Mercado on TV: House of Gods and Three Women. One of these is explicit and sexy!

House of Gods

House of Gods is thoughtful and respectful about a culture rarely seen on TV

House of Gods (Sunday on ABC) is a new 6-part Aussie drama. It’s an in-depth look at religion and power in an Australian Iraqi family, and it’s thoughtful and respectful about a culture rarely seen on TV. Sadly, it could be too earnest to garner a wide audience.

Creator and star Osamah Sami covered similar ground in his romantic comedy Ali’s Wedding (2017). That movie was revealing and delightful, but this Muslim cleric drama is much more serious.

ABC’s House of Gods is authentic, but it’s no Succession

House of Gods’ first episode is authentic, but it’s too focused on the power games between conservative religious men. Matchbox Pictures says the vibe is meant to be “Succession in a mosque” but that’s ridiculous given there are no bitchy one-liners here.

Maybe SBS would have known how to make the story more compelling, given the success they had with Muslim-themed police thriller East West 101 (2007), female soccer drama Kick (2007) and edgy school drama The Principal (2015). 

Stan’s Three Women is intoxicating, explicit and sexy

Now to international fare, and Three Women (Stan) is an intoxicating 10-part drama about vulnerable high school student Maggie (Gabrielle Creevy), catholic housewife Lina (Betty Gilpin) and privileged African American caterer Sloane (DeWanda Wise).

Sloane is pushing the boundaries of the open marriage she has with husband Richard (Blair Underwood), while Lina flees her sexless marriage for a wild affair with a former high school sweetheart.

Sharlene Woodley in Stan’s Three Women

But it’s Maggie’s narrative that is the most heartbreaking as she reflects on the inappropriate relationship she had with a sleazy teacher. Three Women has some incredible performances, but Gabrielle Creevy is astonishing in this.

Linking all these stories together is road-tripping journalist Gia (Sharlene Woodley) who is driving across America to record their female desires. Gia has her own issues, and the episodes are standalone for each character, or intertwining with everyone in sync. 

Three Women is raw, explicit, messy and sexy, and there’s a depiction of a miscarriage that is unlike anything I have ever seen or even thought about in this much detail. It’s the first great drama of 2024, there’s something for everyone here and you won’t forget most of it in a hurry.

Welcome to TV Gold: 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: House of Gods, Three Women, Four Corners, MAFS

Andrew Mercado and James Manning review the new ABC drama about the Messenger Mosque and an ambitious Australia-Iraqi family, House of Gods.
They also finally sit down to watch the Martin Scorsese Oscar-nominated Killers of the Flower Moon.
James chooses one of these dramas as a TV Gold Show of the Week. But Andrew says no, and brings in an outsider for his choice. Controversy rocks TV Gold!

Listen online here, or on your favourite podcast platform.

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