Love Me

At last, a smart and complex tale of modern Australian relationships in Binge's new drama series.

Summer holidays are a great chance to sink your teeth into new dramas and one new Australian drama fits the bill pretty perfectly.

Love Me is a new 6 part romantic drama, the first for Binge (yes it will also be on Foxtel) and it’s instantly better than that much-hyped And Just Like That.

Produced by Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford (Aquarius Films) for Warner Bros. Australia this is based on a Swedish drama Älska Mig,, adapted by local writers. Not to be in any way dismissive, but this is a very-well made melodrama which was so successful for Foxtel with Love My Way, and later A Place to Call Home. That said, I feel this is closer to ABC’s excellent The Beautiful Lie... full of contemporary, complex takes on relationships, with Celia Pacquola to boot.

The series centres around the Mathieson family headed by Glen (Hugo Weaving) with daughter Clara (Bojana Novakovic) and son Aaron (William Lodder).

Early in the opening episode Glen loses his wife Christine (Sarah Pierse) having been her devoted carer in her final ailing years. But they were also difficult years and Clara felt the judgment of her mother for remaining single and supposedly being “too picky” in men.

“I don’t want to date children, I want to have one,” says Clara.

That looks like changing when she bumps into a neighbour Peter (Bob Morley) at the local convenience store. She is heavily encouraged by her gay hospital colleague Sacha (Celia Pacquola).

Meanwhile Aaron is besotted with sexy band performer Ella (Shalom Brune-Franklin) even though his friend Jesse (Mitzi Ruhlmann) insists the two have nothing in common.

The death of Christine resets much for the family, with Clara deciding to take a chance on romance with the handsome Peter and Glen taking an expensive holiday he had already purchased, where he meets the attractive Anita (Heather Mitchell) -whilst you can probably figure out the rest, watching it unfold is joyous and layered, in the hands of two fine performers.

Hugo Weaving rarely does TV series and we are poorer for it. Here he shows how Glen struggles to move on from his marriage, yet desperately deserves to. Bojana Novakovic, who last appeared for Foxtel in their early drama Satisfaction, looks gorgeous on screen as the very grounded Clara facing modern, real dating questions.

Newcomer, the dashing William Lodder (yes the eye candy is high in this show), is a terrific find as the needy son struggling with his mother’s death.

Heather Mitchell and Celia Pacquola (again holding her own beside drama actors) are glorious ensemble additions.

Melbourne is also a backdrop character to this series, evocatively captured as a romantic metropolis – quite a feat given this was shot during lockdowns.

In the hands of director Emma Freeman, this is smart, sexy, brimming in subtext and unspoken sentiments. The soundtrack, frequently with lilting piano tinkling, helps lures you under its spell. It’s easy to warm to these characters and their present storylines.

That said, there seems to be a fair bit of booze whenever two people meet up, and a few times I couldn’t read the SMS exchanges -minor points, admittedly.

Love Me is smart, urban and believable, and Binge is perfectly offering up all 6 episodes that you’ll want to deep dive into.

Love Me screens Boxing Day on Binge (Foxtel on Demand / 8:30pm Monday on FOX Showcase).

7 Responses

  1. Watched the first 3 episodes and enjoyed them immensely. Certainly not my genre, but it had my interest from the first scene. It has a fine cast and the visuals of Melbourne are wonderful.. Pleasantly surprised..

  2. Another series that appears to not have any budget for lighting. I suppose it makes for moody atmosphere but everyone seems to live in this state of perpetual darkness, in kitchens, in shops, anywhere. Turn on a freakin light switch, people. Some shows these days are filmed in such darkness they might as well just be a podcast.

    In this show it also didn’t help that I didn’t really find the characters all that likeable although I can see Hugo Weaving’s character becoming a bit less sterile, and Celia Pacquola is universally good in anything she does but I don’t think it’s enough to keep me watching.

    I got through episode one, not sure if I will go back for the others.

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