The PM’s daughter

The PM’s daughter

The last time a narrative series was set at The Lodge, all hell broke loose.

That was At home with Julia on ABC in 2011 when the Prime Minister got up close and personal with the First Bloke under the Australian flag (fun fact, same director here for later episodes).

ABC ME returns to a mock Lodge for The PM’s daughtera -presumably- safer backdrop for a new 10-part Fremantle tween drama.

The episodes center on the frustrations of Cat (Cassandra Helmot), the vivacious teenage daughter of newly installed Prime Minister Isabel Perez (Claire Fearon), Australia’s first prime minister with Spanish ancestry.

They move from Perth to Canberra with their aunt Jacinta (Cecilia Yeomans), as her husband and Cat’s father had previously died. While her mother is happy not to be in FIFO shuttle mode anymore, Cat is not happy with so many changes. Her pets also had to stay behind due to biosecurity laws. Sin.

But Cat meets a new crew of friends in high school, provided he gets past the federal police, including political junkie Sadie (Natalie English), Ollie (Jaga Yap) who is also the son of Deputy Prime Minister Tim Duong (Anthony Brandon Wong), Mirro (Nya Cofie) a ‘diplobrat’ son of a US dignitary and Princess Georgina (Amelie James-Power) daughter of the leader of the opposition.

Cat has also inherited her mother’s former activist streak and rails against all the trappings of Canberra, from a stuffy old-world bedroom to being forced into women’s clothing.

Her mother tries to empathize, but admits: “The sad fact is that I have to look at appearances, whether I like it or not. I’m a woman in politics.”

I assume you have seen many of the Annabel Crabb series? Or did the authors have…

Cat is also passionate about climate change and hates that her mother is the target of local protesters, the Action Uprising group.

“I should be out there with them,” he sighs.

But when you’re the PM’s daughter there are rules everywhere, even when you try to pull the plug.

“I can’t even turn on the TV without mom telling me what to do.”

The series also features a cheeky chief of staff Henry (Lewis Fitz-Gerald) who is on hand to reduce any sense of teenage fun under his watch. Thankfully he manages to pull off some gags with real-world relevance.

“Dry sense of humour. He reminds me of John Howard,” she jokes.

There’s even a Katter-like akubra on a pollie and the use of ABC News studios.

The series created by Tristram Baumber and Matthew Allred strives to see Canberra through the eyes of teenagers, with a sense of humor while maintaining a social conscience that is relevant to children.

It is also the second drama, after Stan’s Hit, centered around a Chilean-Australian family. There is a poppy soundtrack (I’m sure I’ve heard Montaigne), which adds to the freshness.

ABC ME is kicking off 2022 with another promising show in its scripted drama.

The PM’s Daughter airs today at 5:30pm on ABC ME.