Mercado on TV: Two new Aussie dramas plus Superwog and Three Families

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What’s wrong with Eden and what’s right about the final series of Jack Irish

Eden (Stan) is a new Aussie drama filmed in Byron Bay but not set in Byron Bay. Instead, it is a fictional town with a lighthouse that annoyingly shines its beam into everyone’s backyard. Nobody notices though, because hippies, wellness experts and movie stars are too busy consuming drugs and having sex.

It is particularly sad to see the mighty Maggie Kirkpatrick reduced to playing a catatonic old woman with no dialogue. She has to do a full-frontal nude scene, but all the younger cast members remain coy and cover up their bits.

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Eden is trying too hard to be too many things and it isn’t helped by a joyless first episode. The second episode suggests things make more sense the longer you keep watching, but I’m out. Sorry, there will be no Return to Eden for me.

While Eden goes for an international feel, Jack Irish (Sunday on ABC), could not be more Aussie and that seemed to make it even more of a hit everywhere. It is seen all over the world and locally it’s on iview, Netflix and Stan.

This is the final series of Jack Irish and it’s sad to farewell the great Guy Pearce and those wonderful supporting characters played by Roy Billings, Aaron Pedersen, Damien Garvey, Damien Richardson, Terry Norris, John Flaus and Shane Jacobsen.

(For more, listen to the Mercado on TV Jack Irish podcast HERE or all good podcast platforms).

It’s good to see Aussie comedy Superwog (Sunday on iview) back for a second series. Brothers Theodore and Nathan Saiddan are still hilarious, particularly when they play the meek vegetable peeling mama and freaked out father Wog Dad.

Wog used to be a racial slur but Nick Giannopoulos re-claimed it back in 1987. There was stage show Wogs Out of Work, TV series Acropolis Now, The Wog Boy movies, and all of them were hits. Superwog owes them a nod, but it is its own next generation crazy beast.

Three Families (Sunday on BBC First) is the new BBC drama about abortion laws in Northern Ireland. It stars Irish-Australian actress Genevieve O’Reilly and it’s shocking to watch the true stories and realise it happened only a few years ago.

Gogglebox UK watched Three Families and they were all left gobsmacked. One plot involves the prosecution of a mother for buying online medication for her daughter. Another is about a woman forced to give birth to a deformed baby that will die. Grim stuff, but thoughtfully done.

See also: Producer Ian Collie on why Guy Pearce keeps coming back to Jack Irish

Read more Mercado on TV columns here.

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