And like Idol, it also features Damien Leith as the show’s narrator.
It’s a curious choice given 18 months ago he wasn’t really known as a singer, let alone an actor or voice-over artist. Stay tuned for new shows by Tarasai, the Duffy Sisters and Courtney Act.
Leith assures us, in his biog notes, that acting and writing are actually his main passion. Lookout, Dean Geyer, this guy may take you down again. He was approached to use one of his songs as the theme, but when it was learned one of his own kids was a patient at Sydney Children’s Hospital he landed the narration gig.
The observational medico genre is now officially at the same exhaustion point that hit our gardening genre two years ago. Medical Emergency, RPA, The Gift, Bush Doctors, Saving Babies, Nurses to name a few. That’s without even factoring in scripted drama. In fairness, I’m not really a follower of any of them, though clearly there is an audience.
Leith has a strong following amongst women (not that there’s anything wrong with that) after his evergreen singing on Idol. He comes across as a down to earth, affable and courteous young dad, pretty perfect for a show wearing its heart on its sleeve.
Like most of the others in the genre, this show follows kids undergoing medical care. Naturally the kids don’t say much, so the concerned parents provide the reactionary quotes. The first ep has an 11yr old boy who has drilled a screw into his hand, a critical 6yo girl who crashed her quad bike (there’s even a belated re-enactment of sorts, though without any gore) and a boy about to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Yikes, that must be why I’m not big on this genre.
All the doctors explain the procedures with much professional duty of care. Where is Hugh Laurie when you need him? He’d spice this up no end.
Leith is surprisingly good as a narrator, though I doubt there are any Logie awards in the wings. He delivers enough fact-based info with fawning concern. His strong Irish lilt is likely to win as many fans as it will deter others.
On the whole, Saving Kids is every bit as competitive as the others in the field. I’ll be more impressed when a bright producer decides not to go down the road of endlessly pausing storylines to cut to other stories (Border Security you have a lot to answer for). These are the ultimate in “Meanwhile….TV”
Saving Babies, I mean Saving Kids, is an accomplished band-aid for a bleeding genre. Cue violins.