Tears flow for Better Man

"The most powerful drama of the year!" was the verdict of Twitter last night as viewers openly wept to the SBS drama.

2013-08-02_0121It may not set the ratings on fire, but part two of Better Man hit home with many Twitter users last night who, as predicted, were awash with tears:

Omg #better man makes you think about the death penalty it hurts all the people left behind

#sbsone #betterman good son and good brother.

The tears, the tears #bettermansbs @RemyHii you were absolutely amazing, thank you x

What a performance. Amazing cast @RemyHii @Georgedotplay @jordansblah09 and to the impressive directing of Khoa Do. 

My eyeballs hurt. Headache. Such a moving story. It had to be told. #bettermansbs

Just finished bawling my eyes #betterman

oh my god. the tears. #BetterMan

It was a well made film though #betterman

Thank you @SBS for brilliant Aussie drama and I hope that #betterman has changed peoples opinion on the death penalty.

#betterman @SBS one of the most intense amazing brilliant essential pieces of quality film / acting I’ve ever seen on oz tv @RemyHii

Powerful. Devastating. #Betterman

#betterman heart renching TV, beautifully acted!!!

Shedding years for a #BetterMan. Thanks #SBS

#betterman is easily the most powerful drama of the year! #sbs

Finally caved in and wept when Van’s brother came to pay him a final visit & when @RemyHii sang b4 serving death penalty :,( 

I can’t stop crying =(

Oh @SBS you’ve done it again, breaking me to tears #betterman

I’m crying more than the actors on #betterman

#betterman Australian TV at its finest. Thanks #Sbs

Oh #betterman, make me cry much?!

OH MY GOOD LORD IM IN TEARS #Betterman :((( ahhhh 🙁 

This show is breaking my heart #betterman

@SBS the most moving piece of tv Ive seen for many years #betterman


Fighting back tears watching #betterman


That made me become a better man

You can still catch the series on the SBS website.

11 Responses

  1. Thanks to wonders of digital tv and those in The Digital Ready Team who leave me to wonder why I had to turn off The Better Man each time it was showing, as watching a frozen in time picture becomes a little boring.
    So reading comments/responses in TvT and the digital media it seems it was indeed a moving story portrayed by some powerful emotive acting, and not being critical in anyway, nor for or against capital punishment including the Death Penalty, because there are indeed winners (guess who?) and losers when people do not observe the Laws of Land they are in, regardless how harsh those Laws may seem compared to ours.
    But what does cause me some concern is the real tears for what was acting, I wonder how many opinions would change if they joined First Responders nightly, accompanied them to A&E and witnessed real life drug related events.

  2. @Jimbo..you got cut off too huh?…lol.Oh well,I made most of my points.We’ll have to better monitor those 900 characters.I’m with you on part 2 ..thought it was way better.

  3. My tears flow for all the innocent people who die due to drug traffickers bringing the drugs back into the country. It might seem tough but at least this kept a number of innocent people safe.

  4. This was powerful stuff, & I’ll be getting the DVD when it comes out. Glad they stuck with two episodes instead of editing it down to one. We needed all the “padding and unnecessary backstory” to truly understand him & his motivations. Besides, he was caught at the airport at the start of the second hour. Are we really that impatient to see someone die?

    He’s defiantly no Schapelle Corby! That woman has garnered way more national sympathy than Van did at the time. Also, she’s gotten off way more lightly if you consider Indonesia’s history with drug-related convictions. I have many thoughts & theories about that wouldn’t please the likes of JimboJones.

  5. @nicks – I didn’t say Better Man was bad. If it was bad I wouldn’t have watched the whole thing. It’s just that it had problems. And the subject matter distanced the story from most Australians, hence the low ratings. Australians like their criminals to be of the larrikin or bogan variety, not people who have anything to do with heroin.

    For the record, I don’t support the death penalty, so I’m not saying he deserved what happened to him. However, I suspect I am in the minority.

    I agree with your observation about the dialogue – yes, it’s refreshing to see something not resort of the soap opera technique of yelling every line.

  6. I actually started to cry a few hours after the show ended.

    I was preparing to go to bed and it just hit me.

    I didn’t know Van but I thought what happened to him was barbaric and sadly has not deterred Singapore to abolish the death penalty.

    I attended the church service for Van in Melbourne and it was a moving experience.

    Sure there were some problems with the series – way too long and was it really necessary to show the hanging? -but it is essential viewing for anyone who loves fine Australian made drama.

    Well done SBS and all involved in the making.

    Remy Hii should snag the Graham Kennedy Logie for Best New Talent next year.

  7. @Jimbo..when I mentioned Snowtown on here you were the only guy to comment.And just for that I’ve come to respect your opinion.But I disagree with you on this one.Better Man wasn’t Snowtown but it was damn good.Dialogue almost at a whisper,pauses,silences…you had a director who knew that these affects could better convey his message than the usual oz method of resorting to screaming and yelling.Wenham is so good.He’s a pretty good looking guy,and I suppose he could just play the matinee idol through his career,but he chooses interesting projects(Top of the Lake) and never disappoints.And yeah the guy did what he did,and should have been found guilty,despite the handling of the evidence.But as was said a couple of times…most people get second chances.Malamud once wrote..’we have two lives;the life we learn with,and the life we live with after that’.Van did something in a place…

  8. What were the final ratings? The second episode was better than the first (the first had way too much padding and unnecessary backstory, plus that ridiculous romantic subplot).

    There are two massive problems with Better Man:

    1) The main character is completely unsympathetic and one-dimensional. He did actually commit the crime for which he was convicted (so you can’t play the Schapelle Corby card), and try as they might, the writers could not create any sympathy for him.

    2) The pacing was completely devoid of tension. With so much at stake, you think they could have created a bit of nail-biting suspense. Every scene played flat and had a join-the-dots feeling. Even the death scene was flat and emotionless (contrast it with, say, the hanging scene from “10 Rillington Place”, which was harrowing).

    SBS must be regretting the money they spent on this. Perhaps next time SBS…

  9. Yes, indeed, a truly moving and thought provoking piece of television. Something that will stay with the viewer long after those last confronting scenes.
    Some amazing performances, with Remy Hii (obviously) particularly outstanding.
    I hope we get more exceptional Aussie drama like Better man from SBS soon.

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