Mercado on TV: Aussie titles headline Easter hamper of TV goodies


• Two top Aussie programs to check out are Wakefield (iView) and The Tailings (SBS On Demand).

Easter is perfect for binge viewing, so why not check out two new Aussie series, Wakefield (iView) and The Tailings (SBS On Demand). There’s also Black Narcissus (Foxtel), The Serpent (Netflix), Made For Love (Stan) and an eagerly awaited new series of Line Of Duty (BritBox), but the most streamed show this holiday break will probably be the Bluey Easter Special (Sunday at 8am ABC, then iView).

The Tailings (SBS On Demand) is the latest TV series from Tasmania, so it’s a little bit spooky (like The Gloaming) with some small town humour from Kris McQuade (like Rosehaven). This story about women (made by women) features a feisty performance from newcomer Tegan Stimson and Mabel Li is a schoolteacher with a secret.

Wakefield (iView) is about a psychiatric ward, not that you would know that from the trailers. British actor Rudi Dharmalingam is Nik, supposedly the sanest nurse at the Blue Mountains facility with comedians Sam Simmons and Felicity Ward as his workmates and Mandy McElhinny as their boss.

One of the directors for Wakefield is Jocelyn Moorhouse. Her last movie, The Dressmaker (Friday on Seven), was one of the best Australian films of the decade and she was also the producer of husband P.J. Hogan’s films, Muriel’s Wedding (1994) and Mental (2012). All of those films dealt with mental health so Wakefield is in good hands.

Based on the first episode, Wakefield is superb. This is a complex and challenging series but it’s important to do shows about difficult subjects. It’s also important to keep making new Aussie drama and comedy, and nobody has done more in Q1 than the ABC.

While all everybody else did was The End (Foxtel) and Amazing Grace (Nine), the ABC also brought us Aftertaste, Fisk and Why Are You Like This. And let’s not forget Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire, the documentary of the year which built to a jaw dropping crescendo this week. There are no Logies until November but put this one down as a certainty.

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