Upcoming Events: Series Mania at ACMI

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Sophie Cadieux, who bears some resemblance to Elisabeth Moss in other stills

Thanks to the Emerging Writers Festival newsletter, I learned that ACMI is hosting Series Mania Melbourne | A Free Festival of New TV this weekend. It started today (Thursday), and ACMI is hosting a series of free screenings for upcoming shows, as well as a keynote talk with Vince Gilligan, which had sold out by the time I’d learned that the festival was even on.

A note about the screenings: You can make some educated guesses (and I have a bunch of press releases and a giant spreadsheet), but it’s not clear. Also before you get too excited, Get Krack!n by Kates McLennan and McCarthy of The Katering Show is also sold out. It will be on ABC later this year.

I’d never heard of Series Mania, but it’s a French festival that aims to be television’s answer to Cannes. It began in Paris, and is moving to Lille next year. Series Mania has been brought to Melbourne by Forum des Images, and is sponsored by ACMI and film Victoria, as reported by Variety. It’s the first time Series Mania has been to another country, and I hope it continues to both expand and return to Melbourne.

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Television Review: Janet King, Season 2


Image courtesy of The ABC.

I’d never heard of Marta Dusseldorp until I saw A Place to Call Home. Now I see her everywhere, and I couln’t be more pleased, because she’s fantastic. The character of Janet King first appeared in the ABC drama Crownies (which I didn’t watch), and someone decided that Janet should have her own show. I would like to thank that person, because Janet King is one of the best Australian dramas I’ve seen this year. My relationship with Janet King is a bit of a strange one. I only saw the final two episodes of the first season because I have choir on Thursday nights (it’s just been moved forward from 8pm to 7pm, which means I have some TV time on Thursdays), and I loved it. I meant to watch the first season on iview, and then Netflix or Stan, but I never got around to it. Janet was facing some sort of internal investigation at work, but it seemed to have cleared up. What I admired most about Janet King however, is that the eponymous character is gay and that’s just one part of her life.

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Television Review: The Katering Show, Season 2

My sister was tweeting about MasterChef Australia and Food Dreams (©MasterChef Australia) earlier this week, and I sent her a link to The Katering Show on iview. Her response was simply,

…. what IS this?

I responded that it’s a comedy show that’s sort of about food, and that’s all you really need to know about The Katering Show, except for the fact that it’s great. If you can give me a one sentence description of The Katering Show that’s better than that, I’ll be very grateful. The Katering Show follows comedians Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney. McLennan is an ‘intolerable foodie’ and McCartney is intolerant of many foods, and she doesn’t care about cooking. At all. Most of the show’s humour is derived from the odd couple chemistry between the two, and its great. In Australia, you can watch both seasons of The Katering Show on iview, and if you’re not Australian, the first season is on YouTube, as is this ‘apology video’ regarding the geoblock on season two.

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ABC Lineup for 2016

It’s upfronts season on Australian television, and this week we heard from both the ABC and Channel Nine. Of the various upfronts (ABC, SBS, Foxtel, Nine, Seven and Ten), the most exciting are from ABC and SBS. They invest in new talent, a diversity of voices, and they also let their creators take a year off if they want to work on something else. Rake is only filmed when everyone involved is available, and it’s coming back in 2016 along with Upper Middle Bogan, which also took a break this year. Meanwhile, there wasn’t anything in the presentation about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries or Utopia, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything with the ABC. Just as we didn’t have Rake or Upper Middle Bogan last year, these shows might just be taking a year off. And that’s okay! I’d prefer to have quality programming than something that feels rushed and suffers for it. I also didn’t see anything about Please Like Mewhich has been wonderful this year, but that’s a co-production with Pivot in the United States.

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Television Review: The Killing Season (and some thoughts on MasterChef)

The Rudd/Gillard partnership is one of the most notorious in Australian political both because of its success and how quickly it fell apart. Less than a year after Rudd was elected leader of the Australian Labor Party by the caucus, he was elected Prime Minister of Australia over the incumbent John Howard, who had been our Prime Minister for eleven years. The Australian Labor Party had struggled (and again later struggled) due to factional decisions, and the Rudd/Gillard partnership seemed to unite the party in Opposition for the first time, with Rudd from the Right and Gillard from the left. Two and a half years after he was elected, and mere months before the next election, Julia Gillard challenged Kevin Rudd’s leadership of the party, and the Labor Party caucus elected her leader, and because of the way the Westminster System works, Australia had its first female Prime Minister. Over the next three years, the Opposition successfully created a narrative that the Labor Party was incompetent and unstable due to constant leadership challenges, and Kevin Rudd once again became Prime Minister three years and two days after Julia Gillard won the leadership off him. He was Prime Minister for less than three months before the Liberal/National Coalition won government and Tony Abbott became Prime Minister. The Killing Season explores this tumultuous, triuumphant and terrible time for the Australian Labor Party from the perspectives of ALP members and public servants who experienced the Rudd/Gillard government from within.

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