curious piece of Aussie network scheduling. Nine, which dropped his programme Backyard Blitz claiming the gardening genre had been exhausted, has been somewhat-embarrasingly attracting good figures for their unscreened episodes dusted off their shelves. Seven, which was happy to snap up Durie, offers an alternative point […]

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  • First Review: The Dame Edna Treatment

    Is there anything new that Dame Edna can tell us we don’t already know? Probably not. Does it matter? Definitely not. The housewife megastar could read a shopping list aloud and I’d be perfectly mesmerised. In fact, she’d probably fill it with innuendo and tell us how it illustrates more about ourselves than was ever […]

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  • First Review: Things to Try Before You Die

    If you’re into Getaway get ready for Getaway On Steroids. Nine’s new Things to Try Before You Die is a rapidfire travelogue show, with a feast of adventure and travel ideas designed to give viewers an air-rush. Presented by Jules Lund, Livinia Nixon and Gary Sweet, the three offer up 30 brief moments from different […]

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  • First Review: "New" Neighbours

    The change is coming at 6:30pm… or is it? First a confession. I have a fondness for Neighbours which is as familar as an old shoe. We’ve grown up with the show, connected with many favourite characters and actors, and admired its persistence for hanging in there. So it’s with much curiosity that I took […]

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  • First Review: The Circuit

    The Howard Government’s response to a ‘national emergency’ in Aboriginal Australia is, sadly, brutally fortuitous for SBS’ forthcoming drama, The Circuit. This six-part series was created, crafted and even scheduled well before Howard’s startling press conference. Yet it’s as if the two were looking at the same research material. The Circuit grounds itself in the […]

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  • First Review: Gay, Straight or Taken

    When Bravo TV launched Boy Meets Boy in 2004 the luvly James Getzlaff was the Bachelor-style hero in a dating show that offered gay beaus and straight wolves in designer-sheep clothing. According to Getzlaff, this twist by gay-owned production company Evolution was part of an agenda to get the show into mainstream television when Queer […]

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  • First Review: Dr Who: The Runaway Bride

    As you may remember, last week I immersed myself in the world of Captain Jack Harkness and his Torchwood gang. Coming to terms with a darker, landlocked and mostly straight-laced pitch was a somewhat disconcerting experience. This week I was reminded of all that can be righted in the universe when Russell T. Davies plants […]

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  • First Review: Torchwood.

    I feel a little behind the eight-ball writing a review of Torchwood, the new BBC science fiction spin-off from Russell T Davies’ successfully resurrected Dr Who. I mean, half you lot have already downloaded it, right? I must admit after watching the opening episode, that I was thrown. It didn’t dazzle me with special effects […]

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