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Friday, November 13, 2015

'Offspring' S1: DVD: Modern Family (and Secret Life) of Australian Ally McBeal, M.D.


[EDITOR'S NOTE: This Region-Four DVD set from Australia will not play in a standard U.S. player; watching it requires an international DVD player.]

The Madman Entertainment box set of the complete series (to date) of the Australian dramedy "Offspring" once again shows that Americans are lucky to have a good source for DVD collections of films and television shows that are not released here. This chance to check out foreign fare additionally allows for testing the validity of the Unreal TV theory that Australian and British fare kicks the arse of what is produced over here. The scads o' nominations and wins for "Offspring" during the run (once again, to date) of the series further shows that this is one to watch.

Properly describing the wit and charm of "Offspring," which revolves around highly skilled but neurotic and frequently day dreaming obstetrician Dr. Nina Proudman, would require much more space and time than is feasible. Breaking the reviews into separate posts on each season alleviates this difficulty.

The following YouTube clip of the promo. for the first season of "Offspring" starts things off with a nice recap of the concept of the show.


Unreal TV readers know "Offspring" star Asher Keddie, who is the 21st Century Australian Jennifer Anniston, through the reviewed complete series set of the 2014 Australian political camp drama "Party Tricks." Keddie does just as well (if not better) playing Nina as a successful career woman with a dysfunctional personal life as she does regarding her similar portrayal of national politician Kate Ballard. Both Nina and Kate are people whom you would want in your corner if you needed someone with their skills but have "more baggage than a Qantas flight."

The primary manifestation of the angst that Nina feels regarding her love life and her relationships with her "its complicated" parents, her sister, and her brother comes in the form of frequent day dreams that cause brief but noticeable blackouts. The range of these imaginings range from romantic fantasies, to manifestations of fears, to thoughts of dire harm befalling those who done her wrong. The "Offspring" producers enhance this narrative technique via increasingly creating temporary doubt regarding whether a development is live or is it Ninarex.

The Season One (S1) DVD set includes the feature-length pilot of "Offspring." The event in that offering around which much of the S1 action revolves is the arrival of Dr. McHunky pediatrician Chris Havel, who has his own extensive set of luggage. We further get to meet the Proudmans.

Realtor Darcy Proudman is the head of the family; he still loves ex-wife Geraldine but has a long and extensive history of an inability to not stray from the martial bed. For her part, Geraldine is trying to have a fulfilling personal life while still being a good mother. Big sister Billie is an even more neurotic mess than Nina and works as an assistant to her father.

Twenty-something "baby" brother slacker Jimmy is the youngest (and sexiest) Proudman. He supplements his bar tending income with gigs as a lab rat while he tries to find himself. He additionally engages in ill-conceived romances with flighty girls and spends a great deal of time riding his bicycle around Melbourne.

Jimmy portrayor Richard Davies having the scruff look down, possesses such a nice smile, and displays so much humor and all around likability that he almost certainly inspires impure thoughts in virtually every woman viewer and roughly 20-percent of the male audience. (Davies provides this demographic in a racy scene involving a strategically placed straw hat in the 11th S1 episode of "Offpsring.")

The "outsiders" include Nina pal Cherie, who learns of a strong connection to the Proudman family in the pilot, and Billie's on-again-off-again boyfriend aspiring songwriter/musician Mick Holland. The following SPOILER-LADEN but hilarious YouTube clip of real-life composer/musician Eddie Perfect in his role as Mick nicely showcases the charm and the wit of this lovably oafish character.

A few of the numerous other S1 complications include Nina being separated from psychotic demolitions expert Brendan, a toxic high school acquaintance of Billie creating havoc, and Chris and Nina facing serious roadblocks on the road to truish love. Nina additionally must contend with challenges such as a couple that wants everyone who participates in the birth of their child to be nude and with Geraldine going to a dangerous extreme to protect Jimmy. The copious jokes and related confrontation following that show of maternal love are fall-on-the-floor funny (and showcase the charm of Davies).

The "magic" that makes "Offspring" so appealing is that the perfectly cast ensemble seem to really their roles and working with the other actors. One can believe that the Proudmans are a real family. Their lives evoke thoughts of the parental wisdom "small people, small problems; big people, big problems."

The extras include the aforementioned pilot film and an equally well-produced webisode series "The Nurses." The latter includes a hilarious discussion of sperm donation.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Offspring" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.