A few weeks ago, we delved into the topic of the ratio of American shows to shows produced internationally, inclusive of my homeland Australia, and we discussed about what makes a great show, and whether country of origin plays a factor. While the debate of sorts can carry on for a while yet, with many groups of people arguing about one type of favourite show vs another, ultimately it’s up to the consumer and the avid TV watcher to know if their show is good, regardless of where it was filmed and set. Over the next few weeks, I will delves into my favourite non-American TV shows (maybe about 5 or 6) and then I will try to wrap things up in a neat and nice bow. So are you ready?
The Show: Packed To The Rafters
Channel: Channel 7
Created By: Bevan Lee
Starring: Rebecca Gibney, Erik Thomson, Jessica Marais, Hugh Sheridan, Angus McLaren, Jessica McNamee, George Hourvadas, Hannah Marshall, Zoe Ventoura, James Stewart, Ryan Corr, Brooke Satchwell, Jacob Allan, Zoe Crammond, Ben Mingay, Merridy Eastman
Summary: The story is about a suburban Aussie family, who all find themselves living under one roof again as the three children Ben, Nathan and Rachel all decide to move back home for various reasons, while Julie and Dave as parents need to readjust their lives again. (This is just the summary of the pilot episode, and subsequent episodes show the ups and downs of the three children as they navigate their relationships and working life all while living at home).
Number of Seasons: 6
Aired from: 2008-2013
So what is special about this show? For me, I didn’t really appreciate the Aussie setting and humour of the show until probably the second half of the first season. To me the first part seemed a bit soap-operaish, however as the show went on, I could learn to appreciate the unique elements of the show that made it entirely Australian.
What I did discover through the show was that actors like Hugh, Angus and Jessica especially, who play Ben, Nathan and Rachel respectively, are extremely talented, and as of right now arer all Aussie stars. Looking back on the series now, I am sure Packed To The Rafters will garner more and more fans, due to the current reputation of the actors. There’s also a sense of the family they’re all portraying as being the real deal. A middle class family, the series portrayed real struggles and never shied away from the harder topics, even if there was high drama during some episode arcs. Similar to shows like One Tree Hill, Switched at Birth and Parenthood, it is also the picturesque scenery that has me transfixed and captivated. George Hourvadas’s comedic acting chops are also on display as well, as we see how his character Carbo, who is the next door neighbour to the Rafters, and Ben’s best friend, interact with everyone, and most of the time provide comic relief.
The show has been nominated for and won some Logie Awards (the most prestigious Awards show in Australia!), and the show has also garnered on average around 2 million viewers every week. With critics praising the show for the acting and the storylines; this is definitely a show that I think you should all check out if you have the chance. It’s my favourite Australian drama right now, and I don’t see any other show knocking it off the top spot anytime soon. I’m not sure how non-Australians can watch this show (it could be on Netflix or Hulu…), but for those who can’t readily watch it, I would say watch what you can, when you can. An eye opener into how Aussie family life can be, this show is a must for those wanting to know a bit more about life in Australia, or just want some quality drama- it’s just as good as the current family dramas on TV right now!
Is this show just as good as American TV shows? In the first instalment of this series, I mentioned that some of these ‘international’ shows are better in quality to American shows- but you can make your own decision. The trailer of the show can be viewed here– what do you think of it?
Next week…we delve into British shows! And the following week, back to Aussie shows! Just thought I would let you know.