Mercado on TV: ABC’s wild new sitcom and the infamous interview with an entitled and delusional Prince Andrew

Also this week: Seniors shine in the British crime drama drama Truelove

White Fever (iview) is a wild new sitcom about Jane (Ra Chapman), a Korean adoptee who was brought to Australia as a young girl. Now she’s wondering why she is not attracted to Asian men and prefers white men. Specifically, hairy ginger ones.

Chapman, who created the concept, has fun flipping around a fetish. White Fever is funny, and it’s good whenever it’s about the search for her heritage. When her childhood doll comes to life though, it gets a bit too bonkers. Good to see some local original comedy though.

Billie Piper in Scoop

Billie Piper steals the show in Scoop

Scoop (Netflix) is a surprisingly good movie about Prince Andrew’s infamous “I don’t sweat” interview. Played here by Rufus Sewell, and looking uncannily like him, the Queen’s favourite son comes across as entitled and delusional, and it’s hilarious. Gillian Anderson playing BBC interviewee Emily Maitlis is magnificent, as always.

But Scoop belongs to Billie Piper who is sensational as talent booker Sam McAlister. Sassy but self-doubting, she snags the interview after being tipped off that Jeffrey Epstein (Colin Wells) was about to be arrested for sex offences. Co-starring Keeley Hawes, Romola Garai, Connor Swindells and Amanda Redman, this is a must-see.

Another equally excellent British production is Truelove (Foxtel/Binge). It’s a harder watch, particularly for viewers of a certain age, with a bunch of 70-something friends making a drunken pact after a funeral. Agreeing to bump each other off in the event of a terminal diagnosis, that promise quickly comes back to haunt them.


Starring Lindsay Duncan, Sue Johnston, Peter Egan and Karl Johnson, this is brilliant and uncompromising. Also very good to see a drama about older people, especially given how under-represented that age group is on TV.

Neighbours (10) will soon see Erinsborough with its own retirement village. It will bring back Harold (Ian Smith) with other returnees to be announced. Neighbours respects the audience and its history, and it also remembers that Harold (and Madge) used to get more fan mail than any of the younger cast members. 

TV Gold: New episode of Mediaweek’s weekly TV podcast

Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Mercado on TV columnist Andrew Mercado and editor-in-chief James Manning.

We want your comments, feedback and questions – [email protected].

This week: Ripley, White Fever, Truelove, Scoop

Four very memorable pieces of television this week for very different reasons.

We start with the compelling British crime drama Truelove (BBC First on Fetch, Binge or Foxtel, series.)

Next is Ripley (Netflix, series) with a standout performance from Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in a new version of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr Ripley.

The sole Australian production under review this episode is White Fever (ABC/iview, series) which starts off at a furious pace with an episode you are not likely to forget.

Finally, we watch the TV movie Scoop (Netflix) with Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew. It’s a dramatisation of how the BBC’s Newsnight managed to convince the Prince to be a guest and be interviewed by journalist Emily Maitlis.

Listen online here, or on your favourite podcast platform.

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