The summer holidays are a great opportunity to sink your teeth into new drama, and a new Australian drama fits the bill perfectly.
love me is a new 6-part romantic drama, first for Binge (yes, it will be on Foxtel too) and it’s instantly better than the much hyped That’s it.
Produced by Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford (Aquarius Films) for Warner Bros. Australia, it is based on a Swedish drama Love me,, adapted by local writers. Not to be in any way dismissive, but this is a very well made melodrama that has been so successful for Foxtel with Love my wayand later A place to call home. That said, I feel this is closer to ABC’s excellent The beautiful lie... full of contemporary and complex takes on relationships, with Celia Pacquola to boot.
The series centers on the Mathieson family led by Glen (Hugo Weaving) with daughter Clara (Bojana Novakovic) and son Aaron (William Lodder).
As the opening episode begins Glen loses his wife Christine (Sarah Pierse) having been his devoted caregiver in his final years of illness. But they were also difficult years and Clara felt her mother’s judgment for remaining single and presumably “too picky” with men.
“I don’t want to date kids, I want to have one,” says Clara.
That seems to be changing when she meets a neighbor Peter (Bob Morley) at the local convenience store. She is strongly encouraged by her gay hospital colleague Sacha (Celia Pacquola).
Meanwhile Aaron is infatuated with sexy band Ella (Shalom Brune-Franklin) even though his friend Jesse (Mitzi Ruhlmann) insists the two have nothing in common.
Christine’s death resets the family a lot, with Clara deciding to risk a romance with handsome Peter and Glen taking an expensive vacation he’d already bought, where he meets the attractive Anita (Heather Mitchell) – while probably you can figure out the rest, watching it unfold is joyous and layered, in the hands of two fine performers.
Hugo Weaving rarely makes TV series and we are poorer for it. Here he shows how Glen struggles to move on from her marriage, but desperately deserves it. Bojana Novakovic who last appeared for Foxtel in their first drama Satisfactionshe looks gorgeous on screen as the grounded Clara tackling real-life modern dating questions.
Newcomer, the handsome William Lodder (yes, eye candy runs high on this show), is a fantastic find as the needy son grappling with his mother’s death.
Heather Mitchell and Celia Pacquola (again holding their own as dramatic actors) are glorious additions to the ensemble.
Melbourne is also a background character in this series, evocatively captured as a romantic metropolis – quite a feat given that this was filmed during lockdown.
In the hands of director Emma Freeman, this is smart, sexy, brimming with subtext and unspoken sentiment. The soundtrack, often with lilting piano tinkling, helps to draw you under her spell. It’s easy to get hooked on these characters and their current storylines.
That said, there seems to be quite a bit of booze whenever two people get together, and a few times I couldn’t read the texting exchanges – minor points, I have to admit.
love me it’s smart, urbane, and believable, and Binge perfectly delivers all 6 episodes you’ll want to delve into.
Love Me projects Boxing Day on Binge (Foxtel on Demand / 8:30pm Monday on FOX Showcase).