"800 Words" on Acorn TV - the family show we've needed

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by phrelin, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007

    On September 5 Acorn TV made the first two episodes of the 2015 first season of "800 Words" available for streaming. It's the family show notably absent on American TV.

    "800 Words" is the warm-hearted "dramedy" that manages to negotiate the tricky balance between comedy and drama and to spread its attention over generations that are ably represented by a lively community of characters.

    It initially focuses on an emotionally bruised family endeavouring to make a fresh start in a small, slightly eccentric beachside community. We meet the Turners: recently widowed father George and his teenage children, Shay and Arlo. Still grieving the death of their mother, these teens find themselves spirited from their Sydney home to another country - New Zealand - when their dad impulsively decided that a change of scenery might help, and picks the place he'd spent happy summers as a boy.

    The casting of kids is often a problem for family-based dramas, which can suffer from wooden, one-note performances or an excess of cuteness from younger cast members. But Melina Vidler and Benson Jack Anthony bring authenticity, vitality and personality to Shay and Arlo, creating a believable bond with their father played by Erik Thomson, making their characters' frustrations, emotional aches and sometimes startlingly perceptive insights engaging attributes of the Turner family unit.

    The strong characters in the Weld townspeople particularly including the appreciably diverse quartet of Weld women eyeing George with interest: artist Katie (Anna Julienne), schoolteacher Tracey (Emma Leonard), boat club owner Fiona (Michelle Langstone) and surfer and shop assistant Hannah (Cian Elyse White). Some enjoyable comedy has also been extracted from the contributions of Rick Donald as surfer and sporadic handyman Woody as well as other members of the deftly drawn community.

    As Australia’s number one drama, Channel Seven announced the commissioning of a second series (season). Brad Lyons, Seven’s Director of Network Production, said: “It’s no secret we pride ourselves on being the home of Australian drama. The success of 800 Words is testament to the great production teams and a terrific cast led by Erik Thomson. We’re thrilled that Australian audiences have embraced the Turner family and the people of Weld. It’s further proof good stories, told well, are key.”

    For more about Acorn TV see the thread Acorn TV: Shows from Britain, Australian, New Zealand, Canada. Or go to the Acorn TV website.

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