Monday, August 16, 2010

AUS Television: Offspring, Premiere Episode

Season One, Episode 1
Original Air Date:  August 15, 2010

Obstetrician Nina Proudman struggles with her busy life delivering babies, dealing with hard-to-handle family members, an even harder-to-handle ex-husband and the gorgeous new pediatrician at the hospital where she works.  In this episode, we're introduced to each of the characters, find out who they are, who they love, what they do and what they want.  Life becomes even more complicated when one of Nina's friends returns to work at the hospital with a big surprise:  she's pregnant!  But the surprises don't stop there.  During labor Nina learns that the baby belongs to none other than her father!

Nina Proudman is a character I think some people will find easy to relate to.  She has a busy life both at home and at work.  She's often tired from the long hours she works.  Too tired to even stay awake during the sexual fantasy she has about Chris Havel.  She's got her hands full with her family and completely crazy ex-husband.  Everything about her life is hectic.  Don't we all have lives that are a bit more complicated and hectic than we'd like them to be?

Nina's ex-husband, Brendan, is an explosives expert who wants her back desperately and has resorted to exploding her personal possessions.  Her favorite chair is a casualty of his obsession and her iPod almost is.  I think everyone in her family is afraid of him.  Jimmy takes the water hose to a bouquet of flowers Brendan brings to Nina because he thinks there just might be a bomb of some kind in them somewhere.  He seems almost harmless until he steps way too far over the line and blows up Chris Havel's car because he believes Chris and Nina are seeing one another.

Chris Havel is everything Nina wants in a man.  He's charming, smart, caring and super sexy.  But Chris has his own demons.  His wife went missing and he now cares for their 18 month old daughter while a detective searches for his wife.  He's a popular subject of gossip at the nurses station but none of the nurses know the truth about his wife.  They all assume she ran out on him and their daughter. 

Billie Proudman is a former wild child that is trying to turn her life around and become a solid and productive woman.  She works at Darcy Proudman's real estate office and lives with her father until he invites Cherie and their newborn son to move in with him for a while.  Billie and her on again/off again boyfriend are an interesting couple.  He's a musician who writes songs about Billie and is a massively poor housekeeper (there's actually something growing in his carpet!).  She tries to find a new man and goes out on a date.  Turns out, he's a massive Star Wars fan and actually tries to entertain her with conversation about Yoda's actual age and speaking like Yoda.  Billie is honest to a fault and has a way of getting herself in trouble without even trying that hard to do so. 

Jimmy Proudman is a bit of a free spirit.  He flies helicopters much to the displeasure of his mother and he doesn't want her to know he's going back to his job soon.  He's got a girlfriend, Odile that was supposed to be going home to France but she couldn't bear the thought of life without him and bought a ticket back to Melbourne. 

Darcy Proudman is a ladies man.  He and the mother of his three grown children are separated but not yet legally divorced.  When he learns that Cherie has had his child, he wants to do the right thing and gives her the option of moving in with him for a while.  He's genuinely excited about his new son and I think he wants to be a good dad to him.  He wants to give it a try at least.  Knowing his personality, I can easily see why his grown children are the way they are.  Especially Billie.

This first episode was long as it was originally filmed to be a tele-movie so there's a lot to see here.  Overall, I enjoyed this first episode of Offspring.  There were many moments that made me laugh and it did what it was supposed to do in that it introduced each and every character and their relationships with one another.  I've already picked favorite characters and have ideas as to where I'd like to see the story go.  The ending was excellent and came as a surprise to me.  The otherwise light atmosphere of the show became heavy and somber at the end and it will be interesting to see what happens next.  It's my hope that now the characters have been introduced and the stage has been set the show will hit the ground running from here on out once we're down to the hour format instead of two hours.

Offspring airs on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on Ten Network and has an approved run of 13 1-hour episodes.
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