Mercado on TV: It is good to see more older characters popping up in Aussie drama. Love Me (Foxtel/Binge) lusty couple Glenn (Hugo Weaving) and Anita (Heather Mitchell) are a delight, although when it comes to selling the show on billboards and press ads, it’s all about the younger cast.
Now there’s nothing wrong with that because Clara (Bojana Novakovic) and Peter (Bob Morley) are a believable couple the audience is rooting for. That’s not the case though with the hopeless Aaron (William Lodder) and his unlikely affair this season with Amy (Nicole da Silva). Thankfully, Glenn and Anita have to deal with the passive-aggressive Richard (Kim Gyngell).
While it’s a no-brainer to give such juicy material to Hugo Weaving and Heather Mitchell, other veteran actors have to make do with smaller supporting roles. Wellmania (Netflix), the wildly funny comedy with Celeste Barber, wisely casts the wonderful Genevieve Mooy as her mother, but she doesn’t get that much to do.
Mooy, who was so memorable as posh publicist Jan in Frontline (Netflix and Stan) has not been seen enough since. She ends up in a life-or-death situation at the end of Wellmania’s first season, so let her live and unleash her beast for season two!
Totally Completely Fine (Thursday on Stan) is a bold new Aussie series about mental health. Created by Gretel Vella, it’s about the complicated Vivian (Thomasin McKenzie) who ends up in a cliffside house after the death of her grandfather. Turns out it’s a popular suicide spot and she’s expected to stop everyone jumping.
There is some major scene-stealing from Deborah Kennedy who plays a pot-smoking escapee from an aged care home. Best known for her TV ad catchphrase “Not happy, Jan”, here is another actor of a certain age who should be cast in more shows because she can still run rings around the newcomers.
There is another fantastic cast in Claremont Murders (Seven and 7plus). Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Tasma Walton and Dalip Sondhi are solid as senior investigating officers, but the flirty romance between two junior detectives (Aaron Glenna and Laura Gordon) seems inappropriate here.
As the grieving parents of the first girl to be murdered, Erik Thomson and Kate Ritchie don’t get a lot to do, but they did get a TV Week cover promoting the series. Real-life couple Pippa Grandison and Steve Le Marquand, who play the parents of another victim, don’t even get a listing on IMDB, but their work is just as impressive.
Main image: Thomasin McKenzie in Totally Completely Fine on Stan.
Read more Mercado on TV here.
Welcome to TV Gold: The almost all-new weekly TV podcast
Well, the name is new! So is the email address asking for feedback and question – [email protected].
Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning.
This week lots of explosive TV from Beef to the Succession bombshell. Also Transatlantic, and best value streaming services.