Mercado on TV: November highlights from Lie With Me to Parental Guidance

Lie With Me

How Jason Herbison and Alison Langdon are making must-see-TV in last month of ratings survey

There is a surprising lack of publicity for the new Australian drama Lie With Me that recently topped the UK ratings. Lie With Me (Wednesday on 10) aired as an event on Channel 5 for four straight nights where it beat the BBC and ITV with an average audience of three and a half million viewers.

Now down under, Lie With Me is 10’s only new Aussie drama for 2021 and the channel seems as uninterested in the genre as Seven and Nine are. It’s almost as if commercial television wants local drama to fail. This was originally scheduled for Thursdays, then dropped and re-scheduled, and 10’s media site has never had any episodes to preview. (A lack of previews is happening far too often.)

Lie With Me is a spicy potboiler about a troubled married couple, Jake (Brett Tucker) and Anna (Charlie Brooks) who move to an Australian country mansion and hire a nanny. The first episode is a slow burn but the second episode is a cracker.

The drama comes from Fremantle Australia and was created by the talented executive producer of Neighbours, Jason Herbison.

At least actress Charlie Brooks has had a career boost from it because she is now back on EastEnders (weeknights on UKTV), even though her character Janine Butcher deliberately murdered several husbands. A good soap knows when they are onto a good thing so welcome back Janine, you crazy bitch.

November used to be the month when free to air TV started winding down for the summer but this time, two new reality franchises are starting up.

When Big Brother VIP (Seven) and Parental Guidance (Nine) go head-to-head next Monday, social media is going to go crazy. But the chatter won’t be about Big Brother, because what else can you say about those questionable VIPs, except why and who cares?

Lie with me

Parental Guidance hosts Dr Justin Coulson and Ally Langdon

Next week the national conversation is going to be about Parental Guidance. There are back-to-nature parents who live with their kids in a tent and smiling Christian parents who smack their kids with wooden spoons. Let’s hope everyone involved is prepared for the avalanche of criticism that is about to rain down on them.

One saving grace of Parental Guidance is its hosts, mother of two Alison Langdon and parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson. They come across as the real deal, as opposed to those show pony relationship “experts” on MAFS

Although there is a questionable “how to kidnap kids” experiment in the second episode, the results are still surprising. Every opinion you have made about these parents will be challenged when you see whose kids recognise stranger danger.

Read other Mercado on TV columns here.

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