Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Aussie TV

My latest discoveries on Netflix are Aussie tv series. I have sampled Swedish and Finnish crime dramas, a Serbo-Croatian newspaper drama, action series from Israel and Turkey, a Russian show about a detective with an exceptional sense of smell, and one show about disaffected youth in Rome. None of them caught my fancy. But then I had a go at an Australian tv series and got hooked. So far I have not found one not worth watching.

Pine Gap is a one season show that takes place on a high-tech intelligence facility run jointly by the US and Australia in the Aussie outback. It just aired in 2018 so there likely will be more seasons coming out. It involves international intrigue and romance.

The Code also involves high-tech espionage, but it is more personal centered around two brothers, one of whom is a journalist and the other a brilliant, high-functioning Asperger's personality who can do just about anything with computers so he usually has to be kept away from them! Somehow he lands a gorgeous Iranian immigrant girlfriend. The three get mixed up in corruption in high places. Two seasons and well worth watching.

Secret City I have just started watching. It also involves corruption in government and stars a journalist. The amazing architecture of the Parliament House in Canberra, where much of the action takes place, is almost another character:

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Wanted is my favorite so far. It follows the adventures of two women, one hiding out from the authorities after she killed her husband in self-defence, and the other the sheltered daughter of a wealthy businessman. While coincidentally waiting at a bus stop together they get mixed up in illegal drug deals, corrupt cops, and end up wanted, on the run and, of course, best friends. Three seasons and still going.

What all these series have in common is interesting and believable characters which seem to be rare in US tv these days. Plus, NO SUPERHERO COSTUMES AND NO CGI SPECIAL EFFECTS. If I see Thor throw his hammer one more time, or Iron Man rocket into the sky or Captain America do something really ludicrous with his shield I swear I'm going to hurl...

UPDATE: Just watching Season 3, episode 5 of Wanted and there was a little bit of dialogue that captures rather nicely the Australian view of things: the two leads are still on the run, on foot, and they come across an abandoned barn at dusk where they decide to hole up for the night. One character looking dubiously into the dark barn says "Do you think there'll be rats?" to which the other replies, "Not if there's snakes." Yep.

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