Rosehaven: “We can finish it on our terms”
Celia Pacquola & Luke McGregor are ending their ABC comedy, but will Emma & Daniel cozy up?
Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor aren’t entirely sure if it’s the right time to wrap Rosehaven, but after 5 seasons they have taken the plunge, taking the option of the youthful corpse rather than limping to a finish line.
When the real estate comedy began in 2016, their first foray into narrative comedy was never any guarantee to succeed.
Pacquola says there was no master plan around how many seasons it would pursue.
“We had no idea how it was going to be received. We’d never made a TV show before,” she tells TV Tonight.
“We were making a whole world and characters from scratch. We didn’t know If people would like our humour, if people would like the characters or the dynamic or the world or any of that.
“So making one season was a dream. But I think the second season was the most incredible, because it was the first time where we could relax a bit and actually have fun in the world we created.
“There’s more story that we could do, but it feels like at 40 episodes we’ve had a satisfying amount of time with these characters. We can finish it on our terms in a way that we’re happy with, without feeling like we’ve overstayed our welcome.”
Filmed over seven weeks in Tasmanian locations including Richmond, Geeveston and New Norfolk the show draws upon 37 Tasmanian full-time crew plus local casuals, actors, and extras.
Rosehaven favourites are all returning: Kris McQuade, Katie Robertson, David Quirk, Kim Knuckey, Noela Foxcroft, Sam Cotton, Mick Davies, Susie Youssef and Anthony Morgan.
“It would have been so sad to have finished the show without Katie Robertson as Grace in the final season. It’s unbelievable to me that we were able to get them the whole way through. Sam Cotton, I have no doubt, is going to be a megastar. Every season I’d think, ‘Is this the season he will say sorry, I’m in LA doing some Marvel movie?’
Amongst the few guest stars are Pamela Rabe, Katrina Milosevic (both from Wentworth), Aaron Chen, Rob Sitch and Anne Edmonds.
“This season, what’s different is we have very, very few cameos. Because it was the last season we really wanted to spend more time with our regular townfolk, and really give these actors and characters who we love so much, an episode that spotlights them.
“We really explore the big questions of the whole show: the relationship between Barbara, Emma & Daniel; who’s going to get the business?; more Neighbourhood Watch; Bruce and Maddrick’s relationship; will Daniel ever make up with his childhood bully?”
“It really involves the whole town and all the people we’ve met. By the end of this series, I hope that people feel that it’s about the town. I love that that’s what we did from the start. The show is called Rosehaven, not Emma & Daniel.”
But the eternal question remains…. can Daniel & Emma remain as friends or will a romance blossom by season’s end?
Pacquola isn’t revealing, at least not in any detail.
“We will answer this question in Season 5, in a way that I love so much!” she promises.
“This is a spoiler but no one’s dead. We didn’t burn the town down, so if in 10 years we want to do a Christmas movie I can entertain that small plan in my mind.”
After seven years of her life committed to writing, starring and editing the series, Pacquola is ready for new opportunities, even including a return to drama as she did in The Beautiful Lie.
Rosehaven’s final day, filmed during COVID meant that only the two creators could hug on set, once the cameras stopped rolling.
“We hugged each other in front of everyone and said, ‘This is like us hugging you!’ We were in a bubble so we were allowed…. but it was pretty sad.
“And there’s always going to be a voice in the back of my head going, ‘Maybe could we have squeezed one more?'”
Rosehaven returns 9pm Wednesday on ABC.