Fandom fever: Matildas, Farnham, and ‘Utopia’ take centre stage this month

Jul 04, 2023
Get ready to be entertained this July. Source: Getty

All about Fandom this month Matildas, Farnham and Utopia. Not too often you will see sport mentioned in my blogs but I’m making an exception as it’s the month of the Mighty Matildas and the World Cup. Don’t worry you can watch it on Disney and get up to speed before you join in the fandom and excitement of the Women’s World Cup!

 John Farnham Finding the Voice

I have been a Farnham fan since the days of Sadie, One and King of Pop. I wept when the TV Week cover featured Jill and John’s wedding, clearly, as a thirteen-year-old, I thought he would wait for me! I enjoyed many live performances over the years including a very memorable concert in the round at the Sydney Entertainment Centre so I wasn’t surprised to enjoy this docu movie.  I was, however, surprised at how moved I was and just how wonderful the underlying stories of talent, friendship and loyalty surrounding the rise and fall and rise of this gifted icon were. 

Directed by Poppy Stockell, and featuring commentary by Olivia Newton-John, Jimmy Barnes, Celine Dion, Richard Marx, Robbie Williams, Daryl Braithwaite, Glenn and Gaynor Wheatley, James and Robert Farnham plus many more including of course, John Farnham. 

There was some new information that I hadn’t known about including some of the issues around the Little River Band when John was recruited to take the place of Glen Shorrock and his apparently unskilled and unpleasant early manager.   It was sad to hear a very shaky-sounding Olivia speak about her love and admiration for John and his incredible talent and also hear Gaynor Wheatly describe the death of her husband and Farnham’s long-term best mate and Manager Glen Wheatly.  It’s an honest and very special story.  If you are a John Farnham fan like me it’s a must-see, if you are a music fan or even just interested in Australian music over the past 60-odd years there will be something in this one for you.   How lucky have we been to enjoy this wonderful talent?


Matildas the World at our Feet

A couple of granddaughters play football and a few years ago I decided to introduce them to the Matildas, the Australian Women’s football team.  It didn’t take too long for me to become a fan and grab tickets online whenever the chance came to watch them play at home. If you want a team to watch and be proud of the Matildas are that team!  In July the whole world, seriously this is BIG, will be watching as Australia and New Zealand host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Before the big event have a look at the documentary and learn about some of the wonderful women wearing gold and green.  This fly-on-the-wall documentary gives you an insight into the world of professional footballers and follows some of the stars of our team and their coaches in their preparation for the World Cup.  The series has 6 episodes and features Steph Catley, Hayley Rasso, Mary Fowler, Caitlin Foord, Katrina Gorry and Captain Sam Kerr with other team members and their coach Tony Gustavsson. On-screen interviews are interwoven with game footage in this compelling series that never stops being hopeful and positive.  Even if you are not a sports fan get on board and have a look at this documentary.  I’ve got my tickets to a couple of matches and will be cheering for our Tillys!


Season 5 of Utopia commenced on ABC TV last month from the Working Dog Team, who also delivered the Hollowmen, Frontline, The Castle and Have You Been Paying Attention

 Long-suffering but well-intentioned Tony, (Sitch) and his team are back in the offices of the fictional Nation Building Authority dealing with the delivery of major government infrastructure projects.  Kitty Flannigan plays spin doctor Rhonda and Celia Pacquola is wonderful as Tony’s deputy. 

Utopia is a satire-comedy and anyone who has worked in the public sector will relate at some level to the ongoing clash between grand plans and projects and publicity, self-interest, shifting political priorities and bureaucracy. Utopia episodes usually have 3 plot lines and my favourite is often the internal office plot- whether its about security, a new employee wellbeing fad or even the office fridge.  

Utopia is funny, clever and relatable if you missed it catch it on ABC or iView.

Tea with the Dames

If asked to name some of my favourite actors certainly some of the group would include Judi Dench, and Maggie Smith, who along with Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright are the English Dames who are the subject of Roger Mitchell’s documentary.  These women have a shared friendship of over 50 years and allow the viewer a wonderful insight into their careers as they reminisce about starting out in theatre.  They are witty and as you would expect deliver their stories perfectly. Absolutely on point, smart and funny. Released in 2018 I found Tea with The Dames on ABC iView

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up