Always Greener: articles

Love bug bites

Always Greener keeps fans guessing, writes Louise Napier, Herald Sun

THE highest-rating drama on Australian TV last year returns with an exciting season of twists, surprises and shocks.

A fine mixture of engrossing drama and funny moments, Always Greener took the television world by storm in 2001, attracting an average of 575,265 Melbourne viewers a week.

It is the story of two families, the Taylors and the Todds, who are grappling with swapping houses and starting new lives.

John (John Howard) and Liz Taylor (Anne Tenney) desperately needed a break from their city suburb of Allanhurst and their thankless jobs.

A move to the country seemed all the more appealing when their eldest daughter, Marissa (Michala Banas), fell in with the wrong crowd. Their youngest, Kim (Natasha Lee), was being bullied at school and their son, Jason (Daniel Bowden) was going nowhere.

While for Sandra Todd, managing the farm at Inverness was becoming increasingly difficult after losing her husband in an accident.

Sandra (Caitlin McDougall), her daughter Pip (Bree Walters) and son Campbell (Abe Forsythe) felt as though life was passing them in the country.

Once everyone began finding their feet after the swap, you would expect things to have settled down. But, like all good dramas, Always Greener kept the surprises coming.

And it continues to do so in its second season, with romantic highs and lows at the top of the agenda.

Just how far will Sandra take her relationship with real estate colleague Greg (Craig McLachlan), and will Cam date his on-line girlfriend?

Pip is pretty smug about her new boyfriend, Bomber (Hamish Thomson), while Jason pines for Katy (Georgie Shew), and Marissa sets her sights on Tom (Scott Major).

"I can't tell you too much about Marissa and Tom, of course, but what I will say is things were looking pretty interesting between the two at the end of last year when Marissa began paying a lot more attention to Tom," Major says.

Banas agrees that though Tom and Marissa have vastly different personalities there is real spark between them. Tom just may not know it yet.

"Sure, Marissa is full of biting one-liners, but she also showed last year that there was this really vulnerable human being underneath," Banas says.

"The beauty of this situation for me as an actor is that it has given me great scope to take Marissa on a journey and see what comes out of her and who brings it out.

"Tom doesn't mind wearing his vulnerability on his sleeve and has taught Marissa a hell of a lot about life.

"She has always had a quiet admiration for him."

But, as Jason Taylor knows, the path to love is rarely smooth.

His pursuit of a relationship with the glamorous Katy has been hampered in every way, but still he plans to battle on.

"He's persistent, if nothing else," says Bowden, Jason's alter ego. "Who knows where things will end up this year. But, despite the trauma Katy went through last year, I think Jason made up a bit of ground with her."

Bowden is quick to point out his real admiration on the show is for John Howard's acting ability.

"I absolutely idolise John," he says.

"I've really tried to learn from the way he works, his charm and his coolness. But underneath all of that he has got so much energy, and whenever he needs to use the energy to create an unforgettable performance, he just pulls it out.

"There's no warm-up, he just draws on it and nails it every single time. I adore that."

Always Greener, returns on Channel 7, Sunday, 7.30pm

Louise Napier
March 27, 2002
Herald Sun