Old be­comes new

As 2013 draws to a close, Guy Davis shares his picks of TV’s hits and misses.

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - COVER STORY -

There was the odd splash of orig­i­nal­ity and in­no­va­tion on our tele­vi­sion screens in 2013, but for the most part it was a year of se­quels, re­boots and reimag­in­ings, some of which were wel­comed with open arms, some of which re­ceived a bit of a cold shoul­der.

Con­tests and com­pe­ti­tions re­mained as big a draw­card as ever, whether the arena was the kitchen, the weapon the abil­ity to hit a high note or TV’s ver­sion of true love.

Let’s start with cook­ing shows, shall we? Af­ter all, we seemed rav­en­ous for them, what with Seven’s My Kitchen Rules rat­ing its chef’s hat off.

How­ever, Ten’s MasterChef Aus­tralia and its side project, MasterChef: The Pro­fes­sion­als, went off the boil a lit­tle, de­spite The Pro­fes­sion­als boast­ing the charis­matic pres­ence of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. And Nine’s The Great Aus­tralian

IBake Off wasn’t per­haps the taste sen­sa­tion the net­work an­tic­i­pated it would be.

Tal­ent quests con­tin­ued to at­tract view­ers like crazy, as the on­go­ing pop­u­lar­ity of The Voice and The X Fac­tor

Davis: ‘ Ten’s was the way to go. It was, for mine, the best

new se­ries of 2013.’

demon­strated. But it may only be singing that gets the pun­ters hooked, given the way Nine’s at­tempt to reignite Aus­tralia’s Got Tal­ent was met with only mid­dling in­ter­est.

As far as other re­al­ity- TV pro­gram­ming went, well, Nine per­sisted with Big Brother. Yeah, I’m a lit­tle con­fused about that as well, but I guess enough peo­ple tuned in for the first sea­son to jus­tify a sec­ond one. Hope­fully ev­ery­one in­volved has now learned their les­son.

And Ten took a chance on ro­mance by launch­ing Hus­bands con­tin­ued on its af­fa­ble, com­pe­tent way, and Seven’s A Place to Call Home was a mildly en­gag­ing fam­ily drama in the Down­ton Abbey vein.

Over on Ten, Won­der­land, a stylish but ul­ti­mately un­in­volv­ing re­hash of The Se­cret Life of Us, tried hard but failed to con­nect. Luck­ily, the net­work had an ace up its sleeve in Off­spring, even if it did trau­ma­tise its le­gions of loyal fans by bump­ing off adorable hunk Pa­trick ( Matthew Le Nevez). Se­ri­ously, the howls of an­guish could be heard around the na­tion.

Crime and pun­ish­ment con­tin­ued to win over au­di­ences, with the ABC en­joy­ing two suc­cess­ful sleuth sagas in the form of Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies and The Dr Blake Mys­ter­ies.

The Sin­ga­pore- set Seran­goon Road had am­bi­tion and a strong in­ter­na­tional

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