Stephen Curry as Mr Black
Australian and New Zealand TV

Review: Mr Black 1×1 (Australia: Ten)

In Australia: Tuesdays, 8.40pm, Ten
In the UK: Not yet acquired

From time immemorial, the older generation have believed that the younger generation are a bunch of softies. Even Hesiod, way back in the 8th century BC, was writing about how the latest generation of man from the ‘age of iron’ was so much rubbish compared to those from the ages of gold and silver, for example. And he didn’t even have avocados and lattes to complain about.

That feeling doesn’t seem to have gone away, judging by the worldwide universal refrain of baby boomers calling millennials snowflakes. It’s certainly big in Australia.

Mr Black

Joining the chorus is Mr Black, which sees Stephen Curry (The Castle, Pine Gap) playing a recently retired sports journalist who is forced to move in with his 24-year-old daughter (Sophie Wright) and her new boyfriend (Nick Russell) as a result of his ailing health – he has ankylosing spondylitis, just like Mike Atherton.

However, Russell isn’t like Curry. He meditates, does yoga and can’t name a team he supports other than Australia. He can’t catch a ball and while Curry is a proper sports writer, Russell is an ad copywriter who came up with a campaign involving a robot car.

Needless to say, Curry is not impressed and doesn’t think Russell is suitable for his daughter. That makes for uncomfortable living.

Continue reading “Review: Mr Black 1×1 (Australia: Ten)”
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The Bad Seed
Australian and New Zealand TV

Boxset Tuesday: The Bad Seed (season one) (New Zealand: TVNZ 1; UK: Alibi)

In New Zealand: Aired on TVNZ 1 in April
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, Alibi. Starts May 14

On the whole, New Zealand doesn’t produce a lot of top-tier drama. Mostly, the schedules are filled with US and UK imports, plus some local entertainment shows, but original dramas are rare. Good dramas – and I do mean dramas, rather than comedy dramas such as Fresh Eggs and The Brokenwood Mysteries – are about as rare as unicorn droppings.

It’s unsurprising, therefore, that when an actual bona fide, home-grown decent drama shows up, New Zealand makes something of a song and a dance about it.

Dean O'Gorman and Matt Minto in TVNZ1's The Bad Seed
Dean O’Gorman and Matt Minto in TVNZ1’s The Bad Seed

The Bad Seed

The Bad Seed, based on two books by New Zealand novelist Charlotte Grimshaw, originally aired as an ‘event series’ over five nights on main channel TVNZ 1. Billed as ‘the birth of a new breed of New Zealand drama’, it’s certainly a bit different from its predecessors of the past five to 10 years or so in having an eye on both domestic and international distribution – the international language of TV being the crime drama. So dedicated to drama is it that Madeleine Sami (The Breaker Upperers) fails to make even one joke.

The show sees Matt Minto (The Blue Rose) and Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit, The Almighty Johnsons, Trumbo, Westside) playing two brothers who are products of a broken home: dad seems to have done such crappy things to them that Minto’s getting sent to borstal was actually a welcome relief to him and who knows about what mum did.

However, Minto got his life together. He went to university and is now a doctor. He’s married to Jodie Hillock and has two teenage daughters. He’s caught the eye of would-be PM Xavier Horan (Westside) and his wife Chelsie Preston Crayford (The Code). He even lets his brother live in the guest house, in return for which he helps out with odd jobs and looks after Hillock and the daughters when necessary.

Unfortunately, Minto also has a bit of a wandering eye and is having an affair with Keporah Torrance for reasons even he finds a bit mystifying. Is he broken inside thanks to the years of abuse he suffered?

It’s a question that others start asking themselves when Minto is implicated in the murder of one of his patients and it’s discovered that he beat up a girl when he was 13. Is Minto a bad seed in the heart of his seemingly perfect family? Is there even a bad seed inside him? It’s something cops Sami and Vinnie Bennett hope to find out.

Full review after the jump, but a word of warning – I will have to reveal who the murderer is to discuss it properly, although the show itself does the same very quickly so I won’t be spoiling too much.

Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: The Bad Seed (season one) (New Zealand: TVNZ 1; UK: Alibi)”
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