OK, I’m finally done

Last year, Brian Matus and I had a conversation about the movie Wolf Creek, a movie that had been branded with the “torture porn” label and disregarded by a lot of people as not worth the time of watching. I contend that there is only one scene that really goes over the line and unfortunately it is that one scene that seems to stick with a lot of reviewers. I was able to disregard that scene as something that the filmmaker really wanted to see (Remember that my theory is that most films get made because the writer/director has one scene in mind and creates a movie to get to that one scene) and was able to enjoy the rest of the movie.

During our discussion, Brian mentioned that the actor who played Mick, also played in an Australian family drama called McLeod’s Daughters, a show that I had heard of but had never actually watched, and a home improvement show. I could see John Jarratt as a handyman type so the home improvement show didn’t really surprise me, but this guy in a wholesome family drama really threw me for a loop. So there was a part of me that had to see McLeod’s Daughters.

McLeod’s Daughters is a drama about a group of women who run a ranch in Southern Australia. As a person whose sole exposure to Australia was the Crocodile Dundee movies, the Alan Smithee classic Shrimp On The Barbie, The Coca-Cola Kid, Quigley Down Under and of course the Mad Max movies, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that there were no long explanations of walkabouts, mentions of the Outback and no mohawked bikers with solid steel boomerangs driving around looking for gasoline, but I watched it anyway.

As soon as John Jarratt came on the screen, he seemed like a totally different person from Mick in Wolf Creek. Not merely a totally different character, but a totally different person. I was a bit bummed that he wasn’t a regular character, but in my mind whenever his character Terry would disappear for an extended length of time, he was off being Mick Taylor, killing families and torturing travelers before he went home to get browbeaten by the women on the show. And trust me, that guy took a lot of crap from his girlfriend.

I was in the middle of Season Three when I found out that the series was coming to an end in 2009. As soon as I heard that my collector’s/completist mentality kicked in and I had to watch the entire run of the show, even if it went in a direction that would normally make me stop watching. In fact, during Season Six, I mentioned to Damian Smith that I was watching the show and he said that he couldn’t even finish watching the commercials for the show. I had no idea why he would think that, the show was a cute little almost inoffensive show that seemed like a good way to kill an hour (42 minutes without commercials).

I saw what he meant during Season Eight. I had been watching DVDs, but since the DVDs weren’t out for Season Eight, I watched them another way. At the end of one of the episodes, the “On the next episode…” was left on the file and it was over melodramatic and hokey. Since these are things that are usually used for the regular commercials I knew exactly what Damian was talking about. The worst part is, the episode they were hyping wasn’t melodramatic or hokey.

Today, I finally watched the last episode. During the eight season run of the show, they lost all of the original cast (except for two original cast members who make a cameo at the very end) and it seemed like they lost their way for a couple of years and instead of being a cute little show about a female run ranch with touches of melodrama, they went full on night time soap opera and I can see why a lot of people (the actors included) were turned off from the show. However, if you like horses or stories about female empowerment, then I would suggest a viewing. If you like the more realistic storylines, then stop at Season Three, maybe Season Four, but after that, things start to unravel a bit.

One thing that I found interesting is the way that after a while, I no longer noticed their accents. The same thing happens when I watch a lot of British TV. They all sound normal to me, but when I watch the same accents on American TV, they stick out like a sore thumb. I wonder if the American directors tell the actors to really accentuate their speech patterns.

However, I’m done. I can watch more movies, which means that there will be more episodes of Movie Noise coming out on a much more regular basis. Thank you for everyone who has stayed subscribed and for all of the new listeners that have jumped on board even though the frequency got more erratic. The next time I dive headfirst into a long running TV series, I will give you all a warning ahead of time.

Comments are closed.