In the world of trucking, demolition, storage, tattoos, pawn and garages, 7mate surely knows its blokey audience like the back of their hand.
No surprises then that it immediately swooped on Aussie Salvage Squad, which centres around a high-stakes marine crew based in the Whitsundays. The new observational series is as hard yakka as they come, retrieving big boats and swearing like a trooper in the process.
With its aquamarine setting this is politically-incorrect armchair travel, with a tinnie in one hand.
Luke Purdy heads up the team of 4 marine rescue experts who, as it happens, also live together under the one roof (a plot point that feels more like a manoeuvre by producers for the sake of drama). He owns an imposing former US military truck named Christopher with bodywork boasting “Born To Pull.”
“I love driving this thing,” he says from behind the wheel. “If I was in the mood to crack a boner, I’d crack one right now.” Thanks for that.
Purdy is a character who never lets a job get on top of him, hired for work nobody else will face. He is assisted by the equally-larrikin Dan who is known for licking the old wood on the boats, because that’s what you do….
Then there are the girls Jayde, who appears to be in a relationship with Luke, and Ellie, both of whom get down and dirty with the boys on the job. Of course. Rounding out this bunch of experts is the ageing dog Mister Bent, who has the smartest job of all sitting back and overseeing the labour with one eye open.
In the opening episode a yacht, the Pacific Dragon, has been wrecked on the shores of Shute Harbour after Cyclone Debbie, a storm referred to as a “whole new bitch.”
Assisted by excavator Steve and his “Winch Beast” Christopher, Luke and the team are under pressure to get the job done before the tide comes in. TV loves a ticking clock. Despite the challenge ahead Luke declares the job “a piece of piss” and the salvaging begins. But this is TV, not much will go as planned.
While hand-held cameras catch all the action, a hefty slice of the blue dialogue is straight off a construction site. But with appropriate timeslot & classification it shouldn’t be a problem. Various shots of the girls, including in wet shirts, may challenge straight white blokes adjusting with what’s still acceptable in the #metoo era. Or did 7mate viewers conveniently miss that memo? Probably.
The domestic scenes add minimal story value, it’s the action & big toys we are here to see. Seven says the series will also feature underwater salvage which sounds unique in the local market.
Produced with grunt by Fredbird Entertainment, Aussie Salvage Squad is a mix of men’s magazine and blue collar demolition, and if it flies in the face of current political messaging, just rev up the big truck one more time. It’s a piece of piss.
Aussie Salvage Squad airs 8:30pm Tuesday on 7mate.