Mercado on TV: The Bridge, New Orleans’ days of hell and Here Out West

Make sure you also catch up on Bad Sisters and the new Curious Australia

How brilliant was Here Out West (iview)? This beautiful Aussie movie about love and family opened the Sydney Film Festival and premiered on TV last Sunday. It is an absolute must-see, so catch the repeat screening Saturday on ABC.

Here Out West

Here Out West is an anthology of several short films written by new and emerging multicultural voices. It led to astonishing performances and hopefully the winning formula for this anthology collaboration will be repeated elsewhere.

Curious Australia (SBS On Demand) is another opportunity for under-represented backgrounds to tell uniquely Aussie stories. There are stories about disability, the music industry and being a female coal miner, and the cool animation of Un-Locked is a compelling way to delve into difficult subjects.

New reality series The Bridge Australia (Monday on 10) gets just one airing on TV before moving to Paramount+. With masterful narration from Hugo Weaving, it’s a classy affair until one of the contestants needs a “fucking cup of tea”. Let’s hope that stays in the 10 cut.

The Bridge Australia will appeal to fans of Survivor and is the first of several new local adaptations to be set in the wilderness. Next year, there’s Million Dollar Island (Seven) and Alone (SBS), so this genre won’t be so alone anymore.

Five Days at Memorial (Apple TV+) is set in a New Orleans hospital during and after Hurricane Katrina. The first episode ends with a terrifying cliff-hanger, and the levee breaks at the start of the second episode, so it’s all downhill from there.

Vera Farmiga in Five Days at Memorial

With a cast headed by Vera Farmiga and Cherry Brown, there are five days of hell inside the doomed medical centre, and then three more episodes deal with the aftermath.

Based on a bestselling book, Ryan Murphy tried turning this into a new series of American Crime Story after O.J. Simpson, Gianni Versace and Monica Lewinsky. Ultimately, he passed and you can see why, because there is nothing remotely sexy about what happened here.

Bad Sisters (Apple TV+) is the new family dramedy from Sharon Horgan, and she has assembled a mighty Irish cast to surround her. That includes Ann-Marie Duff, Eva Berthistle and Eve Hewson, daughter of Bono.

Bad Sisters

The success of Catastrophe (Stan) meant that actor-writer-director-producer Sharon Horgan made several US series, including Divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker, and Shining Vale with Courtney Cox. None of them lived up to expectations, but Bad Sisters could be her saving grace.

See also:
Mediaweek’s Grace Gollasch talks to actor and filmmaker Arka Das about Here Out West and shining a light on the culture, food, and emerging creative talent that Western Sydney has to offer.


Don’t miss Mediaweek’s weekly TV podcast Mercado & Manning

Hear Andrew Mercado and James Manning review the week’s best TV. The new episode published today covers two series each from Paramount+ and AppleTV+.

The Bridge Australia is a major reality commission for Paramount+. On the same streaming platform is a hilarious new comedy, I Love That for You, about a girl who dreams of a career in home shopping. She’s not great at her chosen career, but manages to keep her job thanks to a major fabrication.

The podcast also explains why impressive casts help make both Bad Sisters and Five Days at Memorial are also worth your time this month.

Listen online here, on the LiSTNR app or your favourite podcast platform.
Like or follow the Mediaweek podcast for alerts when new episodes are available.

To Top