Offspring’s proud women

Offspring started its new season last night.

I haven’t been very fond of Australian attempts at drama since Underbelly spewed its way across our screens. There isn’t much to select between, particularly if you’re looking for a strong female character and haven’t been able to watch ABC or SBS.

So where was I? Offspring started last night and while I was reminded I don’t really enjoy the inner dialogue thing Nina has going on, it is rather refreshing to see some fabulous female characters on a commercial station. And, for every annoying inner dialogue scene, there is a flash of Jimmy’s smile and two of Billie’s direct quips to keep me interested. There is also plenty of talented Australians acting. And that’s more than I can say for Packed to the Rafters.

The first episode definitely contained enough to encourage  me to return for more.

Let’s start with Nina:

  • Yes, she seems to get caught up in her head far too often, but this is something many women actually do. In my opinion, it’s a fairly apt description – if not a wee bit overdone – about what is actually running through a lady’s head. For that reason, I enjoy it. Run on Nina’s head, run on.
  • Despite an element of clumsiness, laid on rather thick, she is extremely capable, intelligent and successful. When she’s at work, and doing her job, she does it very well.
  • She’s the pivotal and reliable point within the family, not perfect, but steadfast, still sexy.
  • She wore an incredible vest last night.

Then, there’s her fabulous sister. Billie:

  • Razor sharp, direct, full of opinion, unapologetic, wrapped up in a don’t-really-care attitude. She’s unashamed, bashful and one-of-a-kind (if you exclude her fore-sister, Roberta). Last night she was perfectly frank when she told her lovely hubby Mick she was slightly jealous of Nina being the centre of attention. She told him not to judge her. It was impossible not to. It was honest. It was very funny.
  • Her relationship with her husband is equally enjoyable. He isn’t portrayed as “long suffering” – he actually loves her and her him. She’s not punished for being the character she is. When so many often are.
And mother, Geraldine:
  • Yes, there is a wee bit too much of the cardigan and tea-drinking Rafters matriarch in Geraldine, but also enough of a hint at a rather wild and adulterous past, to let her pass.
I’ll keep watching because it’s a show built around strong female characters. The accompanying male characters are equally pleasant, but they’re a post for another day. The men have a clear role, but not one of their characters overshadows the presence of a woman. It’s bloody pleasing to see.
Why though, they had to be called ‘Proudman’ though, in light of the above, has really got me thinking.
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