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    Mercado on TV: ABC’s After the Party with Robyn Malcolm – one of the best dramas of the year

    After The Party (Sunday on ABC) is a must-see new drama with a mostly all-Kiwi cast, except for Scottish actor Peter Mullan. He plays the ex-husband of Penny, played by Robyn Malcolm, who has also co-created this story with writer Dianne Taylor. Together, they have crafted a suburban whodunnit with a woman of a certain age at the centre. 

    The magnificent Malcolm has been in Aussie shows like Harrow and Upper Middle Bogan. But her best-known work was shoved into a late-night slot out of ratings. Outrageous Fortune, one of the best comedy dramas of all time, was treated with contempt by Aussie programmers. Something that still happens to all TV series from New Zealand. 

    The difference with this one is it’s an Australian co-production with the ABC. For more interesting info about the making of After The Party, check out our standalone podcast episode of TV Gold with Robyn Malcolm (landing Monday). This is one of the best dramas of the year – 5 stars. 

    Swift Street (SBS On Demand) is a new Aussie series with a lead cast that is a first given every character is a person of colour. Set in Preston, Melbourne, it’s about the fiery relationship between street hustler Elsie (Tanzyn Crawford) and her deadbeat dad Robert (Cliff Curtis).

    Mercado on TV: ABC’s After the Party with Robyn Malcolm – one of the best dramas of the year

    Swift Street

    There is great support from Kenyan Lonsdale as a troubled boxer, but he’s not there to be a romantic interest for Elsie. She seems to have both a boyfriend and a girlfriend and refreshingly, very little is made of it. Creator Tig Terera has crafted a drama about what he knows best and it’s one to watch.  

    Heartbreak High (Netflix) is back and has had to up the ante for its second season. It’s now less about a multicultural school and more about teen sex, as it morphs into an Aussie version of Sex Education (Netflix).

    Heartbreak High S2. (L to R) Chika Ikogwe as Jojo, Ayesha Madon as Amerie, Gemma Chua-Tran as Sasha, Sherry-Lee Watson as Missy, Brodie Townsend as Ant, Bryn Chapman Parish as Spider, Angus Sampson as Voss

    In the absence of schoolwork or study, with barely a teacher or parent in sight, there are illegal raves in bunkers, mushroom trips in the bush, and football teams that call themselves cumlords and sluts. It is all totally ridiculous, but very watchable, with a great soundtrack to boot.

    TV Gold: New episode of Mediaweek’s weekly TV podcast

    Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Mercado on TV columnist Andrew Mercado and editor-in-chief James Manning.

    We want your comments, feedback and questions –

    This week: Alice & Jack, Swift Street, White Lies, Sugar, How to Poison the Planet

    We start this episode with a very different love story, Alice & Jack (BBC First/Binge/Foxtel, series). Swift Street (SBS, series) looks at a family forced into petty crime in suburban Melbourne. White Lies (Stan, series) is a crime investigation starring Natalie Dormer set in South Africa. Sugar (AppleTV+, series) sees Colin Farrell playing LA detective John Sugar. How to Poison the Planet (Stan documentary) is a brilliant feature made in collaboration with The Sydney Morning Herald that tells a chilling tale about how we are impacted by poisons let loose by the chemical industry.

    Listen online here, or on your favourite podcast platform.

    The post Mercado on TV: ABC’s After the Party with Robyn Malcolm – one of the best dramas of the year appeared first on Mediaweek.

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