Always Greener: articles

Show of the Week

As the phenomenal success of ABC TV's fish-out of-water dramedy SeaChange proved, the yearning for people in urban societies to escape to a simpler life—and what that entails in terms of interrelationships—is a theme which taps into a rich vein of sentiment amongst the Australian viewing public.

In devising Always Greener last year, Seven was clearly looking to do the same. Drawing on similar themes of wish fulfillment and lifestyle choices, the series even lured former SeaChange cast member John Howard on board to ensure that there was no confusion about its intention to corner the market in 'quirky and character based'. No coincidence either, that the Network craftily programmed it into the time slot (Sundays 7.30pm), formerly occupied—and dominated by—SeaChange. While big budget homegrown dramas are thin on the ground these days, the gamble seems to have paid off in this case, and as the 2002 series of Always Greener returns to our screens, the grass is looking very green indeed for the Todd and Taylor families.

For the uninitiated, the aforementioned are two broods who swapped houses and lives in last year's premiere season. The Taylors were city dwellers desperately looking for an escape from the rat race while the Todds were country folk geed up for new challenges in the city. With its dramatic bets hedged each way to ensure mass audience appeal, the series' has a further drawcard in its strong ensemble cast, which includes both experienced actors like John Howard and Anne Tenney (best remembered for her role as Molly, in A Country Practice) in the roles of John and Liz Taylor. Their strong chemistry provides an excellent anchor for a young and previously unknown cast of talented young actors whose various frictions give the show much of its dramatic impetus. These include 22 year old Georgie Shrew who plays 16 year old Katy Turnbull, 16 year old Daniel Bowden who plays resident spunk Jason Taylor, Bree Walters as 14-year-old Philippa Todd, Abe Forsythe (son of well known Australian actor Drew Forsythe) who plays Campbell Todd, the 16-year-old country boy in search of city adventure and Michala Banas as the worldly wise 18-year-old Marissa Taylor

According to series' writer and creator, Bevan Lee, Always Greener is "very accessible to the audience, but it doesn't treat them like idiots" It's also, he says, "a truthful but optimistic look at family". Like most families, the Todds and Taylors have their ups and downs but their cheeky—and distinctly Australian—humour provides a perfect counterpoint to the drama.

Big things are in store this season. A reunion with the Todd's turns everyone's thoughts to life and death while the prospect of Liz (Anne Tenney) having another baby has everyone abuzz. Marissa makes a long awaited move on Tom, with unexpected results while Tom, it seems, has issues of his own.

April 03, 2002
Telstra Entertainment