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Sunday, September 18, 2011
SLiDE - Aussie TV
It’s very rare that I blog about anything other than books. The exceptions to the rule are anything that captures my attention and makes me sit up and take notice. So, let me recommend my new obsession. . .
Has anyone else been watching the new Aussie YA TV show, ‘Slide’ (stylised as ‘SLiDE’?)
I honestly don’t have much love for Australian television. These days if it’s not another ‘Underbelly’ series, then it’s a sad attempt at recreating ‘Blue Heelers’ and ‘Water Rats’ (I’m looking at you, ‘Cops LAC’, ‘Rush’ and ‘City Homicide’!).
I had seen lots of posters for ‘Slide’, they were peppered throughout my tram route and I honestly didn’t know what to make of them. The actors in the posters looked really young, and the rainbow colours kind of screamed ‘tween’ to me. Still, I decided to give it a go and have a watch. . . and in doing so, I think I've found Australia’s answer to ‘Skins’.
‘Slide’ is about five unlikely friends living and running amok in Bris-Vegas (i.e: ‘Brisbane’).
There’s Scarlett (Emily Robbins) – the spoilt rich girl whose mum has hand-balled her to her hotelier father after a series of embarrassing escapades. But Brisbane hasn’t calmed the girl, and upon arrival in the city she throws a welcome party for herself and trashes her dad’s suite, but gains some friends amidst the mayhem.
Eva (Adele Perovic) is a graffiti artist who has a problem with authority. She relishes being anything but normal, but has family problems that are about to implode.
Luke (Brenton Thwaites) is the local heart-throb who has been with just about every girl in school and is rumoured to have a parole officer . . .
Tammy (Gracie Gilbert) comes from a wild family – a rocking mother and black jack father. But Tammy is the opposite, she likes lists and organization, and would never go for the obvious ‘cool’ guy – but she can’t help but be drawn to beautiful Luke.
And then there’s Ed (Ben Schumann). He’s a hopeless virgin with a girl-next-door stalker who has lusty urges at inappropriate moments.
Each episode follows the unlikely group through their various embarrassing escapades in the city by the surf. Some of their actions are plain ludicrous – like deciding to blackmail John’s from a prostitute’s phonebook. Others have a softer touch – like an impromptu trip to Luke’s house that introduces the gang to his frightening older brother.
The show is a little bit brilliant. The writing is fantastic with a keen ear for dialogue and there are enough love connections within the group to fuel much impressive angst. The show is also a wonderful Polaroid picture of what it’s like being a young Aussie. Hardly any of the storyline takes place in school – instead it’s all about the weekend, summer holidays and busting your gut at crap-paying part-time jobs. The show slowly lets family-ties creep into the character’s lives, but for the most part it’s a truthful rendition of what it is to be young and self-centred, letting home life hang on the periphery until it gets to a boiling point and can’t be ignored. Big issues like sexuality and promiscuity are explored but never preached.
It’s actually a bit of a cop-out to compare the show to the UK’s ‘Skins’. If anything, ‘Slide’ is what ‘Skins’ used to be – introverted storytelling about the quintessential youth unique to viewers in that country. In recent seasons (in my opinion) ‘Skins’ has become less about telling good, funny yarns and more emo-angst ridden rubbish trying to be high-brow vignette episodes.
I am loving ‘Slide’ and really hoping it gets picked up for a second season . . .