Sunday, February 3, 2008

TV08:Australian Drama

2007 was also the year of the Australian drama revival. After years of networks plodding around trying to find a decent drama, there were two new dramas which stood up and got people's attention- Sea Patrol and City Homicide.
And in 2008, the only logical thing to do would be to produce more. So now we all know about Underbelly, which looks good and "gritty". If it succeeds it will be phenomenal and propel the Australian drama scene even further, but if it doesn't, which would suprise many, it would be made a laughing stock and be called Australia's bad attempt at the Sopranos.
There is also Packed to the Rafters, a dramedy which is probably going to be good family viewing, with Rebecca Gibney a well known face.
Sea Patrol is also back with a new name- Sea Patrol 2: The Coup and new faces- Alan Dale. It looks as if there wasn't enough explosions in the last series so Nine have decided to amp up the flashy factor and make it look more and more American. Either way, it will be costing them a fortune again so it better be worth it.
City Homicide is also back- not my cup of tea (not because I don't like the show, but because I dislike all cop-based dramas... except maybe Monk) but I know that lots of people like it. It should continue to thrive, given its ratings last season.
East of Everything is an ABC drama, I don't know much about it yet but hopefully it isn't too complicated and it builds up a following, then ABC can actually have a good Australian drama to be proud of.
Canal Road is a Nine drama which might have a harder time fitting in, given that it combines medicine and law, and viewers lately seem to prefer the simple formats but who knows, it could do good things for Australian drama by expanding the typical medical/cop/law genres.
And Channel Nine have stuck to the same sort of genres with Young Doctors. I don't know how they are going to compete with All Saints, now that it has found itself a little niche with dramatic "bomb" storylines. If Nine can steer in the complete opposite direction to All Saints, it could get a good audience.
And Ten, playing it safe once again has copped out with The Informant, a telemovie which it says may turn into a series if it performs well, which Ten will be hoping for, while its American drama pool will be drying up as the year progresses (if the strike isn't resolved).
And McLeods Daughters will return for its final season. Channel Nine decided to stop it after a lacklustre Season 7. Nine haven't treated it very well over the past couple of years, with an attempt to "sex" up McLeods, with those racy promos, and with Nine interrupting the season with other shows. And they still don't seem to care that much about it- the McLeods website is under the other "Other Shows" menu on the Nine website and they have't updated the McLeods website to the new logo and design which all the other new shows have.
Anyway, what's your opinion?

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