Mercado on TV: Championing More Than This & Euphoria to celebrate LGBT Pride


A real and authentic Aussie teen drama, and a series that rewrote rules about how far you can go on TV

As we celebrate another Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (Saturday on ABC, iview and Triple J), a quick look at any high school TV drama confirms that young people are into diversity in a way that many of their parents never would be. 

New Aussie drama More Than This (above – Paramount+) is a teen drama written by teenagers. Star and co-creator Olivia Deeble comes from an acting dynasty that includes mother Kate Gorman (Neighbours) and her grandfather, Reg Gorman (barman Jack in The Sullivans), who died after filming for this series.

Her co-creator, trans non-binary actor Luka Gracie plays Jamie, a lonely non-binary student who gets welcomed into the school’s fabulous queer clique. More Than This is real and authentic and it avoids tropes like kids having sex and drug-fuelled parties in mansions devoid of parental supervision. 


Euphoria season 2


Euphoria (Binge) is an explicit high school fantasy written by 37-year-old Sam Levinson and starring a cast of hot twentysomethings. Its second season just ended, with trans student Jules (Hunter Schafer) sidelined so closeted Cal (Eric Dane), the older dad she had underage sex with in season one, could flashback to his homoerotic high school days to the tune of INXS

Euphoria might be more style (and make-up tips) than substance, but it has also re-written the rules about how far you can go in a teen drama. Other adult dramas, like And Just Like That (Binge) stumble into this genre too, with Charlotte’s (Kristin Davis) daughter Rose (Alexa Swinton) becoming Rock while other gay representation is pure 1970s sitcom.

Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone), the most incompatible gay couple in the history of TV, finally split up in And Just Like That (Binge), but only after actor Willie Garson died. That left his husband to screech endlessly about hot men in hot pants delivering hot sourdough. 

HBO’s antithesis to their clumsy Sex and the City spin-off is Somebody Somewhere (Binge), an unpretentious but sweet dramedy about a dysfunctional Kansas family. One smiling spot is Joel (Jeff Hiller), an optimistic Christian who struggles with his sexuality and the church.

That’s something we don’t see much of on TV, and it doesn’t look like we will ever see the best drama of 2021 on broadcast TV either. Veneno is only available to watch on iview, but it’s the perfect way to celebrate LGBT Pride. Happy Mardi Gras.

Read more Mercado on TV columns here.


ABC Mardi Gras hosts Hamish Macdonald, Steven Oliver, Mon Schafter, Casey Donovan, Jeremy Fernandez, Courtney Act

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