Australian television shows characterized by unique casts

Photo Courtesy of ABC TV

In the past decade, the people of the United States have shown an increasing interest in foreign television shows. The British shows Doctor Who and Sherlock, among others, have seen great success in the U.S. as well as in their home country.

Shows such as Rookie Blue and Degrassi from Canada are aired on regular television in the United States. With the growing availability of on-demand video streaming sites such as Hulu, this international awareness is to be expected.

A curious point about this viewing trend is that interest seems to go country by country. Awareness of shows grew from just what is produced for American viewers to Canadian shows then even to encompass the United Kingdom’s entertainment industry.

Only recently did this nationwide interest in international television shows start to include the last large English-speaking country, Australia.

The Fox network aired an adaptation of the Australian show Rake last January. Though not actually an Australian show, this could spark interest in the original or inspire viewers to look up what a real Australian television show is like instead of watching an American spin-off.

Once interested in Australian shows, they are not particularly hard to find. Locating the shows that are still pertinent does, however, provide more of a challenge.

Like in the United States, there are plenty of shows that failed in their first season, such as The Strip, or are in an indefinite hiatus that could easily be accepted as cancellation, such as Lush House.

These doomed shows are easier to find online than the shows that are currently being aired in Australia. After finding a suitably prevalent series, a curious viewer can sit back and enjoy the novelty of foreign accents and cultures.

One such series, A Moody Christmas, premiered in Australia during October 2012. ABC Television (Australian Broadcasting Company) started to air season two earlier this year. The network announced that season two will be available to American viewers via Hulu before the end of spring but have yet to set a specific date.

Each episode of A Moody Christmas shows consecutive Christmases at the Moody house. The show focuses on Dan Moody (Ian Meadows), a photographer who spends the rest of the year in Europe. This means that the audience gets to see about as much of the Moody family as Dan does.

Each episode makes it rather obvious that Dan does not keep in touch with his family. This does tend to stretch the plausibility of the plot points, such as a love story that spans six years and is still not resolved because they only ever seem to talk to each other at Christmas time. The viewer is left to wonder why Dan does not simply give up and stay in the UK.

Even with oddities introduced by skipping a year each episode, A Moody Christmas is still worth seeing. It introduces cultural differences such as having an outdoor barbeque for Christmas because it is summertime, wearing paper crowns and other, subtler differences. It is worth noting that airports apparently look the same in any country.

Unlike in the United States, Australia does not have a particular schedule for when seasons are to begin, though a new season is rarely started during their summer months (December, January and February). While British seasons (called series) last around ten episodes (notably Sherlock has only three each series) and American seasons have somewhere between 20 and 25 episodes, Australian seasons typically show 13 episodes before waiting for the next year.