Good Australian drama with a matching podcast, a musical based on political events from not that long ago, and a couple of British-based reality-style shows make up this month’s picks.
It’s almost two years since I shared my thoughts on The Newsreader Season 1 in January 2021. Season 2 has just finished and I think it was even better and I am now waiting impatiently for Season 3. The trip down memory lane with the News At 6 team continues with the same inappropriate workplace behaviour, giant shoulder pads, and accurate set dressing that you will recognise as seeing in a relative or friend’s home, “back in the day”.
Created by Michael Lucas and starring Anna Torv, Sam Reid and William McInnes The Newsreader has the added bonus of nostalgia featuring the news stories of the time, and season two had me cringing at the bicentenary celebrations. The characters grow and develop over the 6 episodes ending with a surprising, at least to me, power shift.
ABC has also produced the Newsreader Podcast for season 2 with Lisa Millar and Leigh Sales. The podcast is a great accompaniment to the show and listening to two women, who had experienced newsrooms themselves, dissect each episode just added to my enjoyment.
Their guests who were involved in the production either in front or behind cameras added to the experience. You can watch The Newsreader on ABC iView and listen to the podcast on ABC listen. My tip watch the show first then listen to the podcast for the episode as it contains spoilers.
Remember November 1975? A constitutional crisis when the Senate refused to follow convention and blocked the Government’s supply bill. The Governor General, Buckingham Palace, the media and High Judge Garfield Barwick all played a role in dismissing the government and appointing the opposition as a caretaker government. With Norman Gunston as your narrator, The Dismissal revisits the events surrounding the sacking of a democratically elected government.
Director James Jay-Moody has created a razor-sharp, witty, and entertaining show around what many would consider “boring politics”. Featuring an energetic cast, clever music and lyrics written by Laura Murphy, Peter Fitzsimmons described it as “Australia’s answer to Hamilton” in the SMH. If you remember the events, you will enjoy the opening TV commercials of the time and a revisit with a comedic twist.
I saw The Dismissal is live at the Seymor Centre until 21st October. Hopefully, you will be able to see somewhere near you.
I recently binge-watched Glow Up’s latest season 5 on Netflix. I have watched earlier seasons and find not so much the format, but the creations of the makeup artists or MUAs just fascinating. These generally young, contestants are very talented artists who use their own and other people’s faces and sometimes bodies as their canvases. It’s a reality show competition format set in London where each week the MUAs are given industry assignments, these may be a red-carpet event or an advertising campaign or a film assignment.
In one episode they had to create makeup looks for extras in a ball scene for Bridgerton. The judges are Val Garmand and Dominic C. Skinner who boast impressive resumes in the world of professional make up and they challenge the MUAs to tell their own stories through their art. The face-off where a very specific makeup task is undertaken by the two MUAs who have impressed the least that episode with the lowest scoring MUA packing up their kit and leaving the series. There is a wealth of characters in Glow Up and a real diversity of people and its worth a look for just that reason.
Billionaire Blooms takes you behind the scenes of the uber rich luxury florist industry as these British florists create amazing floral works of art for their very exclusive venues and super rich private clients.
After just 4 episodes I was gobsmacked at the amount of money spent on blooms for an amazing 3 venue wedding in Venice that required millions of flowers to be delivered by barge, a country house 50th birthday and even a child’s birthday party.
It’s another art form and whilst I struggle with the excesses, I found myself intrigued by the genius behind some of the displays. I found Billionaire Blooms on Binge.