800 Words 2018
DVD Region: 4, PAL (for AUS & NZ)
Number of Discs: 2
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In 800 Words a Widowed Father Uproots His Family
The Australian series “800 Words” reminds you of “Sex and The City. George Turner (Eric Thomson) writes a column for a Sydney newspaper — a full 800 words — and, like Carrie bradshaw, reads excerpts from it aloud as narration. Unlike her, he sits in front of his laptop, occasionally looking at the camera and reading the words on the screen, as if to make sure we’re listening.
Parliament should tell you that, in any case, “800 words” (which Acorn TV began airing online on Monday) is not like “Sex and the City”. This is the kind of show that is in short supply on American television, even in the current glut: a decidedly moving, happy and sad family story, aimed at audiences ranging from teenagers to adults. This is a common genre on Australian television, somewhere between “Gilmore Girls” and the more sophisticated Disney or Nickelodeon series.
Surprisingly, the film is well worth seeing — its humor isn’t too broad or too sweet, and its central cast is skilled enough to make the emotion real. (apparently, not all of Australia’s best actors have left to make American TV shows.) Thomson is a little underwhelming, but overall, he’s the winner as George, whose wife died at the start of the show. George, a dreamer, let his more practical spouse handle the details of life, so he decided to start over and move the family — a fragile teenage daughter, an eccentric teenage son — to a small town in New Zealand, where he spent the summer of his childhood.
Eight hundred words were classified as “comedy” – neither funny nor dramatic enough. “Lightweight drama” might be a better description, less demanding but not impossible to miss.
After the death of his wife, successful journalist George Turner (Eric Thomson) moves his teenage daughter shay (melina widler) and son, alle (Benson jack Anthony), from Sydney to the small town of Willard, New Zealand. However. There’s no denying that the show got better over the next few episodes as the show shifted from exploring George’s soul to paying more attention to the dynamics of the town.
What looked like heaven turned into hell, but Wilder’s charm eventually began to win over his family. The random title comes from a regular column written by George. For some reason he always counted to 800 words accurately — no more, no less. Fortunately, we’re not bound by 800 words, just cliches like “tomorrow” at the beginning and end of each episode. A new day, as life goes on. A wave of… We hope that with the emergence of many special occasions, the infinite possibilities become more abundant. From there, the story follows two predictable but satisfying tracks. In this family drama, the lovable bumbling George (first, he bought the wrong house in New Zealand)
Learns to be an adult under the cold but loving gaze of his children. Then there is the comedy of culture clashes, in which three australians are seen by new zealanders as ignorant snobs jumping the queue.
George is nervous about how he and his daughter shea (the wonderful Melina Vidler) will react.
“800 words” is a lightweight definition, but it is intimate and moving, easily drawn to its scenic and anthropological charms. Encouragingly, for example, on the first day of their new school, teenagers are chagrined at not wearing uniforms. American parents can only sigh.
It would have worked much better as a soap opera, since the female characters would have been chasing George (there were five women after him!). It’s not Thomson’s fault – he’s just broadcasting some innocuous music on daytime TV.
The 800 characters won’t compete with neighbors or homes or out-of-town on daytime TV, although the show’s cliffhanger ending (it actually has three seasons) should be enough to motivate daytime TV fans. Personally, I’m not a big fan of welding.