Tag Archives: ABC

Keating: The Interviews

10 Jan

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Paul Keating is one of Australia’s most charismatic and fascinating political leaders. In this candid, four-part interview series, the former prime minister reveals intimate details about his childhood, his early passion for politics and the highs and lows of his 40-year political career.

From his childhood growing up in the working-class suburb of Bankstown, to taking on the top job between 1991 and 1996, Keating reveals an early fascination with power and the ability to use it to effect great change. While Keating’s love of Mahler and fine Italian suits is well documented, here we are given a fascinating insight into other facets of his life, such as his early years managing rock band The Ramrods and his close relationship with his grandmother.

Veteran journalist Kerry O’Brien is a master interviewer whose thought-provoking questions help to uncover the underlying motivations of this great man. Keating, who turns 70 this year, is as thoughtful and acerbic as ever, his famous talent for scathing ripostes still evident as he describes his tumultuous relationship with Bob Hawke.

While many voters today are switching off from the political debate amid insipid leadership, it’s inspiring to hear Keating speak with passion for economic and social reform and painting a bigger picture for Australia. Labor fans in particular will love this exploration of one of Australia’s most intriguing political characters.

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Twentysomething – Series 1

22 Jul

twentysomething Jess (Jess Harris) and Josh (Josh Schmidt) are best mates in their 20s living a crazy life together in Melbourne. While their friends are busy studying, climbing the corporate ladder and settling down to have kids, Jess and Josh only live to party.

After the pair are kicked out of their sharehouse they embark on a series of harebrained schemes to try to stay afloat – including taking backpackers on “alternative” tours of Melbourne, running an erotic house-cleaning service and finding lost dogs for reward money.

Shy Josh is occasionally reluctant to throw himself behind Jess’s kooky plans, but her sheer force of personality drags him into the most ludicrous of situations, with occasional help from ditzy friend Abby (Leah de Niese, Offspring).

twentysomething_picThere’s a lot to like about Jess and Josh – Josh’s sweet humility is the perfect foil to Jess’s brash vivacity. Hamish Blake is adorably scruffy as Jess’s old flame Billy, who returns from a trip abroad to try to woo her back. Simon Russell is spot on as Josh’s snobbish older brother Nick, who pesters Josh to get a “proper” job and invest in property.

While Jess and Josh portray unreliable kids to whom the idea of commitment is anathema, in real life, this series grew out of years of dedication and hard work to bring their ideas to fruition. Written by Jess Harris, the series began as a low-budget, one-cameraman affair on Channel 31. Luckily the ABC, as it has done before with shows such as The Marngrook Footy Show, recognised the pair’s talent and invited them to remake the show with a bigger budget.

The DVD extras reveal that the bond between Jess and Josh is real: the pair have been friends since they were 14, while Jess picked Hamish Blake for the role of Billy as they are also good mates. Extras also feature deleted scenes, a drinking game and a peek at the original Channel 31 version.

With sparkling dialogue and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, this six-part series reflects a universal phenomenon that any young person who has ever dreaded the question, “What are you doing with your life?”, can relate to.

M, ABC, 198 mins